Winter Weather Horse Essentials Overview
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Winter Weather Essentials: Prepare Your Horse & Barn for the Winter Season Winter Weather Essentials: Prepare Your Horse & Barn for the Winter Season
When the leaves begin to fall from the trees and the temperature starts to drop, you know that winter is on the way. Just because it may be cold and wet, doesn't mean you can't still have fun with your horse. Take steps now, and you will be rewarded with a safe and pleasant winter season.

Essential Horse Supplies:
  Winter Blanket: Under normal circumstances, your horse's winter coat is enough to keep her warm. That said, there are certain times when additional protection may be necessary. If you keep your horse clipped, you will need to provide her with alternative means for warmth. Also, young or aged horses may not grow as heavy a coat. Blanket these horses when the temperature drops or it is wet and windy. Even horses with thick winter coats may need additional protection against wet snow and cold wind.
Cooler: After exercising your horse, cover her with a fleece cooler while she cools down. This will keep her from catching a chill and possibly becoming ill.
Waterless Shampoo: The weather may be too cold for a true bath, but your horse will inevitably get dirty. Use MiracleCorp Waterless Shampoo to clean coats when shampooing is unavoidable.
ShowSheen® Detanglers: It is not a good idea to brush your horse's winter coat unless it is extremely dirty. Brushing removes the warm layer of body heat that has been trapped by the longer hairs. However, you can still be safe in brushing your horse's mane and tail. Use a quality detangler to keep mane and tail healthy and tangle free.
First Aid Supplies: With the cold, wet weather, comes slippery footing and sharp ice. Be prepared for anything by having all necessary first aid supplies already on hand. Vetrap™ has multiple uses, from holding dressings on wounds, to wrapping tails. The Matrix 3-Step Wound Care System is great to have on hand for minor cuts and scrapes.
Joint and Leg Care: As the temperature falls, your horse's joints may start to feel stiff to her, which is uncomfortable. Be sure to have your preferred joint supplements on hand, so that you don't miss doses and have to start over. With the slippery footing, it may be necessary to provide your horse's legs and hooves with additional protection during turnout. Use splint boots to help protect her legs.

Essential Barn Supplies:
  Shelter: It is essential for your horse's health in the winter that she has a place to get out of the elements. Provide a safe and secure pasture shelter with a Run-In Shed.
Safe Fencing: Before the weather turns bad, tour your fence's perimeter and make sure that everything is winter ready. Replace broken boards or frayed tape. Tighten any connectors and splicers that may have loosened during the year. Print off our handy Fencing Checklist to ensure you do all you need to.
Heated Buckets and De-icers: Water is essential for your horse's survival. Use heated buckets to confidently supply water to your horse in her stall or turnout paddock. For larger water troughs, use a de-icer to keep water accessible in winter.
Manure Forks: Let's face it; every horse owner has to deal with manure. Have a Incredible Wonder Fork on hand to speed up stall cleaning, so you can get back to the fun part of owning a horse.

Take steps now to properly prepare yourself for the season. You will not only enjoy it more, but you and your horse will be happier and healthier as a result.