Winter barn prep is something many people tend to look over until it’s too late – I can’t stress enough how important it is to get ahead before the cold hits. As the weather gets colder, the climate brings on challenges for every horse owner. Preparation is key, so get ahead with these pointers below:
Invest in heated water buckets:
Make sure your horse has water at all times – especially on the coldest of days. Remember that snow cannot provide horses with enough water for survival, so investing in heated or insulated water buckets helps the horse and yourself by reducing workload of breaking up ice and hauling water, as well as offer a way to provide a constant water temperature to your horse.
Stock up on bedding:
Make sure you have enough bedding to get through the winter months. Make sure that the bedding is stored in a dry area. Tip: Buying bedding in bulk is almost always cheaper.
Stock up on feed:
Make sure you have enough hay or grain to last you through the winter months. This is generally an end-of-summer task, but if you have not done it, do it now! The weather can be extremely unpredictable and you never know if there will be an unexpected shortage of hay during these months.
Cover drafty areas:
Check barn doors, barn windows, and other areas for large drafts. Cover holes that would let in too much cold air. Be sure to eliminate drafty areas, but also leave spaces for fresh air to circulate. Good ventilation is critical.
Look out for fire hazards:
Inspect your fire extinguishers and re-charge them if necessary. Consider installing smoke alarms or other types of early fire detection system in tack rooms, break areas, above fans, and other places where appliances may be used. Remember to remove trash regularly and be sure to store fuel containers properly in separate buildings, if possible.
Tips for Safe Blanketing:
Only apply blankets to clean, dry horses
Wash your blankets every month when in use, if possible. If your horse wears a blanket inside, make sure it’s clean, dry and in good shape for the winter.
Use the blanket that is most appropriate for your horse’s needs and the weather conditions. If it’s 40 degrees, your horse probably only needs a lighter weight blanket. If it’s -10 degrees, he might prefer a heavier weight blanket.
Ensure the blanket properly fits your horse and that the straps and surcingles are appropriately fitted.
Do you currently use a liner to help keep your blankets clean? Try replacing your liner with Benefab’s SmartScrim under your horse’s blanket instead this winter. It won’t cause your horse to overheat, thanks to its breathable mesh made up of ceramic nano particles. The fabric also emits far infrared rays keeping back muscles warm and relaxed, which also helps prepare your horse for work. The sheet is clinically proven to reduce back soreness in moderate to high exercise horses, so you’re sure to get effective results with the scrim. Check it out here!
Watch 5 Tips for Winterizing Your Barn below!
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