What do you do to get your barn and horse/pony/mini ready for the winter?

We always bring our tack into the house and clean and oil everything. We inspect the wiring for the water tank heaters. After first hard frost we worm all the horses. I go through the tack room and bring in the items I think would freeze.

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Got a couple of hours? Ok lets see: Stock up on all the hay I can fit on the place. I am going this weekend for my last 150 bales. ugh! Take all new pictures of the horses before they get all hairy. Keep bathing them and condition manes and tails as much as I can till it gets too cold. Its still 80's here. Check on all fencing and be sure all is secure. Mow medium to high one last time just knocking off the tops of the grass. Throw out some winter rye to keep the mud on the hill at bay. Anything that has been busted gets fixed now.

Move trailer under cover and on gravel and cover tires.
My wash rack is outside so all the shampoos etc. come inside and I'll probably use them all up. The rest of this is done a few times a year anyhow: Tack room: Everything comes out. Pretend I hurt my back so the kid laying on the couch watching Big and Rob will come help me put it all back in. Clean cabinets, take inventory of meds, replenish whatever I need, de-wormers go to the house. I clean all my shelves off, dust, remove cob webs if any, sweep etc. Reorganize everything in there. Wash out and sun dry all feed cans. Over haul the saddles and bridles by cleaning, using conditioners, sun dry, and wrap tightly in sheets and blankets and clean the racks. All bridles and show halters wrapped in sheets and put away in a Rubbermaid. All grooming tools and grooming boxes sorted out, soaked in soapy water first, then dipped in clorox, sun dry. Extra buckets, extra anything cleaned, bagged in hefty bags and stored in loft. (no hay kept in loft). Barn, dusted and vacumed, cobwebs etc. all buckets removed and scrubbed clorox, then with baking soda. Nasty feeders or broken or cracked buckets replaced. Shaving bought in bulk by the bale stored on pallets outside back barn door, covered with tarp. (not necessary but I do it ).
Wash and sun dry all sheets and blankets. Sort into Rubbermaid containers and lable them.
I use gravel for the walk ways and get a new load or two each fall. and spread with tractor. I refuse to slip in the mud ever again! Oil gate hinges and buy some de-icer for them and latches just in case. Get another load of chat for my barn isleway to refresh.
Clip bridle paths, faces, fetlocks, whiskars, etc. and send blades off to be sharpened and clippers off to be serviced. Bring the shop vac to the tack room for horse sucking purposes. Get barn Christmas decorations down from loft and all up by November 10th. Buy a dad gum bot knife.
Revise and change winter feed and feed schedule and post in tack room in case I get hit by a train. Order artheritis supplements for the senior quarter horse. Put a horse up for sale just for the heck of it on the pretnese that someone wants a Christmas mini to show next spring.
Get farrier appointments made a week before Thanksgiving and a week before Christmas because it gets so hectic. Put new batteries in the weather scanner. Buy extra light bulbs and clean fixtures. Everyone gets new halters and leads for Christmas. De-worming entire herd now, then on Halloween for yearlings, again on Thanksgiving for the herd and on Christmas for the herd again.
Everyone gets a teeth float in September/October.

Rob a bank in November.

Can you come to my place and help me with organization? LOL You know in your spare time. (Does any self respecting horse person have "spare time"?) We got hay put up this weekend and I am so grateful for that. We are coming out of a three year drought and this year to make up for it.., it rained continously for most of the Spring and half the Summer. So we are caught up now and the water table restored, farm ponds full again etc. I think I will print out your list and maybe I can work on some of them. I especially liked the idea about the gravel for your walkways. We have a lot of problems with freezing rain and ice here. Hang in there and don't forget to take your VITAMINS! I love reading your posts! I might use that one about pretending to hurt my back on my husband so her will carry all the saddles back up to the house. Haha.
I'll be right over! Actually it is all not that much. Its not like I try to do everything at once; just one task at a time. And I do take my time cause I'm slow, like a turtle. And old, very very old. As far as the gravel, I love it and nope it doesn't bother the horses one bit. They do not have to get on my walk ways but if they do, I have never had one come up lame or hurt or anything. I have it all around my barn so I can drive the truck without getting it stuck in the mud too, and also trails up to each field. BG means before gravel, I would be walking through the ice, snow, and mud and off would come my boot and dang, every time I'd get my stocking feet FROZEN !!!!!!!! Gravel was a no brainer. Get some today!
Haha! This reminds me of the winter I spent using a shovel with the pointy end jammed into the ice just to stand upright when I went out to do chores. We had about three solid inches of ice over everything and it did not thaw for months. Worst weather I can remember. I finally remembered the five gallon buckets of old ash and cinders down in our basement from the old woodstove. I hauled them puppies up the stairs and made paths everywhere. It was a mess but I managed to stay right side up until Spring. LOL This was the same winter that my husband had broken his back. I am glad that this is now just a bad memory.
Off topic but do you guys have webcam? I got one today.
Hey all! Congrats on me. Just a little progress update. I got a whole load accomplished this week so far.
The weather has been excellent to work outside so I tore my tackroom apart and got it all nicely cleaned up. Shelves have been cleaned and organized and the cabinets too. Don't laugh, but I have one whole cabinet just full of nothing but ribbons and scrunchies and goo for decorating my little herd. My trademark is that my horses all wear scrunchies most of the time. I have all my Christmas bows and holiday ribbons all ready too! I'd post a pic of it but don't have any idea how.
Anyhow, besides the tack room clean out I also washed every brush and grooming box and re-organized that, rubber brushes in one, hair brushes in another, combs and tail brushes in another, sissors, hoof pics, utility junk in another. Where's that dang bot knife?
Got the cobwebs down from the barn and stalls, yuk, I was scratching my head for 2 hours. Can't stand a cobweb and dusted the whole place too. Itch. Itch. Scrubbed feeders and buckets with baking soda but they are already dirty and stinky again of course. That's almost a daily chore anyhow so that doesn't really count. But oh man, my house is a neglected mess! Stocked up on shavings since I found some for $4.50 a bale. The shop vac bit the dust so I'm out of luck there unless I find a cheapo that will work on hairy dirty little mini yaks. Thinking I'll check them out at Lowes.
Everyone got de-wormed with Zimectrin Gold, dang those bots. I got some new clipper blades and half the herd got their bridle paths, faces, and fetlocks done with a #15. The other half gets it tomorrow hopefully. There's just so many hours in a day. I had a couple of 80+ degree days so half the herd got baths, then I ran out of time so the rest will have to wait for the next warm day if I get another.

I gathered up all the spare buckets I am not using, disinfected them, shoved them in a black hefty bag and put them in storage up in the loft. Also found a whole bunch of brand new halters and leads that I forgot I ordered a long time ago, so I won't have to order any new one for Christmas. Hurray, I've saved a buck.

I decided to sell, but not list in public, 2 of my horses for sale so if you need one, and have a reference, inquire. A double reg. bred mare and a super nice gelding. But don't hurry, I'll talk you out of it. I also have three Miniature Horse books published and about to get them on the market so hurray for me again. They aren't even priced yet and my pay pal didn't get set up yet. Blasted. Keep running out of time. Oh, this house is neglected and a mess. Did I mention that?

I'm hunkering down for a day of big wind and rain, finally. Its been 6 weeks since we've had a drop and low and behold, I've got my truck loaded with those shavings that someone forgot to unload today. UGH!

See ya......I might go clean this house!
Yeah, I do those things too. We use different buckets in the winter - we use those that have a double bottom with a heater and thermostat inside. We haven't put those up yet, but it probably won't be much longer until we will be needing them. We also fill a heated tank with water that we can use without having to hook up the hose. That saves quite a bit of time, not having to fool with a hose when it's 10 degrees!

We make sure we have a winter's supply of hay and bedding. I use wood shavings over stall mats. Neither of my horses are ever confined to the stall, but even they choose to stay inside when the weather is really miserable.

We put shutters on the windows in addition to the sliders. We have a lot of blowing snow, and it'll come right on in past the sliders. We also shut the front doors on the barn when the weather is nasty. The horses have their own entrance that's protected with an attached run in, so that's never closed, but there is a side door on the run in that we close to keep out the snow and wind.

I don't blanket or clip, so other than that, we just watch the horses get all woolly. LOL!


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