Check List for Winterizing Horse Stables and Paddocks

Open horse stable adjacent to paddock.
Open horse stable adjacent to paddock. John Clark

Newsdate: October 13, 2020, 10:00 am
Location: ROCKWOOD, Ontario

Now that the days are much shorter, and your horses will be spending more time in their stalls, it’s important to go over your stable to check for repairs to keep them safe.

Large open horse stable adjacent to paddock.

Large open horse stable adjacent to paddock

Now that the days are shorter and getting colder, and your horses will be spending more time in their stalls, it's important to go over your stable and paddock to check for repairs to keep them safe.
© 2020 by Audrey S Hall New window.

The following checklist will help you do just that.

  • Check the condition on your stall fronts and partitions. Do any boards or grills need to be replaced? Are there any sharp edges on older steel channels or edging? Have these become rusty over the years?
  • Do your stall doors slide easily?Are the stall door latches in good working condition?
  • Are your stall floors level? What condition are your mats in?
  • Are your glass windows protected by grills?
  • Are your feeders and waterers in good, clean, working condition?
  • Do you have a dedicated area to hang your winter blankets?Your horses will generate heat in your barn.
  • Have you checked for drafts at all entrance doors.
  • Make sure you have the proper grooming equipment for your indoor ring?
  • Stock up on salt or pickled sand and stored it in an accessible area.
  • Remove all temperature sensitive liquids and medications and store them somewhere warmer.
  • Clean and clear your lights and electrical outlets for enhanced lighting and safety.
  • Check your fire extinguishers and replace them if necessary.
  • Consider installing smoke alarms in your feed rooms, electrical rooms, and anywhere there are appliances installed.
  • Clear out any garbage to control rodents and store all feeds in sealed bins.
  • Check all of your wiring for rodent damage and avoid using extension cords!
  • Don’t leave appliaces on for long periods of time—especially space heaters. Use timers.
  • Don’t hang extension cords or lights near your horses as they will chew it.
  • Keep your water lines from freezing by installing electric heat tape on your taps to minimize freezing (not in areas where your horses can chew).
  • If the line cannot accommodate the heat tape, install foam-type pipe insulation.
  • Set up dedicated electrical outlets for any heated buckets.
  • Be prepared with a backup plan for those seriously cold periods.
  • Have extra straw to insulate colder door areas or uninsulated areas.

Paddock Winter Checklist

Winters can be especially difficult on paddock fencing and structures. The following checklist will help you prepare for this season.

  • Be prepared for icy conditions.
  • Consider round pen panels to block any icy patches in your paddocks.
  • Your horses will require more forage outdoors to keep them warm and to prevent boredom. Consider hay feeders that minimize waste.
  • Have fresh, clean water available at all times.
  • Are your trough heaters functioning properly?
  • Is your electric fencing functioning correctly?
  • Be sure to check the output of your lines and check for any shorts.
  • During the winter, the frozen ground and insulating qualities of snow and ice can lead to challenges.
  • Are your paddock gates safe and do your latches function properly?
  • Are your horses properly protected from the elements with a three-sided shelter? If not, consider investing in one.
  • If you currently have run-in sheds, are the edges being chewed? Ensure to protect edges with post edging to ensure a long life.

Press release by System Equine - Fencing, Stalls, Tack & Equipment

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