RENO, NV - It's the sound of ice breaking.
You'll hear two times a day at Palomino Valley.
That's how often crews at the wild horse adoption center break ice in troughs these days.
One horse that is undergoing some training actually chews on the ice left on the ground.
Other horses tend to run around a bit as crews make their way from trough to trough to trough. Trough heaters would be impractical, as extension cords and electricity could prove hazardous to the animals.
”The water that comes out of the ground is actually over one hundred degrees so it actually flows through very well. But everything is on a floated system so it's a constant supply through the troughs and as water goes down it comes back in. So as long as there are enough horses using the troughs the ice won't built up. It's the pens where we have a few horses and not enough use, it will actually ice up,” says Eric Reid, Palomino Valley Acting Facility Manager.
Reid says they didn't get much snowfall out here with the last storm, but the temperatures have dropped dramatically.
You can see the horses' breath as they graze out in large holding pens.
The facility goes through about 17 tons of hay a day.
But Reid suspects they'll go through a little more than that in the coming days as horses and burros get more feed so they can keep warm.
The hay is spread out so the animals can graze throughout the day, which is their natural inclination
Herding together creates body heat, as well; it also helps keep the horses warm.
The BLM wants to remind you they have adoptions on the first Saturday of every month, which means this Saturday they'll be open.
If you are interested in giving a one-of-a-kind Christmas gift this year, they welcome you to come on down. Palomino Valley Wild Horse Adoption Facility is open Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 in the afternoon.