Prefer to listen to this post?
Owning horses during winter is usually more expensive. So I thought I would share with you some of my money saving tricks for coping with this dark and gloomy time of year.
We currently have a rota for bringing in during our lunch breaks/early afternoon so that we aren’t trying to negotiate muddy fields in the dark. This means that the horses are in their stables more, which means more hay and more mucking out.
Half Day Bed
I have started giving Scottie a half bed for when he comes in early during the day. Scottie doesn’t tend to lay down in his stable during the day, usually just standing at his haynet the entire time. I leave the side of the stable Scottie typically poos on bare with the bed up against the wall. This means when I arrive later to muck out all I have to do is pick the poo up off the concrete and pull the clean bedding down.
Not only does this save me time in the evening, but I also save bedding and money!
Don’t Throw Out Uneaten Hay
Like us, sometimes horses eat more some days than others. Even if you weigh your horses hay each evening to make sure you are giving them the same amount, chances are some days they eat it all and some days they leave a bit. As long as the hay isn’t soaked or steamed, I leave any uneaten hay in the stable, sometimes in a fresh net or sometimes in a pile on the floor.
Yes some horses might be a bit fussy and some bales obviously don’t taste the same as other bales. But most horses will eat this left hay, you just might need to mix it in with some new hay or put in a different net to make them think it’s new hay.
Obviously if your horse isn’t eating the hay at all you should take it out and swap it. But hay is particularly expensive at the moment and I always think it is worth trying left hay a second time.
Reconsider Your Horse’s Diet
When it gets cold, there is a temptation to up our horses feed. Now obviously some horses need these extra calories. But lot’s of horses don’t! If a horse is warm enough and their work load isn’t changing, they shouldn’t need more calories.
Making sure your horse is wearing the right weight rug and you could even consider going for a smaller clip could all help save on your feed costs. But it is also important to make sure your horse isn’t too warm! I believe it’s always better for a horse to be a bit cold than too hot.