Schools are starting, and summer is ending. Fall is at the barn door, and winter won’t be far behind. What critical preparations face horse farm owners, as autumn arrives?
Here’s a handy checklist of 30 fall projects for horse farms.
- Procure plenty of fresh hay, and store it in a safe, dry place for winter use.
- Load up on wood shavings or other stall bedding materials.
- Schedule the equine veterinarian for autumn shots.
- Arrange for winter snowplowing services, or prepare equipment for this task.
- Winterize tractors, trucks, and other farm equipment.
- Service all automatic waterers.
- Flush out water pumps and hoses.
- Obtain extra heavy-duty hoses, while merchants offer them in end-of-season sales.
- Deep-clean water troughs, buckets, and feed pans.
- Stock up on extra feed/water buckets and muck pails during seasonal sales.
- Inspect and repair horse blankets.
- Check all fence lines and gates, and repair broken parts.
- Wrap pasture tree trunks to keep horses from damaging them in winter months.
- Mulch and compost gardens and landscape plantings.
- Clear pastures of manure, brush, and aggressive weeds.
- Disconnect sprinklers, as needed.
- Install heat lamps in foaling stalls.
- Clean and stow stall fans and cords.
- Stow flashlights and batteries in a handy spot at the barn.
- Gather winter work gloves for barn staff.
- Wrap muck fork and shovel handles with vet wrap for easier winter gripping.
- Check sump pumps and flush out barn drains.
- Disinfect wash rack, and shut off water valves, if necessary.
- Drag and level arena footings before frost sets in.
- Remove manure mountains from property, if needed.
- Tarp manure compost piles to prevent winter washout.
- Clear gutters and drain spouts on farm structures.
- Test lighting fixtures, and repair malfunctioning ones.
- Check generator fuel levels.
- Consider adding radiant heat sources in barn aisles, tack rooms, viewing areas, and workshops.
Preparation can save plenty of time, effort, and prevent potential winter mishaps and misery on the horse farm.
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