A Quick Guide To Preparing Your Stables For The Winter

A Quick Guide To Preparing Your Stables For The Winter

With the colder months now officially upon us, it’s really important to make sure that you have prepared your stables for the winter.

If you have a few things left to see to, don’t panic. Here’s a quick guide to preparing your stables to ensure that your horses can be comfortable during the coming months.


It’s a good idea to see to any odd jobs that need doing in your stables and yard before the worst of the weather sets in; those which you’ve been putting off for months and keep saying you’ll get onto shortly. Be proactive, and do a quick check over everything in good time, making sure you’re able to sort any problems before the weather worsens them. Clear drains and gutters, check lightbulbs; everything which you know you should do regularly but never seem to get round to.

You may also wish to store away your summer sheets and items you won’t be needing over the colder months, if only to save space and ensure they’re in great condition come spring.

If you need to carry out repair on any fencing, do that as soon as possible before the ground gets too hard to work with.

Stock Up

Make sure that you have enough hay and bedding to see you through a few months, as you never know what difficulties the winter weather may present.

If you have an automatic waterer, be aware that it is likely to freeze, and make plans for this to ensure your horse isn’t without water. Consider insulating buckets with hay, and carry out regular checks; breaking and removing any ice that has formed. Rubber buckets are less likely to shatter than plastic ones and come highly recommended at this time of the year.

When it comes to feeding your horses, those who need their hay soaking can cause problems in the winter time, given that frozen hay is not good for digestion and can cause an upset stomach. Our best suggestions here are to either invest in a hay steamer or, if not possible, switch to a high fibre haylage.

Prepare For Snow & Ice

Snow shovels and rock salt are a necessity. Clearing paths through fresh snow with a shovel should be followed up immediately by salting, before it turns to ice, to avoid causing a hazard for both yourself and your horses.

It’s always better to be well prepared and to have more grit than too little, and it keeps for years, so stock up on at least a few months’ worth.

Insulate pipes to avoid them freezing. Lagging is available from DIY stores, or old duvets work well. Empty hosepipes after you’ve used them to avoid those freezing too.

Stable Conditions

It’s important to not shut up stables completely, even in the winter. Although you may wish to keep your horses warm, they will be fine with open windows so long as they have a blanket on, and their winter coats will protect them if they are unclipped.

It’s also essential to maintain airflow in stables at all times, as the buildup of ammonia can cause problems for your horse’s respiratory systems.

Heating barns and stables also creates the risk of fire, with a heartbreaking number of horses dying each year from this hazard.

The winter months can be tough on both horse and rider, but preparation can make things a lot easier and helps to avoid any nasty surprises.

Winter can actually be quite a magical time of year, so do your best to enjoy it, whilst placing the safety and comfort of your horses as your main priority of the season.

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