Tips for Winterizing Your Barn

Despite the sporadic warm weather we’ve been having here in The Bluegrass State, winter is still here! With constant weather changes, it is important to make sure you are prepared for all types of weather. Here at US Chia, we’ve compiled a list of some of the things we do to keep all of our barn buddies warm each winter!

Tips for Water

  • Insulate water spouts- this can be done inexpensiviley by purchasing a water spout cover at your local hardware store, or by making your own.  
  • Install heated buckets and water trough de-icers- if you don't have access to these, keep spare buckets to fill if water freezes
  • Keep a dry, spare hose on hand- although we all try our best to drain our hoses in the winter, it is never a bad idea to keep a spare one for emergencies. 

Tips for Footing

  • Stockpile sand- Sand is useful for breaking down ice and covering up slick spots. Using sand on icy days can help you, and your horses get traction when moving around.
  • Treat arena footing- Many forms of footing can become a hazard if not treated properly in freezing temperatures. Treatments such as calcium chloride flakes can ensure that your footing doesn't clump or freeze this winter.

Tips for the Horse

  • Be cautious when blanketing- Over-blanketing can be just as dangerous as under-blanketing. It is important to assess each horse's individual needs, and to monitor the weather daily.
  • Keep dry blankets on hand- Winters can often be damp, and even the sturdiest blankets need time to air out. A dry blanket can be the difference between a warm horse, and a cold horse.
  • Spend extra time cleaning stalls- With more time spent in stalls, and damp weather, horses are more susceptible to thrush. Spending more time cleaning stalls, and ensuring that footing is always dry can prevent these issues.

Other Tips for Winterizing Your Barn

  • Ensure adequate ventilation- Although keeping horses warm is important, it is equally important that they get fresh air in order to prevent respiratory illnesses. Take advantage of sunny days, and open barn doors to let fresh air in whenever possible
  • Have backup power sources- With ice and winter storms, power can be unpredictable. Have backup power sources ready incase of an emergency.