Preparing your barn for a cold winter is the best way to care for your
livestock. Here are some tips to help you get things under control before the snow comes tumbling your
1. Check out your barn before winter comes and deal with any issues before it
becomes too cold. Build extra storage and label or color code to help keep things organized. Clean up and
remove rusted or broken items, clear out expired medication and restock. Move anything that could freeze into
home storage and remove any old hay and bedding and restock with fresh for the winter. Wash down floors and
clean all mats. Repair fences, paint gates and sand off any rust before repainting. Replace broken windows; if
money is tight cover the space with plywood. Clean and oil barn doors. Make sure the animals are all up to date
with medication and vaccines.
2. Make sure your electrical is all up to code and safe. Make sure nothing
poses a fire risk as faulty wiring is the number one cause of barn fires and barn fires can be fatal. Any wires
out in the open should be placed in conduit pipes to prevent them being eaten by rodents. Check fire
extinguishers and clean furnace filters. Replace any broken light bulbs and put wire cages around them to
prevent potential breakage or smoldering of hay. Service any heaters that may be used over the winter
3. Get rid of any additional fire risks and remove other hazards. Clear out
any clutter, brush down cobwebs, get rid of any rodent or bird nests. Make sure hay and straw are put away and
off the floor. Avoid using extension cords and store flammable products away from the barn. Make sure everyone
knows to UNPLUG any electricals not in use and install fire alarms. Remove any electrical cords, ropes or
dangling wires and lock up cleaning supplies, medications or other possible toxins.
4. Make sure you have sand to grit with and salt to break up ice stockpiled
near the barn door. This will help make sure you're never wanting for an ice free trip out to the
5. Get the barn roof checked and repaired. Replace any frayed shingles, repair
any leaks, and clear out rain gutters.
6. Add insulation if necessary. If you have an attic you need to insulate this
can get pricey, but consider using old blankets, cornstalks, weed cloth or other non-edible options. Insulate
pipes to prevent them from bursting and push snow around the barn for added insulation.
7. But be sure you have proper ventilation. Even in the winter your horses
need fresh air to breath and a place for hot, smelly air to escape. You want to make sure your barn isn't
drafty, but you also want to be sure that fresh air has acceptable routes in and out of the barn. Caulk around
windows and doors and close anything not currently in use to prevent drafts.
8. Have your well serviced, make sure your water supply will not freeze, and
make sure the pressure will stay up high enough to keep any automatic waterers and hoses working.
9. Clear out any pests and put up netting to discourage birds from
10. Make sure you have a winter time evacuation plan so that if the unforeseen
should happen you have a way to make sure both you and your horses are evacuated quickly and safely.
Stable Building Tips
Bedding Pros and Cons
Mucking Out Your Horse's Stall
Feeding Your Horse
What To Feed Your Horse
Giving Up Your Horse
Do Horses Need Shoes?
Teeth and Horses
Winterizing Your Barn
Preparing to Travel With Your Horse
Winter Care for Horses
Preventing Barn and Stall Boredom
Tips for Traveling with Your Horse
Stable Requirements: Building
the Space to Meet Your Horses' Needs
Preparing Your Horse for Hot Weather
Tips for Maintaining Your Horse Trailer
Proper Hoof Care
Why Braiding Horse Hair is Beneficial to
Tips for Taking Care of an Older Horse
How to Keep Your Horse Fed on a Budget
Transitioning Horses from Winter Feed to
Why You Should Feed Your Horse Flaxseed
Dealing With an Unhappy Horse in Their