It is that time of year again… the nights are drawing in, the clocks are going back and our horses are slowly adjusting to longer hours in their stables. With our time on the yard being limited most of us try and do the bare minimum so long as we can get a ride in. It is just as important in winter to look after your tack and equipment though, so we have put together this handy guide on the top stable accessories that will help you save time this winter
Preparation / Hanging Equipment
Most of us can’t afford to buy a tack locker to put next to your stable, and they take up a lot of unnecessary space too. Saddles should never be left on the floor, so rather than popping it over your door while tacking up (and risking it being nudged onto the floor by your horse), you could use a saddle stand to make life a little easier. There are foldable ones that you can screw onto some wood next to your stable which take up very little room when folded down too.
Stall chains are also a great idea as these keep your horse from running out of their stable, while allowing some fresh air in. Perfect for those winter months when horses are stabled more regularly - just be sure to supervise them in case they do decide to make a run for it!
When it comes to cleaning your horse in preparation for a ride, the first thing you will do is tie your horse up. Now traditional tie rings with bailing twine are fine, but if your horse is feeling a bit fresh then an Equi-Ping Safety Release might be a good idea in the case of an emergency!
Then of course, comes the grooming. Time to get rid of all those stable stains your horse has accumulated during the night! Of course in winter giving horses a bath is not ideal, so why not use the Smart Grooming Polar White Stain Removing Spray instead? Great for stable and grass stains, it also contains a degreasing agent to help remove stubborn grease.
Now, your horse is bound to make a mess as you are limited for time, so get the poop scoop at the ready! This also doubles up well for putting all that mud you have scraped out of their hooves in too.
Trimming & Plaiting Manes
Winter means time to focus on training, and unfortunately that usually means getting plaited ready to trot down the centre line. Not many horses are easy to plait, and if you do have one that doesn’t fidget or shake their head please send them our way! Luckily there are lots of different tools out there nowadays to help make plaiting a little bit easier. The Blitz Plaiting Aid is a great tool for sectioning the main into three even chunks, ready to plait.
Then there are lots of different types of plaiting spray to help keep your delicate plaits in place. Our favourite has to be the Nettex Plaiting Spray, it doesn’t cause the mane to try out or get damaged, it leaves it soft and manageable for plaiting.
Feeding & Supplementing After Riding
Whether you have had a tough day out competing or have just been working your horse at home, their care after ridden work is essential. Supplements are often required in winter as your horse will be on limited turnout and therefore not receiving everything they would naturally in their forage. Electrolytes may also need to be added if you find your horse is excessively sweating after their work (just be sure to provide a good supply of fresh water at all times too).
Do you have any other favourite stable accessories or products that you use to help make winter that little bit easier? Head over to our socials, we would love to hear your choices.