Fall has many splendor things: Fantastic foliage and long horseback rides at near perfect temps, to name a few. Before you can enjoy fall in full, you’ll need to complete a little advanced preparation.
The thing is, these chores extend beyond your horse. You, your barn, and the grounds will also be in need of attention.
Want to take full advantage of autumn? Now’s the time to revisit our horse prep checklist.
- Stock your supplies. Fall and winter months can mean unexpected inclement weather. Don’t risk being without essentials like horse feed or bedding. Icy conditions and local road closures can keep you cooped up at home. Storms in other parts of the country may even prevent supplies from coming to your area at all. Collect and store roughly four weeks worth of necessitates to keep from coming up short.
- Prepare blankets. Check their blankets. Sew up any holes where moths have made a meal out it. Wash it to remove any dust or irritants that maybe have accumulated since last year.
- Brush up the barn. It’s worth a little sweat on your brow to take care of chores around the barn in advance of freezing temps. Some hand-heavy to-dos like light bulb changes, laying fresh gravel, and organizing winter supplies will be difficult if not outright painful to do with icy weather-ravaged hands.
- Invest in heated and rubber buckets. It’s critical you find a way to keep your horse’s water trough from freezing. A heated bucket and heated hose is a good start. Rubber buckets are good backups. They, unlike hard plastic buckets, are also more likely to stay intact when scooping or clearing snow.
- Clean and reseed pastures. Manure collection might be your least favorite task, but clearing the fields now will prevent them from getting overrun in winter. Once leaves or snow cover the ground, you’ll be glad you did. While you’re at it, seed your plot so that seasonal grasses can start germinating. Analyze and fertilize soil as needed to ensure sufficient growth.
- Catalog and repair fence line. Weather extremes can stop you from accessing your acreage. But that doesn’t mean it’ll stop your team. Depending on how adventurous they are, a hole in the fencing or damaged posts could be the only accomplice they need to escape. While you’re walking the grounds, make a note of any trees that might have leaves that are poisonous to horses. Take care to rope off a large area around them and clean up fallen leaves before they can be ingested or cause illness.
- Tend to wet ground. Whether an area has been worn by heavy traffic or water is pooling at the bottom of a drainpipe, now’s the time to take action. Anywhere you see water or mud accumulating will soon be ice once temps shift. Level the areas by covering them with gravel, so you and your horse aren’t slip-sliding away this winter.
Autumn is the ideal season for enjoying time with your horse. Cross these oft-overlooked chores off your list, and you’ll be able to ride off into the sunset worry-free come fall.