Winterizing Your Horse Barn
As important as spring cleaning, good winters cleaning is essential in keeping your horse barn in top shape plus provides a good environment for your horse. You and your horse will spend more wintertime in the horse barn than any other season of the year. Why not make it a pleasant place to be.
Some chores are obvious like periodic cleaning of the horse stalls. A good sweeping or pressure washing of the floors and walls will cut down on the dust and grim accumulated during the summer and fall when the doors and windows of the barn are open. Keeping the stall floors clean and fresh not only provides the horse with a cleaner and more sanitary environment, but it preserves and protects the horse barn floor which will prevent costly repair or replacement in the future.
You will need to perform a periodic inspection of areas damaged due to horse cribbing. An application of an anti-cribbing paint will help deter the habit and prevent further damage to the horse barn and possible health problems for your horse. There are many anti-cribbing products on the market. Make sure it is chemical free, weather resistant, and safe for animals and humans.
You will want to do an overall inspection of winter equipment for repair or replacement. Horseblankets, grooming supplies, heaters, water containers, and while you are at it, check the water pipes for proper insulation. A frozen or broken water pipe in the cold of winter can be a major problem for the barn and the horse.
A good stockpile of hay and grain in the barn is like having a full pantry in your home. Prepare a safe space in the horse barn for your grain. Pesky rodents like to come in from the cold and can bring disease and eat your horse out of house and home.
Having access to an ample supply of water in your horse barn is a “no brainer”, but a great tip is to soak your hay in warm water. This will give your horse more hydration plus cut down on dust that tends to linger in the barn during winter months. Putting warm clean water in the buckets will also encourage more hydration. A horse will use less energy keeping warm if he has warm water available and is more likely to drink fluids preventing intestinal problems.
Winter check list:
1. Do general barn clean up in stalls. Sweep or pressure wash floors and walls .
2. Check your winter items for repair or replacement like horse blankets, heaters, water
containers, and especially pipes for proper insulation.
3. Disinfect water buckets and check for any damage to stalls due to cribbing.
4. Stock up on food supplies and supplements.
5. Check for any drafts in your horse barn. You want good ventilation but not a constant
draft through a cracked door or window.
6. Treat yourself and your friend to a regular exercise program.
You and your horse will appreciate the work and effort done for your annual winter maintenance program in your horse barn.
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