Spring is the best time for making new plans, getting a fresh perspective and the annual spring cleaning! While the spring clean is often relegated to the home or garage, it is by far more fun to get out to the barn and spring clean for your equine companions. Not sure where to start? Here is a simple list of to-do’s to get your barn and pasture spruced up for the spring season.
Mud season seems to be longer and longer every year. Thawing ground and spring showers can mean muddy gate areas, feeding areas, and pathways. Think about improving the ground by adding Mud Grids or Paddock Slabs. By amending the ground and fortifying it with a product that will stabilize muddy areas making it easier and safer for both you and your horses. These products are easy to install and require little ground preparation.
Winter weather can mean horses are stuck spending more time inside or don’t get as much ride time as usual. Horses are herd animals, so when they are confined to their stalls, it can be helpful to provide them with some options to help keep them preoccupied in the winter months when the weather is too inclement for them to get outside. Enrichment toys and activities can also keep horses busy when they are outside in the pasture together and there isn’t as much grazing opportunity.
Chances are, if you have one horse or a whole barnful, you have a lot of horse related things. More likely, those items can end up scattered between your barn, garage, horse trailer or house. Equestrians invest a lot of money in the tack and products we use for our horses, so it makes sense to protect that investment by keeping things neat, clean, and organized.
Most horse owners dream of one day bringing their horses’ home. It is an image that can conjure thoughts of watching your horses munching grass out of the kitchen window while you are doing dishes. Maybe you are looking forward to morning trips to the barn with a cup of coffee in hand and being greeted by the nickers of excitement followed by the calming sound of horses eating hay in their stalls. However, bringing horses home can be expensive and challenging. So, if your new year’s resolution is to make this dream a reality, you will want to make sure that you have thought through what you will need to make this transition a happy one.
There is a saying, “No matter how bad your day is going, just remember you have a horse” Isn’t it true? Owning a horse puts us in a special category of people, we aren’t just average, we have something special that some people only get to dream of, the companionship of a majestic creature that can give us wings. We get to go out to the barn and seek the solace and comfort of the animals, they get us out, working and riding in the fresh air. No matter what the news is reporting, horses still need to be cared for, fed and worked. In an ever-changing world it is comforting to know that these things don’t change.
One of the biggest reasons for looking at different styles of feeders is to help with feed cost savings. If you can employ a feeder that helps save feed, you will typically see a return on investment within a few months of feed bills. Additionally, many of the feeders that are made for horses are now looking at ways to help slow horses down when eating which is more natural and better for their digestive health.
There are a lot of different feeder options that can help save your hay from being wasted and save you money on your feed bill throughout the winter and beyond. So, if you are thinking of investing in a feeder or would like to upgrade to something that work better for your horses and your facility, keep the following in mind:
Fall is one of the best times of the year to enjoy having horses. The cooler weather gives us a reprieve from the hot summer sun, but it is not so cold that we have to worry about layering up just yet. Autumn is a great time to get some of those last ‘to-do’ projects done before winter sets in and take simple steps to make horse keeping easier in the coming months. Here are some things to consider accomplishing in the barn before things get too blustery:
When it comes to choosing stalls for your horse barn, it seems that the options are endless and can all get a bit confusing, so here are some ‘need to know’ options that will help you in the right direction to get the best stalls for your barn project. While some decisions are up to personal taste or the structure of the existing building, others really do come down to the safety and health of the horses that will occupy them.
These days, most horses will spend a much more significant part of their lives in stalls or in paddocks and pastures that do not resemble the grazing lifestyle intended by nature. Many designs of feeders attached higher on the wall, do not take into account that the horses teeth will not come into alignment until their head is down. That being the case, much hay is wasted when it is placed too high up because the horse will pull it down and then eat it off the ground.
What if you could not only save a little money, but benefit the environment as well? Sometimes it can take a little more upfront investment, but there is quite a bit of money to be saved when you invest in ‘green’ products. There is also the bonus of doing something good for the environment. Even small steps can have a big impact.