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.

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.


  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.

  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 . . .

    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.

  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

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

  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.

    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:

      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.

  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....

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