by American Stalls October 24, 2023
Autumn is a great time to get some of those last ‘to-do’ projects done before the cold sets in. Taking the time now to accomplish a few simple steps will make horse keeping easier in the winter months ahead. Here are some things to consider working on in the barn before things get too blustery:
Check Water Sources – Sourcing water is essential year-round, but when freezing temperatures hit, you want to make sure that you will be able to provide fresh, frost-free water for your horses. If you use heated buckets or tank heaters, this is a good time to pull them out and make sure that they are working properly. If the goal is to save on energy, consider using thermal buckets instead of heated. Have a plan to protect hydrants from the cold, make sure hoses and nozzles are heavy duty and can handle the cold.
This also might be the time to consider installing auto waterers in pastures and/or stalls and putting an end to fighting hoses or hauling buckets. Below is a photo of our Integrated Water Lines feature for Stall Fronts. This is yet another water option to consider for your Stall Fronts where we can seamlessly integrate your water plumbing into our Stall Front design. Allowing you to seamlessly provide water your horses from the comfort of your aisle. You can also watch this video highlighting its and in's and out's.
Shelter Maintenance – Horses can be heartier creatures than we give them credit for, but they do need a place to protect themselves from wind, snow, and sleet. Barn interiors and stalls may need to be prepared for more frequent use before the weather becomes inclement. Now is the time to make sure doors and windows that have been open all summer will easily close to help keep in the warmth. This means ensuring all hinges, latches, and other key components work in your existing Dutch Doors, Barn Windows, and more.
While it’s important to avoid drafts, proper ventilation is imperative to prevent closed spaces from becoming a host for mold spores, bacteria and dusty conditions that can lead to major respiratory issues.
Prepare Pastures & Turn Outs – This is the last chance to prepare the pasture for winter. When growth rates start receding, it is important to allow pastures to rest. The fall can be a great time to take soil samples, harrow, and add fertilizer or re-seed as needed. It is also a good time to re-vamp or prepare a sacrifice area, a place where your horse can get needed turnout time without ruining the pasture or standing knee deep in mud. Think about amending the footing by adding material that will combat mud or consider investing in mud control grids that will provide a permanent solution, resisting mud and provide traction under foot.
Assess Lighting Needs – With the sun going down earlier, ensure lighting in the barn is sufficient for darker days. Assess areas that may need more lighting, which can create a safer environment for you and your horses. Exterior lighting will make going to the barn and bringing horses in easier. Interior lighting assists with everything from keeping coats in-check to getting mares in season. Lighting is essential for making sure things around the barn are clean and medications & feed are given in the proper measures. This is also a great time to consider swapping old bulbs for more energy efficient lighting which can help with energy and cost savings over the course of the winter.
If you are looking for resources on ways to prepare your barn for the colder temperatures, our American Stalls can surely help. From creating warm and cozy stall spaces for sheltering your horse through the inclement weather to winter safe turnouts for your horses to stretch their legs. We can help you with preparations for a safe sanctuary for your horses this winter. We encourage you to fill out our Consultation Form and one of our expert Project Managers would love to assist you. You can also reach us at (855) 957-8255 or email@example.com. We look forward to assisting you soon!