Winter Survival Guide

There’s no way around the fact that winter can feel never-ending at times. But, here are some handy tips that could save you time and money:


Top winter survival tips:

Make sure you are never caught without enough water. When the pipes thaw, fill up buckets and put them in tires that are insulated with shavings or straw.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you’re inside a barn that you’ll be warmer. It’s usually five degrees colder inside barns compared to being outdoors in the winter.

Think about your horse’s legs too. It can make a real difference to your horse’s warmth if you bandage their legs at night.

Struggling to get your horse to drink? Water is essential in a horse’s diet, so if they’re refusing cold water try offering it warmed up. Studies have shown horses are 40% more likely to drink water with the chill taken off.

A small plastic football floating in your horse's water trough or a small plastic ball floating in his water bucket stops water freezing over and allows access to fresh water in all but the coldest of weather.

Make up all your weekly feeds at once and store them individually in clean, rodent-proof containers with lids. Each feed can then be emptied into your horse's bucket or manger, dampened if necessary and fed to your horse.

Buy five or six haynets and fill all of them they can be stored ready for use.

We all want to have a clean-swept barn, but during the winter it can help to leave some old shavings and bedding around — it’ll prevent the area turning into an ice rink.

Use a cotton summer sheet under your horse's stable rug to protect it from grease and dirt. A cotton sheet is easier to wash and dry than a thick quilted rug.

Try to not be in a rush, constantly. When it’s cold it’s easy to focus on getting everything done as quickly as possible. But, horses don’t like to be rushed and he’ll notice the change in your attitude. So, head to the yard with a clear mind and enough time to get the jobs done without having to run around like a headless chicken — you and your horse will both benefit.

Horse and Hound, November 2012

1 Response

  1. e3w7yg

    Larissa, thanks so much for these tips. Ideas I especially like: the cotton sheet under the stable rug; a ball in the water tank; several filled hay nets ready to go; wrapping the legs at night. What a thoughtful post. Pat W.

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