While the weather may stop you from riding as often this winter, barn chores can’t always be put on hold. In this blog, we’ve identified the common problems that barn, and horse owners run into during the winter months, and found some of our best products that will make winter barn chores less of a hassle.

How Do You Prepare Your Stable for Winter?

As fly season vanishes, and the winter months start creeping in, there are a few steps that can be followed to prepare your stable for the winter. First, putting away your summer items will help preserve them and make room for your winter items. If you had Mosquito Mesh Fly Curtains up, it’s time to take them down, wash them, and put them in storage so they’re ready to use again in the spring.

If you keep your blankets organized with one of our blanket storage racks, we recommend that you use this time to put your Fly Sheets and Lightweight Sheets towards the back and bring your heavier stable and Turnout Blankets upfront. This way they’re easy to access and stay organized throughout the winter.

When blankets are not in use, the Easy-Up® Lightweight Collapsible Horse Blanket Bar is perfect for keeping blankets, coolers, or sheets out of the way but ready to use. When not in use, it simply folds down to save space.


Tip from a Schneiders Saddlery Employee: "I have Dutch doors as well in the back of my stalls, and I personally like to cover up the ‘cracks’ between the top and bottom door to help keep the cold air wind out. I’ve been using a flexible rubber piece that I attach with nails on the outside of the door, the full strip of the opening. It overlaps the crack and prevents wind from entering, helping keep their stalls just a little warmer in the winter months and especially during the nights."


When it comes to your daily barn chores, you want to stay ahead of problems. You can do this by making sure you have a reliable pitchfork, and your wheelbarrow tires are filled up with air. We can all agree that nothing spoils a day more than a flat tire and a foot of snow. For cleaning stalls or carting your barn laundry around, the Multi-Purpose Muck Cart is both lightweight and sturdy. Not only is this cart easier to maneuver than a wheelbarrow, but it also rolls easily with one hand and fits into tight spaces with ease


Tip from a Schneiders Saddlery Employee: "Order sawdust ahead of time for winter, especially if you order bulk amounts. There tends to be shortages in the winter and pricing can increase based on demand. If you place a larger order ahead of time of winter months you can secure your spot and get your shipment in beforehand, so you have everything you need in advance of winter. If you don’t have enough space to hold all the sawdust you require for the entire winter but still order bulk, talk with your supplier about holding options, etc. Another great option instead of buying loose bulk sawdust is buying large quantities of bagged sawdust from a box store supplier. Buy the bagged sawdust in bulk (pallet quantity and save $). These are often much easier to store than loose bulk sawdust and you can get more easier throughout the winter when you run out."


What are some common problems barn owners run into during the winter month?

Many problems arise during the winter months, from freezing buckets to bored horses. We’ve identified some common problems and provided answers to help you prepare for the upcoming cold months.

How do you keep your water buckets from freezing?

During the cold winter months, frozen water buckets can often be a frustrating problem. From heated stall waterers to ice breakers, there are many options to keeping your horse’s water from freezing over.

The Classic Equine Single Fount Heated Stall Waterer provides clean, fresh, temperature regulated water, so you can stop carrying buckets of water to your horse during the winter. This is a more costly option for those who want to provide water automatically and not worry about freezing temperatures and breaking ice.

A less expensive option is investing in the High-Country Insulated Bucket Holder. Why go through breaking winter ice daily when you can have a heavy foam insulated bucket holder that prevents water from freezing? The float top is easy for your horse to push down and helps reduce debris keeping the water circulating to prevent surface ice. This product comes with a standard 5-gallon water bucket, but you can use it without the bucket and fill the holder itself with water. The convenient drain plug makes cleaning easy.

When it’s not always an option to have heated water buckets, the Dura-Tech® Strainer & Ice Breaker will make breaking and removing ice from your horse’s buckets easy, keeping your hands warm and dry. It can also be used the rest of the year for removing hay and other debris.

Water Warmers

How do you groom your horse when it’s too cold to bathe?

Grooming in the winter isn’t always pleasant. You can’t bathe if there’s no hot water and often horses are dry and itchy with little relief.After you ride, and you need to get rid of sweat marks, you can apply baby oil or a Moisturizer Mixer on their sweat marks. Let the moisturizer sit for 10 minutes before you curry/brush off your horse. This technique not only prevents you from having to bathe in the cold, but also helps moisturize your horse’s skin and hair, while also strengthening it. To help with shedding and everyday grooming the HandsOn® Grooming Gloves are the ideal solution. You can use them on your horse’s face and body without having to switch between curries and they can also be used to enhance distribution of natural oils during bathing.

If bathing is a must for your horse this winter, and you don’t have hot water in your barn, our Insta-Hot® 2 Portable Horse Washing System gives you the opportunity to bathe them in any weather. Whether at home or a show this winter, you’ll have hot water whenever you need it, so no more cold baths.

Grooming

How do you keep ice and snow from sticking to your horse’s fetlocks?

Ice and snow build up on and around the fetlock area is a common problem with horses that are turned out in the colder weather. Some people will use a petroleum jelly or even cooking spray to prevent the build-up, but we suggest using Final Touch Spray on and around the fetlock area generously before turnout to avoid snow buildup.

How do you prevent a horse from being bored when there is bad weather?

Tip from a Schneiders Saddlery Employee: "I love letting my horse walk down the aisle of the barn, chasing her Treat Ball from Schneiders. She loves rolling it back and forth with me, which I feel is a great bonding exercise for us."


If you horse is stalled longer than normal during winter storms, they can often become bored, which results in some destructive behaviors. By hanging a Boredom Hook in your horse’s stall, you can offer them Hay Bags, Jolly Apple Stall Snack, and other types of long-lasting Horse Treats.