الإثنين 27 مايو 2024

Winterize Your Horse Barn

موقع أيام نيوز

De-icing water buckets, hauling water by hand, and pushing heavy wheelbarrows through deep snow are just a few of the things that many Canadian horse owners have to look forward to in the winter months. But we do them willingly to ensure the good health of our horses during a season that, along with its rain, snow, and freezing temperatures, also brings equine health issues such as thrush, mud fever, colic resulting from dehydration, and respiratory illnesses.
The benefits you will reap by winterizing your barn will be twofold: first, the difficulty of your winter barn chores will be greatly eased; and, second, you can take even greater satisfaction in the knowledge that your horse is receiving the best seasonal care you can provide.
Assess Your Barn’s Structural Integrity

Begin with a thorough cleaning of your barn’s interior, checking as you go for any repairs that might be needed, such as rotting stall boards or sticky door latches.



Then, inspect the outside of your barn and the roof for leaks, holes, and any other damage. While you’re up on the roof, clear the eavestroughs of any accumulated debris. You should also know the weight bearing capacity of your roof. These days, most roofs are built to shed, but be prepared to clear it off manually in the event of a heavy snowfall.
In colder regions, frost can cause your barn’s foundation to heave and become unstable. Check that the foundation was laid according to the building codes in your province, and install eavestroughs and adequate drainage around the barn’s perimeter to divert water away from the base of the building, thus minimizing the risk of frost formatio

Check Your Water System

“The single most important thing to consider in the winter time is water,” says Darin Kennedy, owner of Darden Equine, a boarding and equine rehabilitation centre in Coldwater, Ontario.
Inspect your water tank for leaks and major rust spots, especially at heating element inserts. Make sure that the pipes do not leak and are rust-free, and that the insulation is still intact. If your barn’s water supply comes from a well, service your well pump and check the well house insulation, applying heat tape as needed.