Here are some of our favorite winter things.
Stall mats – A great multi-use tool. In the winter, in addition to keeping your horse off a cold concrete floor, these are great for an anti-slip walkway. They are also indispensable for helping to keep mud from forming around barn or stall door openings. Outdoor water troughs often become churned up and muddy -when the mud freezes, it becomes a landmine for your horse to walk over. Mats can help protect your horse from taking a bad step on frozen mud. - For a mud free area you may also consider a stable-ity grid system.
Water heaters – Horses need about 10 gallons of water daily. While the optimal temperature for adequate water consumption is between 45- and 65-degrees F. However, in the winter its more of the matter of having water over ice. Heated water buckets can help with that. Classic Equine has automatic water options for both inside and outside use. Both come with a heater option.
For those of you without an automatic water system, there are heated water buckets that work great. Plug them in and the heated coils in the partitioned bottom of the bucket keep water ice-free. If your horses use a stock tank for water, a stock tank deicer is another great option to eliminate ice. While neither may bring the temperature up to “warm,” both are excellent at keeping ice from forming. For those bigger warm water jobs, there are portable hot water heaters.
Automatic Feeders – Unpredictable winter weather can sometimes make it difficult to get to the barn at feed times. And you know what your horses can do to your stall doors if the grain isn’t delivered on time! The iFeed system is an automatic grain feeding system that allows you to set up one or several stalls on whatever schedule you want to deliver grain.
Wash Bay Heaters – this went from being a luxury to a necessity when the winters started getting colder and snowier over the last few years. Great for both clipped and unclipped horses. If you don’t clip, the heated lights can help dry out your sweaty horse before blanketing. If you clip, the heated lights can keep your horse warm during the time between grooming and putting on his blanket. Also great for riders, trainers or spectators who are frozen from too long in the arena.
Auto lights – Let’s face it: even though you know every inch of your barn, there’s still something scary about going into a totally dark barn before you hit the lights. You can go with motion censored lights, timed lights, or go high tech with a new smart product like Amazon’s Echo. With Echo, you can plug your lights into a special socket and program it to your phone.
With Christmas still a few weeks away, there’s still time to ask Santa for one of these winter helpers.