Winter is coming! It's time to prepare your Kentucky horse barn for winter to ensure your champion pet is comfortable and well-taken care of. Kentucky may not have the most brutal winters, but it still gets decently cold. With cooler temperatures quickly approaching, it's important to winterize your horse barn in the fall. From prepping the living quarters to preparing your horse's body, there's plenty of ways to get your horses and their homes ready for the season.
Feed Them More
While we understand you want to keep your equines in the best shape possible, it's important to keep them warm throughout the winter. In an attempt to keep themselves warm, horses will burn more calories. To keep their body temperature warm, they need that extra fat and calories in the winter months.
Additionally, try to keep the horse well-exercised, even in the winter. They're similar humans in that they need exercise all year long. Lexington and Georgetown don't get too cold in the winter so take your horse for a ride. If you're experiencing severe winter conditions, consider turning your horse out daily in a large pasture.
Ventilation is Crucial
Ensuring your barn has proper ventilation will also help keep your horses breathing fresh air and asthma-free. You may be maintaining your barn to the nines with cleaning the stalls and other routine tasks, but keep in mind, these chores release particles into the air. If your barn isn't well ventilated, they can be trapped and get into your horse's respiratory system.
Keep Water Accessible
Farm owners will also want to make sure their water tanks are free of leaks and rust, particularly at heating element insets. If you're on well water, make sure your pump has been serviced and insulation is still intact. Your horse will need plenty of water throughout the winter so you'll want to ensure your pipes don't freeze.
Bedding & Blankets
Choose a pathogen-free and absorbent bedding material for your horse. There are plenty of options, including straw, wood shavings, paper, peat moss and other synthetic materials. Make sure it's dust free.
If it's really chilly, look into blanketing your horse. This will help keep them warm, especially if they don't have thick winter hair coats. But just make sure you aren't over blanketing your horse and essentially, overheating them. A hot horse is just as bad as a cold horse.
Furthermore, farm owners will want to do all they can to make their barn is as inhospitable to rodents as possible. Rodents see barns as warm, dry shelter with food throughout the winter. By sealing any cracks a quarter-inch or larger (they can fit in the smallest of spaces) and keeping your barn clutter free, you may be able to avoid most rodents. If you do get rodents in your barn, try to stay away from using poison and opt instead for trapping.
Similar to humans, horses can get bored in the winter. Try keeping them occupied by providing them with toys. This will hopefully discourage the onset of stable vices such as weaving and cribbing.
We're lucky in Kentucky and don't see those frigid winters that many horse communities in the north have to face. Do you have any winterizing tips for horse barns that you don't see here? Comment below and let us know!
Contact Turf Town Properties if you'd like to view a Kentucky horse farm for sale. Or if you prefer, simply call us at 859-608-8039.