Solar Tank Ideas for More Facile Winter Survival

Trough pic
Excalibur Oversees the Daily Functioning of ROTH”s solar tank…

It’s great to live in Colorado where if you don’t enjoy the weather, wait fifteen minutes – it will change. Getting multiple seasons in a day can be enticing for those who like change, but it still doesn’t change the fact that winter water storage always has its challenges. Fortunately, we get an extraordinary amount of sunlight in the winter, and strong sun at that, since we sit at over 6700 feet in elevation here at the ROTH ranch. Building anything here that uses passive solar is always worth a try, and on top of that, my over-analytical science mind was thrilled to have an experiment on my hands.

Passive solar troughs have been tried all over the States.  Some companies have marketed their own with added bells and whistles. The tanks created for the ranch here were straightforward and functional, while still looking neat and well thought-out. The tank pictured here cost less than $300 and could be done over a weekend with one or two people. While I am no carpenter, I found the trough was rather simple to construct, even solo. For larger tanks it is helpful to have another person as the frame becomes heavy quickly with all the 2x4s and plywood. One of the best parts in creating the tank frame is just how customizable it is in choosing the preferred kind of wood, thickness of plywood, layers of insulation, and what costs could be mitigated depending on where the tank frame will live.

Because of the large drinking hole on the lid, the tank is rather susceptible to cold air during below-freezing days. During the colder freezes we’ve had in the last several weeks, the tanks will often have a <1 inch sheet of ice on them at morning feeding, though the ice is often not attached to the sides of tank due to the insulation. This allows the horses to still easily push the ice layer down to be able to drink. For two weeks of 0-25 degree F temps, the frame held the tanks warm enough that breaking ice was not necessary. Another tank with no insulated frame in the same area, our “control” tank if you will, routinely had 4-6 inches of ice that required breaking throughout day due to constant re-freezing.

Where this tank really makes its money is the Suntuf greenhouse sheets on the front. When placed appropriately, this seemingly simple piece collects the energy from our strong solar rays, stores it efficiently between the layers of the two sheets, and distributes it throughout the frame during the daylight hours and likely into the night as well. Though the tank gains efficiency based on how tightly sealed and insulated it is made as a whole, access to a sunny, south-facing location is key to keeping the water above freezing. Any ice that does manage to accumulate throughout cold winter nights has melted during several hours of sun or by mid-day. Most incredibly this even happens with freezing daytime temps.

After almost two decades of wintertime ice-breaking, it was incredibly satisfying to see this passive solar trough frame work so well. If you are over the physical (and sometimes psychological) burden of breaking ice, and you have some sun to work with, I highly recommend giving this a try. You, too, could be doing a happy dance while putting away your ice-breaking tool of choice… for the rest of the year!
 

We owe this idea finding us to ROTH Certified Trainer, Katie Dixon.  Katie emailed us with the details from Mother Earth News and our ROTH intern, Kate Fink, got cracking to make one for the ponies here at Reach Out Ranch.  If you are interested in the details of how this tank was made, please contact Lacey@reachouttohorses.com for all the details.

 

 

 

 

The 2017 HHC Journeys to the Crystal Show in Denver, CO!

Holistic Health Support and Healing are a signature part of the HHC, and ROTH was fortunate this year that one of the largest crystal shows in the US coincided with the course.  Some of our students chose to do their presentation on several crystals that spoke to them on a spiritual level.  Below is a list of the crystals and some of the more prominent aspects and healing properties associated with each.

Which crystals speak to you spiritually?  Have you used crystals before on either horses or yourself?  If so, which ones and what was your experience?  Feel free to share your comments on our Facebook page that accompanies this post!

 

Apophyllite

Apophyllite

Keywords: Spiritual Connection and Meditation

A crystal of facilitating and strengthening consciousness. Apophyllite brings high energy to mystical and other endeavors.  When placed on the third-eye chakra, it can help one see the truth for use in spiritual growth and connection.

Mental and Emotional Health– It is used to help one see the truth and then act on it.  It assists one in an ability to see and comprehend their own behaviors and attitudes that fearful avoidance may have kept hidden.  With the new self-awareness, one can find a way to move forward in both their practical life and spirituality.

 

Amethyst

Amethyst

Keywords: Psychic and Sobriety

Amethyst is a meditative and calming stone that works on the emotional, spiritual, and physical areas to promote calm, balance, and peace.  It is used to eliminate impatience.  It can increase spirituality and enhance intuition and psychic powers.

Mental and Emotional Health– It is used to help heal personal losses and grief.  It has a gentle energy that can promote peacefulness, happiness and contentment.  It brings emotional stability and inner strength to be strong in one’s life, enhancing flexibility and cooperation.

 

Cobaltian CalciteCobaltian Calcite

Keywords: Healing the heart, harmony and friendship

Cobaltian Calcite is a crystal of joy.  It is excellent for use with the heart chakra and can aid in releasing buried emotions.  It is uplifting and will encourage us to think positively and let go of the negative feelings onto which one may be holding.

Mental and Emotional Health– It can give one an enhanced awareness of one’s own body language and brings increased harmony to people or groups working with each other.  It also helps to form friendships and may facilitate in raising consciousness.

 

Fluorite

fluorite

Fluorite is a highly protective and stabilizing stone, useful for grounding and harmonizing spiritual energy.  When working with the upper Chakras, Fluorite increases intuitive abilities, links the human mind to universal consciousness, and develops connection to Spirit.  Fluorite further anchors intuitive insights into the physical plane, allowing mental and physical coordination.  A popular stone among energy healers, Fluorite can also clear the aura of mucky energies.

Physical Health- Physically, Fluorite is known to strengthen bones and teeth, and ameliorate the pain associated with arthritis.  Fluorite is also used to enhance mental functions by balancing the chemistry in the brain.

 

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz

 

Rose Quartz has a pink hue due to several minerals including manganese and titanium. Physical features: known as a heart and circulatory tonic, and it improves circulation.

Physical Health-  Best for injuries and wounds but will also reduce stress.  Very good as a water stone.  It promotes the balance of all bodily functions especially when combined with amethyst and rock crystal.

 

Moon Stone

Moon stone

Moon Stone is a stone of protection, especially during childbirth, pregnancy, and travel at sea. It is a stone of calm and relief from emotional stress. It is also associated with love of all kinds.

Physical Health– Physically, Moon Stone is used in crystal healing to aid the pituitary gland and digestive system, obesity,  water retention, hormonal problems, and menstrual problems.

 

Black Tourmaline

black tourmaline

Black Tourmaline- Black Tourmaline keeps an electric charge, as it is pyroelectric (meaning it can generate electricity when heated), as well as piezoelectric (meaning it can store an electrical charge), causing it to release negative ions and far infrared radiation – these are very beneficial for health. This incredible stone is associated with protection, grounding, health, happiness, luck, and positivity.

Spiritual- Considered to be one of the most powerful protective stones. Heals on all levels- physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

 

Labradoritelabradorite

Labradorite- A stone of transformation, Labradorite is a useful companion through change, imparting strength and perseverance. It balances and protects the aura, raises consciousness and grounds spiritual energies. Excellent for strengthening intuition and promoting psychic abilities.

Spiritual- Stone of transformation. Grounds spiritual energies and grounds and protects the aura.

 

Smokey Quartz

smokey quartz

Smokey Quartz– In addition to the generic healing properties of Quartz, Smokey Quartz is an excellent grounding stone. It gently neutralizes negative vibrations and is detoxifying on all levels, prompting elimination of the digestive system and protecting against radiation and electromagnetic smog.

Spiritual- Grounding and neutralizes negative vibrations.

 

 

The Equine Chakras

 

 

a_Horse_Chakras_Pic for BLOG 3

 

This presentation belongs to ROTH’s own Shantel S. of the UK, and Gina K., Laura Z., and Kate F. of CO.  Thanks, ladies, for sharing your work with us to help educate and inspire others!

HHC 1 2017

Photo of our own 2017 HHC students on trailer loading day!