Winter can be a truly beautiful season. Providing hazy, pastel landscapes and an excuse to wrap up warm and sit around the fire. This is without mentioning the excitement of wintertime festivities including Thanksgiving and Christmas! And whilst the wintertime does have its merits, it can be an exceptionally challenging time for any land and stable owner.
Here at Country & Stable US, we understand that keeping your horse safe during the perils of the winter months is incredibly important. Not only for the wellbeing of the animals in your care, but also for yourself and anybody else who happens to be working in your yard.
Winter climates can bring unforeseen challenges…
Your usual workload in winter can be hindered due to the shorter daylight hours combined with adverse and unpredictable weather conditions. The key to coping is through preparation and organization. By ensuring that you have taken the necessary preparatory steps towards keeping your horse, staff and self safe – any surprising situations and circumstances can be dealt with more clearly.
Organisation of the stable and surrounding area
Around a month before the height of winter hits, make time to thoroughly clean and organise your stables. Why not declutter tack rooms, workshops, sheds and storage areas. Ensure that you have organised all of your winter sheets and stable blankets. This is particularly important so ensure you have a good supply clean and to hand.
It’s always important to risk assess the areas where people will be working. For example, are there any fire and safety hazards that somebody (or an animal) could trip on if the ground is icy.
During your thorough clear-out, remove all temperature sensitive liquids or medication and store it in more suitable conditions. In particular, if you are storing sensitive medication for your horse and it snows, you might not be able to get out and replace it. As we always say, in winter time you have to plan for as manyeventualities as possible.
Thorough inspection of electricals
Book an electrician who will confirm that your electrics are fit for the demands of winter usage. A lack of light can cause the environment to become highly dangerous. Replace any ulbs and any electrical items that look a little worse for wear.
General maintenance is always a good idea
protect your horse from cold draughts during the bitter winter months. Take a walk around the stable and check for any areas that need sealing within the doors and walls. Even the smallest crack or crevice can cause a problem. The comfort of your horse is vital and in the height of winter.
It may be that you also own a tractor or use other vehicles to maintain and scale your land. Make sure you stock up on anti-freeze. Ensure it is stored responsibly as animals could come into contact with the harmful chemicals.
Don’t forget to top up your supply of gravel and salt. We recommend keeping a plentiful supply of gravel and salt so you can use it when the ground becomes slippery.
It’s never too early to prepare for winter…
Repeat this safeguarding process yearly. Preparing for the uncertainties of winter beforehand can ensure your stable and land is safe and fit for purpose throughout the bleak season and beyond.