How to stay sane in the rain with your horse

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  • When the rain is driving down and you’re sliding through mud to catch your horse, who is wearing a drenched turnout rug, it’s easy to question why it was such a good idea to own a horse at all. But with our five tips for staying sane in the rain, miserable winter weather can be a little bit more bearable.

    1. Prepare your gateways

    Taking action sooner rather than later is your best bet when it comes to not spending all winter dealing with excessively poached gateways, but if it’s already too late for that, there are things you can do to fix muddy gateways in horse paddocks. Options include laying down hardcore or field mats designed to prevent poaching (like these ones on Amazon) in the gate area. A cheaper option is to use electric fencing to section off the gateway so horses don’t always wait in the same area.

    2. Invest in a plastic hay feeder

    A lot of hay is wasted in muddy fields, as it gets trampled. Purchasing a weatherproof hay feeder, hay ball (like this one on Viovet), or if your horses are not shod, a bale net (also on Viovet) will help to prevent hay wastage and damage to pasture.

    3. Check for rain scald

    If your horse is not rugged up, keep an eye on their skin to check they are not suffering from rain scald. If they are susceptible to the condition, prevent it by using a suitable weight rug and ensuring there is a field shelter or natural shelter so that they can escape the rain.

    4. Make a plan for drying rugs

    Establish a drying area with rug racks (available on Amazon) for soaked rugs and make the most of any sun we do get to air them. Many owners will leave turnout rugs on their horses when they come in, as long as the water has not leached through to the inside, allowing the horse’s natural warmth to aid the drying process. Or invest in a dedicated rug drier to dry your rugs for you.

    5. Use your time wisely

    Talking of rugs, ‘rainy days’ are a good opportunity to clean your horse rugs from the summer, mending any damage as needed, as well as giving your tack a thorough clean and tidying your tack room.

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