Saturday, November 2, 2013

Weekend Winter Prep!

It's finally the weekend!

Before you celebrate though, are you ready for... IT ?
Yes, IT is coming. IT's almost here, in fact it may already be here for some of us.
IT is... WINTER!! DUN DUN DUUUUNN!


Time to check your prep list. It's a pain in the ass, but it's better to get ready for winter NOW than deal with stuff as you wade through three feet of snow, right? Ooops, I said the "s" word.

Winter Prep List

  • Have you checked all of your blankets for fit, rips, mold, and mouse damage?
  • Speaking of blanketing, I had better mention once again that blanketing IS NOT BAD!
  • Covering your heated water tank with foam board insulation, sides and top, can save you a ton on electricity bills this winter. If your horse loves to rip and chew, cover the foam with plywood.
  • Here's how one inventive man made a really insulated water tank for his horses!
  • Be prepared for ice buildup before it starts. Clip your horses fetlocks and keep Vaseline or vegetable oil handy for fetlocks and hooves in order to prevent ice buildup.
  • If your horse is particularly prone to developing snowballs under his hooves, ask your farrier for advice about boots or different shoes.
  • Don't forget that ice-melt and salt can really burn the frogs/pads of animals, and may be toxic if eaten. For icy areas where horses and dogs frequently walk, try sand instead. Read more here.
  • Are you sure you're providing enough quality feed for your horses? Check out this guide to horse nutrition, an easy and informative read. 
    • Remember, although grain provides calories, a steady supply of hay keep horses warmer!
    • Feed by weight, not by volume! One scoop of one type of feed is not the same as one of another type of feed.
  • Don't forget to check out my Wisconsin Redneck Tips for dealing with winter!
  
Notes on Blanketing:
  • DO practice putting one on your horse BEFORE you absolutely have to. It sucks really bad to train a reluctant/spooky horse to hold still for the blanket. It sucks even worse when you're freezing, the ground is icy and the wind is flapping the blanket around everywhere.
  • The older over-the-head type is especially bad for spooky horses. Invest in a front-buckled version. Trust me on this one.
  • DO take blankets off when it gets warmer!! Horses with their winter coats will suffer from being overheated otherwise.
  • Blanket sizing: take a tape measure and measure your horse from the middle of its chest, along its side, to its butt crack. Round to the nearest even number. 
  • Make sure your horse's blanket fits okay and isn't rubbing anywhere. Fleece padding can help prevent rubs and pulling. If you blanket all the time, take it off once in a while to make sure it isn't biting into a horse's neck. Your horse will thank you for the break, and the opportunity to run around and roll freely.

10 comments:

  1. Also, for slippery areas - I use coarse barn lime - works great to give instant traction and wears grooves in ice that cut down on slips.

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  2. So did you go to Nolan's??? last time you blogged an interesting run down of the horses there - made me want to go this time but too busy today . . .

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    1. Unfortunately, I didn't get there this time. I had taken off of work to report on it, but I've been so sick and missed so many work days already that I just had to cancel. Blarrgh.

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  3. I haven't blanketed our old guys yet -we have two older fellas. I let them grow their winter coat first to give them some extra warmth - so I blanket sometime late November or early December. But then I do have to watch the temps and take the blanket off on nice warm days - like sunny 30's or 40's

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    1. Yep, I don't blanket mine until it gets pretty cold for the same reason-- the more fur the better!

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  4. I was going back through old blogs looking to see when the next court date is for Barb Thiry - can't find anything. I know she was charged but I'd be interested to know if she gets convicted to all counts and what she gets for sentencing.

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    1. Oh don't worry, I'll keep updating! She's had a pretrial hearing already, but that pretty much amounted to nothing... you can watch video of it here though: http://www.news.wgwinews.com/?p=2426#sthash.ZCp0bf3A.gbpl

      Thiry's next court date for the neglect case is 11-05-2013 at 1:30 pm. She will also have a hearing on her eviction from the pasture she rented on 11-13-2013 at 9:30am.

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  5. Where I live, winter is the best riding weather. Summer can get hot, so if I don't get up and go first thing in the morning, I don't ride. Not to rub it in....

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    1. Awwww man, I want to live where you live!!

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