First winter with new pony - give me all your tips please!

bonnysmum

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Tips for me and 12 year old. :) Pony will be living out all winter but with a stable available as & when she wants. We on the other hand will have no shelter except the car as we're moving from the yard with the nice sitting room & tea making facilities to somewhere much closer but with considerably fewer human comforts. We are in a very very cold part of the UK. So, recommendations on clothing, keeping warm generally, best places to focus our efforts on cold, dark nights after school. TIA!
 

ROMANY 1959

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Are you allowed to put a small shed up for making a cuppa in with flask of water and a battery light if it’s dark. All you need is a slab base and a 6 by 4 shed that you can remove if you leave. I did that at last yard I was on, it was for my carriage and tack for driving. When I sold horse and tack I sold the shed to another livery
 

ImmyS

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A good pair of neoprene lined wellies!
Definitely a good head torch or woolly hat with head torch in the front.
Try and get jobs done in advance such as filling multiple hay nets at the weekend ready for the week if you feed hay. Same with making up feeds. Saves so much time!
 

bonnysmum

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Are you allowed to put a small shed up for making a cuppa in with flask of water and a battery light if it’s dark. All you need is a slab base and a 6 by 4 shed that you can remove if you leave. I did that at last yard I was on, it was for my carriage and tack for driving. When I sold horse and tack I sold the shed to another livery
Probably not sadly, but I have no problem taking a thermos over there with me. :)
 

DizzyDoughnut

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Definitely a head torch, it's so much easier than trying to juggle a torch while leading a pony and opening gates etc while not blinding yourself with the light or dropping it. Waterproof gloves are brilliant as are neoprene wellies, I got my first pair last winter and for the first time in my life, I had warm feet all winter!
 

Lintel

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Advice all looking good so far!

Do everything in advance. Feeds, nets etc.

If you are rugging make sure they are waterproofed properly… nothing worse than dealing with a heavy soaked rug.

Another vote for neoprene wellies and sealskinz gloves.

Designate an area in the house for smelly, soaked clothes and boots!

Invest in a good waterproof jacket, I found ski jackets pretty good in terms of cost/heat/wateproofness.

Invest in the matching waterproof trousers!

If you intend on riding decathalon has waterproof jodhpurs and they are fabulous!

Another vote for the head torch too!

Rubber car mats!

…. or hibernate till spring!
 
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Shoei

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I have:

 

laura_nash

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Two decent head torches, one on your head and one in your pocket. Having had one conk out on me when I really didn't need it to, I always do this now.

Decent gloves, if your soaking hay then waterproof ones.

If you will ever be going up alone, make sure someone is expecting you or will check-in if your not back after X time.
 

stangs

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Plenty of great suggestions above. All I can add is:
- keep some spare waterproofs in the car
- waterproof exercise sheets make very good blankets to wrap around yourself when you’re watching someone ride
- can you use the stable for yourself, as in to give you some shelter and somewhere to put your stuff?
 

Winters100

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Honestly I think you will be absolutely fine. Where I live is much colder than the UK, and while we have facilities for tea making etc in our stable and I have never once used them. For me key is base layers, and to keep moving.

What to focus on depends upon you livery arrangements. If pony is on DIY, and presumably to be turned out with others, then you will need to check if there is a rota for poo picking etc, and as others have suggested make up feeds, haynets etc in advance. If she is on half livery it is relatively easy, as all you will need to do is fetch in to tack up and ride. Your daughter will probably be fine as she will be moving, but you may get cold watching her, so good gloves and socks will help, along with lined waterproof boots. Dress in layers so you can easily take them off and put them on as needed. Always have spare socks and gloves in the car in case they get wet. Where I am is much colder than UK and my winter stable dress is base layer with longjohns and long sleeved upper, t-shirt, jeans, one thin pair of socks and one thick, fleece, gilet, wind/waterproof jacket, gloves and hat. Even in the coldest weather I usually end up taking off the gloves, hat and outer jacket.

Good luck and I am sure that you are going to find the new place a great new start!
 

MuddyMonster

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So many good suggestions already but getting a thermal travel mug that is properly thermal has changed my life, honestly. I can make my tea and hours later, is still drinkable - great if I'm poo picking or gone for a ride and want to warm up later - its been hot 5 hours later!

Also, pig oil is fantastic and I use throughout winter on their legs, coat (the unclipped bits where tack doesn't go), manes and tails to help against the mud.

Do as many jobs as you can in advance at weekends - I make up all my haynets & feeds on a Sunday, as it saves so much time in the week.
 

pistolpete

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Towel in the car for if you get wet. Ideally towel or paper towel in stable/feed area too. I wear Buffalo trousers and shirt. They are so warm and you can move in them. Very expensive but worth it.
another vote for several pairs of gloves ideally waterproof. I often wear leather in the winter though. Find I can feel more through them. Silk neck scarf all winter! Tucks in and feels like a touch of luxury! Keep life as simple as possible. Prepare feeds etc in advance. I used to put dry ingredients in sandwich bags. Worked for us. Mix any supplements up in advance too. Good luck. Ponies that live out are happier and healthier.
 

Annagain

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How much storage do you have? If you can leave your wellies there and change out of them before getting in the car it saves so much cleaning. I'd also have at least two decent coats so you don't have to put a wet one back on and even an emergency coat at the yard (I keep my old 'every day' waterproof there, it's too tatty to wear in public but ideal for an emergency at the farm) so you have something dry to change into of you get soaked through, or if it's so cold you need another layer or if you get held up somewhere and visit the yard on the way home rather than going home to get changed and going back out again.

The only other tip is don't worry too much about riding unless you want to. A few weeks off isn't going to do your pony any harm.
 

HeyMich

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Melody Grey

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I have a couple of ski jackets from a charity shop that have kept me going for years- definitely not a fashion statement but I never get cold/ wet and they’re big enough for a chunky fleece or gillet underneath.

Strong household rubber gloves Can be useful to go over woollen gloves for jobs like picking feet out.

A waterproof plastic trunk with spare rugs in it at the field was a godsend when mine lived out and saved me dragging rugs across a mud field to replace. I had a hoof pick, headcollars, a bit of feed for catching them in an emergency, wire cutters, scissors in there too because my storage was a little way away.
 

OrangeAndLemon

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Good thermal underwear and always tuck the vest into your knickers.
Agree. I use Marks and Spencer thermal layers which are just thin, long sleeve t-shirts but tucked into my waterproof, fleece lined jodhpurs it makes a huge difference. I also have some heat holders tights to wear underneath my jodhpurs on the coldest days. Love them.

Waterproof jodhpurs mean that if the horse splashes you as you bring in or turnout, you can easily and quickly wipe the mud off with a sponge and not transfer it to the car seats. Also means you can sit down even if your seat is wet and cold.

Gloves, spare ones and the ones you're going to wear at the yard can be left on your car dashboard as you drive so they're ready and warm to put on. Have a spare dry towel or two on hand in case you need to wash legs for any reason (try to avoid this with pig oil as mentioned above but for emergencies when you have to wash..) then you can dry legs too.

Have spare dry, thick socks in the car just in case. I have some emergency heat things where he snap a thing inside to make them heat up. I have reynauds so can get serious circulation problems.
 

OrangeAndLemon

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Does your new place have any electricity? If so, a kettle will be a godsend.

A crow bar is handy for breaking ice on field water troughs but I found a ragwort fork to be quite handy last winter.
 

MissMay

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In the boot of my car I have a full outfit change Inc socks and knickers in case I get wet it also has a bobbin I hate wet hair on my neck. Also always keep a 10er note in the box so if it's very bad you can buy something on your way home such as a chippers!
 

bouncing_ball

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As some others have said, waterproof overalls are sooo handy. You can just chuck them over whatever you are wearing, no gaps for the cold wind to get your back and keep your other clothes clean and dry. They keep the wind off as well.
Can you recommend some that are waterproof but don’t sweat in? Thanks
 
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