The days are definitely damper, the nights are colder and the leaves are falling everywhere. The horses are wearing turnouts or at least sheets during the day around the Willamette Valley. Winter, or should I say the rain, is about to set in. Fall, winter and finally spring can often look the same around here.
So, what can you do now to make your life a little easier (and perhaps prevent a few surprise problems)? Here is a quick list to get you started on preparing your Salem Oregon Horse property for winter.
- Fill your shop or storage area with enough hay to get through to the next cutting season. You don’t want to be picking up a ton of hay in your pickup in between rain storms, we can get some real downpours here in the valley.
- Check all fences. Make sure they are tight and the posts are solid. If using hotwire, cut back any brush that may have gown tall enough to touch the lines. I have a filly that knows exactly when the lines are cold, I am sure you all know a horse like that too!
- Fill you sawdust/shavings bunker with bedding. Again, one less thing you have to deal with in the driving wind and rain. There is also something to be said for a stocked barn ready for winter, it reminds me of the old settlers after having gathered a winters worth of firewood and food.
- Clean all barn gutters and check the downspouts. Not only will this help from overflow but can prevent downspouts from clogging with leaves and other debris.
- Remove cobwebs. You may be using the lights and outlets more now. If there are any exposed wires, a thick mass of cobwebs might be just enough to create a spark.
- Pick up the repaired and washed turnouts you dropped of 2 months ago, you are going to need them!
- Check for loose boards and hardware in the stalls. Paint “Chew Stop” or a hot chili pepper paste on favorite chewing spots.
- Clean out the tack room. It was probably spring since it had a good cleaning last. Set out Decon or other rodent devices, since they will be looking for someplace warm to nest.
- Store a 2 day supply of water for the horses in case there is a power outage. If you have a generator, better make sure that is working and that you have enough fuel on hand.
- On the dryer days this fall, aerate the fields. This will help them dry out faster, but also get oxygen to the roots. This is very helpful if you have clay types of soil.
That should keep you busy for a while! I know my to-do list isn’t finished yet. If you currently are looking for property
in the Willamette Valley to keep your horse at home with you, I would love to hear from you! You can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you are looking for, or browse available properties around Salem, Dallas, Silverton, Albany, Scio, Turner, Lebanon and Stayton.