Winterizing Barn List

It’s that time of year; you will want to repair or replace windows and doors and make sure they can close completely to keep out cold winter air and drafts. If you have a bathroom and/or heated wash rack, wrap the water heater with an insulated blanket. Hot water pipes can also be wrapped to help save energy. Refill under stall mats where needed, or haul in fill-in stalls without mats. Remove anything that’s not used during the winter like fans (blow off fan and motor with an air compressor), and any liquids that might freeze in an unheated barn like fly spray, hoof black, fence paint, etc. OK, you are on a roll.

  1. Harrow pastures. If you don’t have a harrow, use a pitchfork and break up manure piles.
  2. Spread manure and compost on hay fields and on pastures that are resting for the winter.
  3. Drain hoses and water tanks: Drain hoses of all water, roll them up, and store them indoors. Unused water tanks should be drained and cleaned with dish soap or a bleach mixture – then turn them upside down if left outside. A run-in shed or a horse trailer that isn’t going to be used during the winter is another good place to store water tanks.
  4. Clean and store show tack: Give your show tack a good cleaning and bring it indoors for the winter. This will protect it from the damaging effects of extreme temperatures, as well as prevent potential damage from mice and other critters and insects.
  5. Wash fly sheets, fly masks, stable sheets, and unused halters: Repair any tears in blankets, masks, and leg wraps. Store these items in a sealed container like a tote.
  6. Clean out horse trailers after their last use: If you don’t plan on using the trailer over the winter, store it inside, or tarp it and cover the tires. Empty perishable items from the tack compartment, dressing room, and living quarters. Remove anything that could get damaged if the roof or windows leak. Put a couple of handfuls of mothballs inside to help repel mice and other pests.
  7. Fix fences: Ensure fences are in good repair including working electric. Replace rotted boards and posts. You definitely don’t want to be digging postholes in the frozen ground.
  8. Paint gates: Gates seem to rust quickly in seam areas, as well as areas damaged by use and by horses. Use either sandpaper or a wire brush to remove rust, and then follow up with a coat of primer along with a rust deterring paint.
  9. Stock up on essentials: Fill the barn with hay, bedding, stall freshener products, salt blocks, de-wormers, etc. helps to eliminate unnecessary trips to the feed or farm store.
  10. Store first-aid and medication items in an energy-controlled environment. This also applies to fly spray and seasonal applicators. I think you got this! Good job!

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