In case you haven’t noticed the nights are drawing in and there is a definite chill in the air when the sun sets. Unfortunately this means that winter is coming and it’s time that all good horse owners were getting prepared.
Here are some top tips of things to consider before winter arrives:
Sort out your rugs
If, like me, you’ve enjoyed not needing to rug your horses over the summer months and they’ve been sitting in a spider infested pile in your stable now is the time to get them washed, reproofed, and repaired.
Although you can use a DIY approach for your rug washing and repairs it does save a lot of time and hassle getting them done professionally. Depending on which company you choose, how many rugs you have, and what condition they’re in you could have them back as good as new in less than two weeks for under £100 – bargain!
Spruce up your stable
For those of you who’s horses have been living out since the spring you probably haven’t given your stable a second thought. It’s worth giving up a few hours at the weekend to clean your stable, check for any leaks or damage, and disinfect it.
You could even give it a fresh coat of paint if you’re feeling really ambitious!
Order in your hay and straw
Stock up on water containers/salt/grit
Frozen taps can be a real problem on a yard and you could find yourself without water if you don’t take precautions. Stocking up on water containers allows you to fill them and store them indoors overnight to prevent them freezing.
It’s also worth buying salt and/or grit now and putting it somewhere dry like the feed room. This will avoid the need to panic buy if we have a cold winter or a snowy spell.
Insulate your water pipes
As mentioned above frozen water pipes are not only a problem because you can’t get any water out but if they defrost during the day when no one is at the yard they’re likely to burst and cover the yard in water.
If the water freezes again before anyone arrives the yard will be like an ice rink and could prove dangerous. Buy some lagging from your local DIY shop, or you could even use an old duvet, to insulate all the water pipes and taps.
Organise an emergency plan
If you’re on a DIY yard or you share with friends it’s worth putting together an emergency plan in case of snow. Unless you have a 4×4 getting to the yard could be tricky so knowing that someone will be there to look after your horse will help put your mind at ease.
Plan something fun for your horsey friends
All horse owners know that the winter months can be a bit of a slog, especially if you haven’t got the facilities to ride as much as you do in the summer.
Planning a fun, horse related event such as a trip to Olympia International Horse Show, or a demonstration with a top rider can help keep your spirits up during the seemingly endless months of wet rugs and muddy legs.
If your budget can’t stretch to a trip out, how about a night in? Order a takeaway, stock up on horse magazines, and watch some classic equine films. Black Beauty and Seabiscuit are favourites here!
This was a blog post by a young journalist Alice-Rose Brown. If you are a up and coming writer, journalist, a blogger with a story to share and would like to write a post, a series or few for Aspire blog to reach grassroots focused audience, please email Wiola at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your values match Aspire Equestrian’s values of thorough rider education, wellness focused horse training and dream brave-work hard philosophy don’t hesitate to get in touch 🙂