Autumn is here! It’s time to welcome pumpkin recipes, bonfire nights, Halloween, and the cosy sweater weather. And for those who own and care for horses, it’s time to prepare your horses and stables for the colder months ahead.
Here are our tips on how you can prepare your horses, stables, and their feed for the autumn and winter, along with a printable checklist you can download for free!
Preparing your horses for autumn and winter
First and foremost, your horse will need to switch from a summer rug to a thicker and/or waterproof autumn/winter rug, giving them extra warmth and protection from the cold, wet and harsh winter weather.
Your horses will spend a lot more time indoors during colder months, so make sure you have plenty of toys and indoor activities to keep them entertained. Baking horse-friendly cakes will go down a treat with them. You can even hide some supplements inside the treats to give your horses extra energy and support.
Even during winter, your horses must keep fit and exercise often. Schedule time every day to walk them around your property or trails nearby, but make sure the road is safe and not too slippery so you can avoid accidents and injuries.
Another essential point to remember is to change your grooming routine for autumn and winter and ensure you have the proper winter grooming equipment. Your horses will have thicker winter coats which will need maintenance. The thicker coat will also make identifying and curing infections from wounds, cuts, grazes, and other accidents challenging, so keeping a regular grooming routine and checks is vital.
Preparing your stables for autumn and winter
Before winter approaches, it is best to check your stables and carry out any repair work needed. Leaks, cracks, broken windows or doors, damaged lighting, and electric wiring need to be fixed before the arrival of winter weather.
It is also recommended to thoroughly clean your stables, starting with the horses’ beddings and mattings and moving on to the ceilings, walls, doors, and windows. We suggest pressure washing and disinfecting the stable to prevent bacteria and infections from spreading. You must also ensure that downpipes and gutters are debris-free and rodent control measures are implemented.
If you’ve had flooding and drainage issues in the past, now is a great time to review your drainage options and make a “flooding plan” in case of unexpected flooding. The plan should include who to call, where to take your horses, emergency telephone numbers, instructions on how to turn off electricity, water, and gas supplies, and quick actions to ensure the hay you are stocking is not affected.
Horse feed tips for autumn and winter
Now is the perfect time to start stocking up on food for your horses. If you have enough storage space, buy enough hay to last till winter. It is more challenging to produce enough or good quality hay in the colder weather, so it is better to buy them in bulk now when sufficient quality hay supplies are available.
We suggest bulk buying as it is not only cost-efficient but also because it ensures consistency across the bales, but you must ensure they are regularly checked for signs of mould.
We hope the tips above will help you stay organised in these unpredictable weather conditions and allow you to look after your horses properly this autumn and winter. For those who prefer to have a checklist you can tick off, we have designed a handy downloadable list you can print and use.
Remember, if you are looking to invest in a sturdy and high-quality horse stable barn, extra hay storage, or even a mobile shelter, Jon William Stables can help! Why not give us a call at 01380 850 965 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.