Even though we can see the light at the end of the tunnel as spring draws near, many of us in the Northern Hemisphere are still gripped in the clutches of winter. Want to make things a bit easier on yourself? Check out these winter must haves for your barn.
By SmartPaker Amy Cohan, originally published on the SmartPak blog.
It is winter here in New England. While for most people these words inspire visions of snowball fights, cozy hot chocolates by fireside, and beautiful twinkling snowflakes, most equestrians do not share that point of view.
For me, breaking ice on water buckets with numb fingers, shoveling snow to be able to access my barn, and trudging through snow banks with a wheelbarrow full of manure, are the tidings the season brings. It’s absolutely a blessing to have my horses at home, but let’s just say, some seasons are a bit easier than others.
I have found a couple of items that make the cold, and extra stall time more bearable, for both me, and my two mustangs.
ThermoHose Heated Water Hose
This year, I splurged on the ThermoHose Heated Water Hose. This keeps my water running all year, and prevents me having to run back to the house to turn it off, to avoid those daily frozen spigots. Let me tell you, it has been worth every penny. Honestly, I am not sure how I got by without it.
SmartPak Insulated Water Bucket Cover
As for keeping that water in a liquid form once it is in my horse’s buckets, that’s a whole other challenge. I have had really good luck with the SmartPak Insulated Water Bucket Covers. I have yet to come out in the morning and find more than a thin skim of ice on their water. Gone are the days of hammering water buckets!
SuperMash with Fibre-Beet®
I like to spoil my ponies on those really cold dark nights. Instead of cozying up inside with a hot toddy for myself, I can be found schlepping hot water to the barn to make a nutritious, warming, and hydrating mash for my two, with the SuperMash with Fibre-Beet®
Himalayan Salt Lick
With extended stall time comes extended boredom for my two, who live out 24/7 except for in inclement weather. I make sure that they both have access to Himalayan Salt Licks as desired in the winter, not only to assuage boredom, but to help ensure that they are drinking lots and staying properly hydrated.
Hay Ball Feeder
Because my two are mustangs, they are generally easy keepers as well. I like to provide them free choice hay, but my mare has gotten a little larger around the midsection this year. For her, I invested in the Hay Play Ball feeder. I can fit about 2 flakes of hay in it, and she has to really work at it to be able to nibble away, she can’t just wolf it all down in 1 hour flat like she used to do. It also helps keep her mind busy.
So, while winter may not be my favorite season, I just remind myself that soon, the summer sun will be blazing down, and I will be wishing for these days back. Until then, stay warm and cozy!
These tips and more are available on the SmartPak blog. Go SmartPak and go riding!