Preparing your horse barn for winter
As temperatures get colder, it’s important to make sure your horse barn is prepared for the winter. Here are some tips that will help you ensure the safety of your horse:
- Check your water lines, faucets, and pipes – These should be checked to ensure they’re draining properly. To help prevent pipes from breaking, consider insulating them to protect from cold weather. Be sure to keep all feed and salt blocks away from pipes in the unfortunate event they do break.
- Don’t let your doors freeze – If water settles under your doorway, it’s possible your barn doors could freeze shut. Make sure to keep these areas clean and dry at all times.
- Watch for rodents – When the weather is cold, rodents are more likely to take shelter in your barn. First, make sure your feed is stored in a safe, secure container. You can also use pest control to avoid damage to wires and equipment that rodents can do.
- Check your barn’s wood – When extreme temperature changes happen, the nails in wood have a tendency to come loose and potentially slip out. Make sure you check all wood in the barn to prevent horses from chewing on these nails and injuring themselves.
- Have enough feed and bedding available – Make sure you have sufficient supplies of both feed and bedding, and that they’re stored in a dry place. Check the straps and buckles of your horse blankets because they have the potential to freeze during the winter. Also make sure your blankets are free from moisture – if they ever get wet, allow them proper time to dry out and replace them with a dry blanket.
- Ensure proper ventilation – Get rid of all old hay and bedding and sweep the floors to eliminate dust and dirt. Breathing in air that’s not clean can cause irritation and even respiratory disease in your horses.
- Have enough hay on hand – Having enough hay for the winter months is a benefit for both you and your horse. First, horses tend to chew more hay during the winter months, so it’s essential to have a sufficient supply on hand. You can also use more hay on the floor of your stall for added warmth. The price of hay normally increases during the winter months, so purchasing before the weather gets cold will also save you money.
- Inspect the horse barn’s electrical system – Replace all fuses, inspect your fire extinguishers, and replace the batteries in your barn’s smoke detectors. You should also clean the outlet boxes and make sure they’re free of dust and dirt.
Keep in mind these tips when you’re preparing your horse barn for cold temperatures.