I was skeptical at first, but in testing The Water Bucket Cozy out in New England winters, though, I quickly became a believer in this product. The Water Bucket Cozy wraps easily around your standard 20-quart bucket, and large Velcro tabs allow you to adjust the Cozy so that it fits snugly. The top of the Cozy then fits over the top of the bucket, and secures to the bottom of the Cozy with more Velcro. The whole process takes just a few seconds, and your horse is left with a decent sized hole through which he can drink.
I have now used The Water Bucket Cozy for three winters in a row, and it has made dealing with water buckets SO much easier. I used the Cozy in an unheated barn, and not once did my horse's water freeze overnight or throughout the day. Additionally, I used the Cozy to help keep a bucket placed out in the pasture from freezing, which it did successfully. All of the horses (five of them) drank from the Cozy without hesitation.
The Cozy's length of effectiveness in preventing or slowing the development of ice partially depends on the temperatures that you're dealing with. Even in negative temperatures the Cozy kept water buckets from freezing overnight, though I did replace and refresh the water each morning. The Cozy presents an excellent solution to breaking open thick ice on water buckets, and it makes winter horse care much easier in this respect.
One potential issue you might encounter with the Cozy is that some of the more playful horses might see it as a toy, as was the case in my barn. The horses never did much damage to the Cozy, a testament to the product's durability, but some did play with their water buckets and made a bit of a mess in their stalls.
The Cozy held up remarkably well, especially considering the wear and tear it sustained. I managed to get between two and three seasons of use out of the Cozy before it was really time to replace it due to warn-out Velcro and hard-playing horses.
I would highly recommend The Water Bucket Cozy to any horse owner who is sick of breaking open iced-over water buckets. The Cozy eliminates the need for a heated bucket or a hammer, and it does so impressively successfully even in bitter temperatures.
The Water Bucket Cozy is made by Wild Angel Cozy.