While us horse owners who have full summer turnout have a few months to go before we need to worry about bringing our horses inside and mucking out stables every day again for a long winter, it’s always good to be prepared for the colder months when you have a horse. While at the start of summer turnout it always seems like you’ve got ages before you need to get down to the yard at 6am in the morning to shovel muck and fill hay nets, the colder nights and shorter days can creep up on you and it’s time to bring your horse back in from the colder sooner than you think. Or maybe you’re dealing with stable duties during the summer if your horse is on box rest. Here are some ways to keep them happy, comfortable, and occupied while in a stable.
Getting a good stable rug will ensure that your horse is warm and comfortable, even on cold days. While being in a stable itself will shield your horse from wet or icy weather, many stables are not draught-proof so it’s important that you have temperature control in place. This is especially true if you are riding during the winter and need to have your horse clipped to keep them comfortable. Without all of their winter coat to keep them warm, choosing the right liner blanket can make all the difference. You can get a liner blanket for your horse at Horseware. The liner blanket system is designed to adjust for different temperatures without having to layer several blankets.
In winter, a saddle pad helps make a horse more comfortable in the stable. It keeps the horse’s back warm, wicks away moisture, and protects against friction and pressure from the saddle. Saddle pads by LeMieux even help if the saddle doesn’t fit perfectly. When picking a winter pad, go for materials that keep the horse warm and manage moisture. Clean it regularly, and keep an eye on your horse for any signs of discomfort or saddle sores.
Some horses enjoy just chilling in their stable all day while others understandably get rather bored. While turning out during the winter for a few hours per day is possible on some yards, other yards don’t have winter turnout and if this is the case for you, then it’s a good idea to invest in finding something that will help keep your horse occupied. Stable toys are a good way to do this, especially if your horse is the type that enjoys picking things up and playing with them. You can even get slow feeder stable toys which can be great for training your horse not to eat their food so quickly.
Salt licks and other horse lick treats can be an ideal option for your horse’s stable over the winter. Not only do they give your horse something to do on those colder winter days inside, but they are also often filled with nutrients and a great supplement for your horse. If you have noticed that your horse is a little stiffer over the winter or if they have not been ridden for a while, a salt lick can be a great way to get more sodium in their diet to help with this issue.
While there’s a few months to go before your horse is back in the stable full-time, it’s always good to plan ahead for making bringing them in for the winter more enjoyable for them.
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