10 tips for getting ready for winter

1. Get a head torch. You don't have to use the light on your phone and risk losing your phone in a puddle or worry about the battery running out AND you'll have both hands free for whatever tasks you need to do! 🔦

2. Always wear a hat — you lose most of your body heat through your head. Or if you're not the biggest fan of hats, then wear a wooly headband so that at least you feel a little bit warmer and your ears don't freeze.
3. Buy thermal liners for your wellies and fingerless gloves so you can still do fiddly jobs. Always wear a t-shirt or a vest that you can tuck in to your breeches/leggings/jeans and keep the warmth in. I know several friends who used to suffer from chilblains down their legs, but now they combat this with thermal breeches and waterproof over-trousers whenever its raining. 👖

4. Put hard surfacing or rubber matting around the field gates to prevent sinking into mud - this has made such a big difference already to us and it's only early November! No more muddy pathways to the paddocks where you have to do badly executed gymnastics moves in order to get your welly out of the mud!
5. A radiator for the tack room will prevent tack getting damp and mouldy which means you have to spend less time cleaning tack over the winter. 

6. Horses need to eat more during winter months so a generous supply of hay helps keep the horse’s internal furnace stoked, helping them to keep warm in colder weather. We always have quite big beds for the horses, but over autumn and winter they have huge beds every day, but more importantly if they do run out of hay overnight the horses have got straw to eat 🌾

7. Don’t change rugs too often, just fold down the hood whenever they’re wearing full neck rugs. Also using either an exercise rug or fleece rugs whilst warming up before you start to properly ride, it just means that your horse's muscle will warm up quicker whilst you're walking around.

8. I always make sure that I cut tails a bit shorter then normal in October to keep the hind legs and tails mud-free. For added cleanliness when it is super muddy I sometimes plait the bottom of tails into a plait.

9. Stock up on the bags of ground salt from a big supermarket as soon as they stock it for winter. You can guarantee they won’t have any when you actually need it, so I'd recommend getting about 10 bags as soon as it’s in the store. 

10. And finally, never make a trip empty handed... Less time doing lots of trips, more time riding!

Let me know if you have any other tips for surviving winter in the comments below ⤵️

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