Winter can present all sorts of challenges from sticky mud to ice and deep snow.
- Prevent Muddy Messes: Clean up manure in the areas the horses most often stand. Manure mixed with slush or rain can turn into mire if left.
- Clean Up Obstacles: Pick up trotting poles, jumps or anything that might be a hazard if hidden by a snowfall.
- Check and Repair: Check fencing and do minor repairs while it's still warm enough to work outside.
- Prevent Ice Hazards: Fill hollows in front of gates and doors where water might sit and turn to ice.
- Don't Let Troughs Freeze: Install water heaters in troughs. Horses will drink more if the water is not frigid. Horses fed hay may not drink enough if the water is too cold. This can lead to colic caused by impaction. Water heaters need to be plugged into a Ground Fault Indicator receptacle.
- Boost Your Pasture: In some areas late fall is a good time for fertilizing and 'frost seeding' legumes and grasses. Contact your local agricultural office for specific recommendations.