Part of taking care of horses in the winter is making sure their stable or shelter is ready. You never know when the worst weather conditions can hit, and being unprepared can cause many problems and have catastrophic results. It’s important to have a plan in place and make sure you’re prepared for the harsher weather conditions to know your stable is ready for winter.
1. Stock up
It’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got plenty of the essentials so you’re not caught out when an unexpected freeze comes. You’ll want to make sure you have everything ready such as:
Snow Shovels and Grit
We can go months without snow in the UK and start thinking it’s not happening this year- to suddenly get an unexpected flurry. It’s good to make sure you have the right supplies in advance, especially as if bad weather does come, these will be much harder to get a hold of. Plus, you can often save money the further in advance you buy.
Your horse will want much more hay in the winter months when grazing is reduced. It’s best to make sure you’ve got plenty ready for a big freeze; this can also be cheaper before the winter months
Bedding and Straw
If bad weather hits unexpectedly, you’ll need to make sure your horse has some extra warmth. Stock up in advance, so you don’t get caught out.
2. Deep Clean
Spending more time inside can lead to a higher risk of infections made worse by higher levels of faecal matter and urine, so it’s important to make sure your stables are thoroughly cleaned before setting up for winter. Scrub the walls, floors and matting with disinfectant and let them dry thoroughly.
Have a look around your stable, make sure you’re aware of anything that needs repairs sorted, and ensure they’re done by winter so you aren’t caught out by unexpected snow. Pay extra attention to the electrics around your stables as they won’t have been used as much during the summer and check the lighting in case you need extras as the days get shorter and darker; you may want to upgrade or install new lighting. Check your stable doors are in good condition too.
Consider getting a backup generator if you haven’t got one already in case the power supplies go down at the worst possible moment. It’s also a good idea to check the fences if they need any repairs before the ground freezes.
4. Check your roof
Checking the roof is possibly the most important thing to look at when prepping your stables for winter, as this can become a severe problem if there’s heavy rain or snow and you have broken wood panels.
Ensure that you properly clear the gutters and remove loose leaves, twigs and other unwanted debris that can cause clogged and sagging gutters.
Inspecting the roof can help prevent any drafts as well to keep your horses warmer.
5. Ensure you have good water sources
Water sources are essential to look after as they can freeze over during the winter, and your water supply used through summer may not be as reliable during the winter. There are a few options to make sure you have a good water supply in winter. You can insulate pipes with lagging from a DIY store or with old duvets and string, and for troughs, you can invest in submersible tank heaters and insulated troughs or keep a heater near your water source. A football floating in the trough will also help prevent freezing in lighter conditions.
It is vital to remember that investing in high-quality stables and horse shelter will ensure its longevity and provide your horses with a reliable and safe environment to live in during winter and any other time of the year. If you’re currently in the market for a quality equestrian building whether stables, American barns or shelters, why not contact Jon William Stables today. Call us at 01380 850 965, or email us at email@example.com.