By Jennifer Roberts
As the air begins to chill and the temperature drops, it’s time to start thinking about winter preparation in the barn. While it may seem cliché to say, an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure when it comes to getting ready for the winter months.
Get a handle on winter now, with these quick tips that will allow you to breathe a little easier once the frigid temperatures hit:
Fix your fencing now: Ensure that your fencing is all in tip top condition before the snow flies. It is much easier to replace broken fence boards now, and if you need to repair fence posts, the frozen ground will make in nearly impossible in the upcoming months.
Bucket Brigade: If you plan to use heated buckets, its time to get them out NOW… before you have to chip ice out of them on that first freezing morning. Even if you don’t use bucket heaters, make sure that your water line is well insulated and you are not at risk of it freezing if the temperatures suddenly plummet.
Keep Breathing: During the winter, it’s only natural that our horses will have to spend more time inside the barn. Even though you may be tempted to shut them in the keep them warm, make sure that you are still providing them with adequate ventilation. A generous sprinkle of a stall refresher, such as Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher, will help to neutralize the ammonia and keep your horse’s respiratory system functioning well.
Away From the Cold: It is also time to take a hard look at your outdoor shelters that you will be utilizing. Take this time to level the ground, bed them heavily, and add a stall refreshing product (yes, even outside ammonia is a concern). You will also want to check for loose boards and any nails or sharp edges that may be protruding from the walls.
Hay Count! Make sure that you will have adequate amounts of forage for the winter. It is often hard to find quality hay in the winter months, so it makes sense to triple check your numbers to know that you are able to feed through the spring. If you plan on buying hay throughout the winter, check with your source to ensure that they have enough on hand.
Make a Plan: It’s never too early to start planning for winter storms. Do you have an emergency plan in action? It is a good idea to try to plan for the unexpected, determining what you would do in emergency situations that may arise in the winter months.
Sweet PDZ has been keeping stalls healthy for 33 years and counting and continues to be the leading horse stall freshener on the market. This organic (OMRI Listed), non-toxic mineral captures, neutralizes and eliminates harmful levels of ammonia and odors. Sweet PDZ is a far superior alternative to lime products for ammonia removal and moisture absorption. For more information, as well as a dealer locator, visit SweetPDZ.com.
The Northwest Horse Source is an independently owned and operated print and online magazine for horse owners and enthusiasts of all breeds and disciplines in the Pacific Northwest. Our contemporary editorial columns are predominantly written by experts in the region, covering the care, training, keeping and enjoyment of horses, with an eye to the specific concerns in our region.