My horse owner winter survival kit
Saturday 14 January 2012
By Gina Hall
We asked Gina Hall to give us her list of small but essential things that make winter better for horse owners.
The first item in my winter survival kit for horse owners is forward planning. I try to order in enough hay and bedding for the winter. If storing all of it at once is not possible, then a good relationship with a local dealer is essential!
Next on the horse owner winter survival kit list is horse rugs. These need to be checked, cleaned, mended, and new ones bought if necessary.
Also on the winter survival kit list is some high visibility kit for both horse and rider for safe riding on dull days and in poor light.
A really big, rechargeable torch is vital, as is making sure that stable and yard electrics are all working. Then if all else fails, or for hands free use, there is a battery powered head torch. This is really useful in emergencies and for seeing your way in the dark.
Spend a bit of time checking water pipes, and adding lagging – this is so much less hassle than frozen pipes!
Regular checks on your horse’s medicine cupboard are good anyway, but a pre-winter scan of what is there is wise. Stock up on a good mud fever cream, or preventative barrier cream. This can help prevent mud sticking, and at least make grooming easier.
In terms of winter feed for your horse, choose a good feed balancer mix, especially for older horses and those that don't maintain condition in the winter.
Lastly, as a horse owner it’s important to have plenty of warm socks, gloves, fleeces, waterproofs, and warm layers to make riding and stable work more comfortable throughout the winter.
Photo: Per Ola Wiberg
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