With all the wind and rain we’ve had, together with the potential for cold weather and ice in the coming weeks, is your yard weather-ready?
If you’re nowhere near prepared or you could use a few hints and tips that have made our lives a little easier for all weather eventualities, grab your boots and let’s get stuck in.
- Up Your Salt Supplies
Snow and ice can play havoc in the yard and can be hazardous to you and your horses. Always make sure you have plenty of white (leaves no residue, but can be more expensive) or brown (cheaper, but leaves a messy residue) de-icing salt in stock for all those planned – and unplanned – drops in temperature.
Used liberally, both salt types are great for melting snow and ice and giving any boots – and hooves – good grip, as well as stopping ice forming on your yard floor. But think about other areas where it can be used too, such as paths and walkways to and from fields, arenas, or feed sheds.
- Watch Where The Wind Blows
Whatever the weather’s up to, you can usually rely on a stiff breeze from time to time. When it happens, take time to look around the yard, inspecting any barns, outbuildings, or any other structures, for areas that may need attention
Repair any roof or wall panels that are flapping and shore up anything that looks like it might fall victim to a gale force wind. Taking preventative measures now can save you a lot of time and money when any future stormy weather or high winds hit – this is something we regularly do here at 3DHQ.
- Winter Feed Treats
Horses are prone to drink less in colder weather, so keeping them properly hydrated is a top priority. One little feed hack I use is to add warm water to their feeds, making them a ‘sloppy mash’ – either that or just topping their normal feeds up with water.
During the colder months, I always carry a flask filled with warm water down to the yard for this very purpose. Why? Because they quickly let it be known they don’t like ‘sloppy mash’ feeds made with cold water and aren’t keen to eat it. But we could just have fussy horses…
- You Can Lead A Horse To Water…
Always have a backup plan in place if you use automatic drinkers. We always shut off our field automatic drinkers during the winter to protect the pipes from damage caused by freezing. And do a full investigation of the system in the spring to fix any issues early on.
Always make sure there are enough buckets of water to cater for each horse and plan how the water can be stored and distributed. We’re lucky to be able to fill a 500lt IBC container and distribute from that, but it might just be a case of filling smaller containers and carrying them to the yard by hand (which we used to do).
Of course, all this can be dirty work, especially in grim wintery conditions. So if you want to protect your clothes from de-icing salt residue or sloppy mash feed, check out our functional, feminine, and fabulous coveralls for women – the ladies Classic to keep your clothes clean, and the ladies Dartmoor to keep clean AND dry. Trust 3 Donkeys to keep you covered!