The winter months are looming and as a horse owner, that means it’s time to get prepared. If you haven’t started your preparations for the colder season then, don’t worry — follow our top tips and you’ll be ready in no time. Plus, the more prepared you are, the quicker spring will seem to come around.

While there is still enough light, make the most of the extra time that creates and get ready for the cold spell:

Get organised

  • Get all your rugs washed, repaired and ready to use. If you don’t you are bound to find the one you really need has got a broken leg strap or surcingle.
  • If it snows, you’re going to need to apply grease to the bottom of the hoof to avoid a build-up of snow. Julie Magnus, who owns Tina Cook’s former advanced eventer O’Leary, said: “I used my own recipe of a kilo of lard and a litre of vegetable oil. Melt it together and allow it to set, then plaster into hooves to stop balling-up snow. It works a treat and is very cheap.”
  • Order in a two-month supply of hay/haylage, hard feed and bedding — you can never be too prepared. Store your supplies in a cool, dry place. When ordering in, bear in mind that once the grass is gone or if your horses are being stabled, you’ll need extra supplies.
  • Order some big water containers — they’ll come in handy when the pipes are frozen.
  • Unless you’re lucky enough to keep your horses at home or have a 4×4, a big concern is not being able to get to the yard. So, speak to others on your livery yard and get an emergency plan in place. It’s best to sort this out early to avoid any panic.

More winter preparation tips:
Get ready for winter: preparing the yard

Get ready for winter: feeding your horse