Top Tips for Keeping Horses in Winter

Owning horses during the winter months can be tough! The days are shorter, turnout is often restricted and it can feel like you are constantly battling against mother nature on a daily basis  to keep warm and dry! We recently caught up with our team of supported riders to ask them what their advice and “must-have items” are to survive the winter months. We’ve shared their top tips below!

Sarah-Jane BrownSarah-Jane Brown aka Shoestring Eventing

  • Invest in the best clothing you can afford – a good waterproof coat and trousers, as well as wellies. My grandmother used to say only the rich can afford to buy cheap, i.e. quality can last better than buying poor quality multiple times!
  • A good quality head torch is a must! Although we have lights at the yard, a head torch makes it easier to poo pick in the dark or makes sure those trips to the muck heap are less hazardous.
  • Feed appropriate to your horse’s workload – my horses get more days off in the winter, so I reduce their bucket feed slightly, albeit they still have constant access to forage

Tanya Buckingham-LloydTanya Buckingham-Lloyd

  • Try and buy your hay or haylage and bedding in bulk if you can…you can often negotiate a deal if you have somewhere to store it! Maybe club together with your friends to save money
  • I prefer to use buckets to water drinkers especially in the winter when there’s a chance of pipes freezing…you want to know your horse has access to water at all times
  • Don’t skimp on bedding, I find if you have less bedding in the stables you normally end up taking most of the bed out everyday, whereas if you have nice thick beds the urine tends to stay in one place so saves you money in the long run

Vic BrantVic Brant aka Diary of a Wimpy Eventer

  • Have a good rugging solution – you only really need to ‘shell’ out for one decent turnout rug, I recommend 1200D 100g combo. The weight and denier will allow for home washing (on a 30 degree wash, when no-one is looking) and will give you a day rug for sunnier winter days too. Add to that, 3 different weight liners (100, 200 and 300g) and you have a rug for all seasons!
  • Good waterproof gloves that allow you to still do jobs. I am loving EGlove which also have a touch screen savvy finger patch, but if I was to splurge, Sealskins do some great ones too!
  • If you are feeling particularly run down in the depths of winter and the mud and wicked weather is making you feel like a wet fish START PLANNING. It really does lift the mood. Start thinking forwards to better weather and make a plan, put a show or some training in the diary and set yourself a goal to work towards!

If you are feeling confused about what changes to make to your horse’s ration during the winter months, check out our article on Sympathetic Feeding for Winter Stabling, or if you have any questions contact our nutrition team by calling our Feedline on 01621 841188 or filling in our Feed Advice Form.