Winter is hard on everyone, but I think every horse owner worries about their fur baby being outside. Here are a few tips for winterizing the stable and making your horse more comfortable.
Lots of Fluffy Bedding
Make sure you clean the stalls and put down lots of fluffy bedding. This will help your horse be comfortable and will prevent them from laying on the ground. The ground retains cold temperatures that you don’t want your furry friend to be laying directly on.
A Water Heater
I live in a place where it snows frequently in the winter. By October, everyone is pulling out quality water heaters and placing them in the water buckets to keep them from freezing over. This helps provide warm water for the horse.
Shelter from Wind
A closed-in barn is ideal to keep your horse from frigid temperatures. However, not everyone has access to that luxury. Cheap sheet metal or tarps at the very least can be added to metal stalls to block the wind. A cold wind is what chills a horse to the bone.
A Little Extra Feed
A horse may shiver if the temperature drops low enough. This burns extra calories. You want your horse to have a little extra weight in the winter because the fat insulates their body. There is no hurt to giving a fit horse a bit of extra feed to help them along.
When you decide to blanket depends on the horse. I have seen some people blanket an old or skinny horse as soon as it is under 35 degrees. I have also seen people wait till it is 25 degrees because their horse is at a very fit weight and deals with the cold well. It also depends on the horse’s winter coat. If they have a coat like a wooly mammoth, then they should be fine. However, if they come from a warm place and have almost no coat, then it is wise to give them a blanket. I would logically evaluate a horse’s condition and decide when they need the help.
Horses should always be consistently groomed. However, it is vital you do it in the winter. You don’t want ice freezing to their long winter coat and harming the skin underneath.
That is all the prep work I can think of so far. Let me know in the comments if you have more tips for winterizing your stable!
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