Gateway Gazette

Protecting Your Horses In Extreme Weather

 

By Jessica Wallner

Lately weather has been crazy and extreme, and therefore people should put in place measures to protect their horses during extremely harsh weather conditions. Severe weather conditions can be so troubling not only to you horse but also to other livestock, especially if their comfort and welfare is of your little concern. The first step to protecting your horse during extreme weather conditions is by realizing that your horse needs protection.

Many people have taken several other measures including buying or building horse barns for their horses. However, planning and consistency are the key aspects that determine the success of your protection technique. The following are some ideas on how horses are protected in extreme weather by being in well built barns.

1. Provide enough warm drinking water

Cold water can contribute to impaction colic and dehydration of your horse hence posing a health risk. Use a water heating unit to supply your horse in the horse barn with warm drinking water at least twice a day. Ensure that the water heating units are in good working condition to prevent shocks from stray voltages into the water.

2. Prepare horse barns

This is usually the first step which serves to guarantee your horse’s safety when it is inside the barn. Nail down any loose roofing item that might fall on your horse just in case harsh winds or storms strike. Ensure that you store cross rails, jump standards, furniture or any other loose item on the barn’s floor safely. Secure gates and clear items attached temporarily on the walls of the horse barns and keep them in safe places.

3. Get an emergency barn kit

Disasters like barn fires do occur irrespective of the measures you might take to prevent them. However, being prepared just in case it strikes begins with the purchase of an emergency barn kit for your horse. Put the emergency barn kit in a safe and easily accessible place before storms or any other rugged weather condition strikes

4. Fire prevention

You should put in place measures to prevent fire from breaking out in the horse barn during extreme weather conditions. For instance, extreme windy and stormy weather conditions accompanied by lightning increases the chances of fire breaks. Often owners like to keep horses stalled in a barn to protect them from lightning during a storm, but giving them the ability to travel could keep them safer. Before leaving the barn, ensure that you turn on the barn’s circuit breakers because a power surge can cause serious fire. Also, install lightning arresters to eliminate the chance of lightning strikes during stormy weather.

5. Make sure horses have enough food

Feeding your horse starts with ensuring that there is enough food because extreme weather conditions rob the pasture grasses of the needed nutrients. Ensure that you stock enough food to last all through the cold weather. Feed your horse in reasonable proportions at least once a day about a flake each. Feeding your horse increases their ability to keep warm in the barn. However, you should ensure the food is warm by fueling the internal furnace.

Jessica Wallner is a guest writer for Castlebrook Barns in Fontana, California. www.castlebrookbarns.com

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