Fall is the perfect time to be getting organized for the inevitable cold weather and additional barn chores. Take this time to make your life easier while bundled up like a marshmallow. Additionally, don’t forget about typical fall to do list items such as vaccinations. Don’t put these off while the weather is still beautiful. Complete your checklist now, so it won’t bite you later.
Adapted from the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Fall Equine Checklist:
Spring and fall are important times to continue a routine vaccination schedule with your veterinarian. Yes, twice a year.
While it is not quite time to deworm due to the temperature, this is a great time to be conducting fecal egg counts and coming up with a game plan for when the weather is right.
Evaluate your horse’s body condition now to plan ahead for winter. If their condition is right, keep on keepin’ on, but if they need more condition, now is the time to be building them up before winter hits.
Take full advantage of that farm call for fall vaccinations and have your horse’s teeth examined and floated if necessary.
Fall can be a tricky time of year. Horses are sensitive to sudden changes including: exercise, diet and weather.
Procure hay now to prevent stress later. This also allows you to purchase the quality you need because you are not limited on options.
Time to sweep, dust, clear out old hay and clean and inspect blankets. These tasks help prevent barn fires and pasture accidents.
Mud is coming… Improve footing in high traffic areas that are prone to becoming muddy in the winter to prevent slips, falls and thrush.
Your horse is not the only one who might want to enjoy a warm barn. Secure feeding storage, discourage hiding places and rid current unwelcome inhabitants.
Brooklyne Wassel, Pike County Extension Coordinator