Winter is just around the corner so it pays to be prepared as soon as now. Being proactive about getting ready for winter can prevent emergencies and reduce the risk of damage to your equestrian property. Most importantly, planning ahead will keep you and your horses comfortable and healthy through a long winter.
Before the cold air strikes, get the barn ready and keep the horses safe and warm. Winter-proof your horse farm with our suggestions and you will be ready for the challenges of winter or very cold weather.
Check doors and windows
Ensure each gate, window, and door in the farm latches correctly. Inspect the barn for broken and large holes, as well as signs of moisture or dampness, and have it repaired before the temperature drops. Ventilation is necessary for horses, so make sure you have a controllable source of fresh air, such as a ceiling fan, especially if you have an older barn.
Provide a water source
Drinking water is very important throughout winter. Exposed pipes may have to be insulated. For horses, regularly provide a heated or insulated bucket of water.
Stock up on hay
Horses need large amounts of food in the colder months. Make sure the farm has enough hay to last through winter. Hay suppliers might run out of stock and prices might increase if you wait too long to buy.
Keep at least two blankets for every horse. These blankets will need to be changed if they become damp or dirty.
Move horses around
If the barn has empty stalls, it would be a good idea to keep horses in one section. Their collective body heat can help each horse stay warm.
Consult your veterinarian
Health care for horses is critical in the fall, as it may not be easy for your veterinarian to check on them in the winter. Review your horses’ health management program with your vet. If your horses need attention, address it before the cold hits.
The autumn months are a great time to spread compost, enhancing your soil and replenishing natural microbial life in pastures.
Plan for emergencies
As a horse farm owner, one never knows if a snowstorm or power outage will happen. Gather or purchase new flashlights, batteries, and fuel for generators and stoves. Have a radio ready and invest in a mobile phone charger for your car.
Winter-proof your horse property
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that is certainly true for horse farms during the cold months. Winterizing your farm does not have to be difficult, but it can make a difference for your horses. Think of these small ideas as your autumn projects before the onset of colder weather.
For inquiries about horse farms, contact Sarah Boyd & Company. Our team has more than 13 years of experience helping clients purchase and sell equestrian properties, land, and luxury homes in North Texas.