With the winter months on their way and cooler air starting to move in, it is important to think about the safety and comfort of your horses. Since they will likely be spending an increased amount of their time in the barn during the winter months, you need to make sure that your barn is properly prepared to keep your horses comfortable and safe from harsh winter weather.
Here are three ways to prepare your barn for the winter months:
Check the Roofing and Structure:
During the winter months, tumultuous weather such as snow, wind, and rain can all contribute to the deterioration of the roofing and structure of your barn. Specifically, snow can weigh down the roof of your barn, leading to some devastating effects from an unsecured roof and foundation.
On a sunny day, go inside your barn and inspect your roof for any defects, any areas where sunlight is shining through. Any major cracks can be a major structural impairment that can cause big problems during the winter months.
Check to make sure that you have snow guards in place. Snow guards prevent snow buildup that could lead to a dangerous amount of snow sliding off the roof. In addition, snow guards help to evenly distribute the weight of snow on your roof.
Stock up on Medication, Food, and other Supplies:
Big snowstorms can come on with only a few days notice, rendering you unable to get supplies that might not readily be available at a local tack shop or feed supply store. Make sure that you are prepared for this scenario by stocking up on hay, horse feed, and any other medications or supplements that your horse requires daily. This way, when that big storm does eventually hit, there is no feeling of panic that you don’t have enough on hand.
In trying to keep your barn cozy and warm during the winter months, sometimes, healthy and proper ventilation of the barn is sacrificed as a result. Equine COPD, also known as Heavesor Broken Wind, can be triggered by dust, mold, mites, or other airborne particles in an unventilated barn.
It is important to keep in mind that horses are more resilient than we are and what might feel chilly to us might be just fine for them. Proper air movement in a barn is critical as it can sweep away dust, mold particles, and any airborne bacteria or viruses which exist in the everyday actions of horse care. There are two ways to adequately ventilate a barm, aspiration (the process of moving air across the roof, thus drawing air through any available opening) and perflation (moving air through openings on either side or front and back of a barn). Be sure to take into consideration barn size, geographical location, weather conditions, and other environmental factors such as trees, hills, or hedges that can affect the normal air circulation of a barn.
If your horse continues to struggle with COPD during the winter months after you’ve established proper circulation in your barn, integrating the 4-step Heave Ho program can be just what your horse needs for an improved quality of life and to get back in the pasture once the weather improves!
Heave Ho is a veterinarian-developed herbal product made with the highest quality natural herbs, minerals, adaptogens, and Vitamin E to combat your horse’s COPD. The ingredients in Heave Ho are designed to support your horse’s immune system, help clear away mucus, decrease spasms, and reduce inflammation in as little as 14-days.