Swinging Into the Autumn Season With Seven Preparation Tips
The fall season for many can bring unknowns about fluctuating temperatures, unexpected weather events, and inconstant environments. Here are some tips to make sure your farm and horse are ready for the changing of the seasons.
1. Do you grow, harvest, and bale your own hay? Now is the time to look at how much you have left and how much space you have. Do you buy hay? Check it for freshness and any signs of mold.
2. Check your equipment for anything broken and in need of repair or replacement – wheelbarrows, pitchforks, shovels – all of the everyday items that have the most wear and tear.
3. Heading indoors for the winter? Find out about winterizing your outdoor footing to make sure it holds up with rain, ice, and snow coming soon. In your indoor arena, look into what to add to sand footing to keep it free of frost and soft when temperatures are subzero. Seal up drafts around the arena, wash all of the windows while the weather is still warm, and lubricate any sliding door tracks.
4. Riding outside, on the trails, and through forests and fields this fall? Make sure you know which are hunting areas, what the local hunting seasons are, and that you and your horse have high-visibility apparel.
5. Make sure sheets and blankets are aired out, clean, and have no holes, rips, or missing buckles and clasps.
6. Double-check all of your electric equipment, outlets, and lighting. The last thing you want to do in inclement weather is replace a burnt-out lightbulb!
7. If less daylight and lower temperatures mean your horse is coming inside more and changing its diet from pasture grazing to hay as its primary feed, talk to your veterinarian about how best to manage supplement modifications, sugar intake, hay quality and quantity, and how best to avoid colic as you make slow and steady adjustments.
With these tips, you’re well on your way to getting ready for crisp air, pumpkins, and apple bobbing (your horse’s favorite autumn activity).
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