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

bouncing_ball

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Nasicus

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If there's no electric/lights on the yard, see about setting up a little 12v system to at least get some light. Made a hell of a difference to me. Doesn't have to be fancy, even just clipping a light onto a battery makes a difference. And on that note, dotting some little motion activated solar lights along walkways you're likely to use is good, even just as a little comfort when schlepping along in the dark.

And as others have said, headtorch. A good headtorch. I have one of those beanie hat ones, got it cheap and it's surprisingly good for ferreting around the stables. I got a beefier one for doing stuff in the field after dark.
 

bouncing_ball

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tallyho!

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Yes! 100% agree. But if you get a non-horse branded one (search for insulated tractor overalls) you'll pay about a quarter of the price.

I have these... https://www.wildcare.co.uk/clothing...KaT7eMhHrhbXd13GPfmT2tXNzbYDTjORoC-CUQAvD_BwE and they are AMAZING!

Yes I think so… even though they are marketed as being able to ride in I wouldn’t. Farmers version better (if good enough for farmers….) for riding you need those amazing waterproof jods from decathlon and a long technical riding coat…
 

tallyho!

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My only advice is do as much as possible at the weekend to save time in the week.

I switch to deep litter bedding from around Nov. Not that they come in a lot.
 

Peglo

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If your buying new rugs get one with a reflective strip!! So much easier to find them with a torch. Seat protector for your car so it doesn’t stain the seat when you get in soaking wet, or if like me you clean your hands after mixing feed on your bum. (Or crouching down and sitting on the back of your muddy boots 🙄)
And mostly make sure all your horsey clothes is comfy.
 

windand rain

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Make sure your waterproofs fit over the top of your boots there is nothing worse than the rain running down your legs into your wellies and filling them with icy water. Otherwise lots of good advice if riding regularly make sure the pony is dry if possible so rug with a medium weight. For light tesco have had floodlights for a few £ which are rechargable
 
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paddy555

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not sure if anyone has mentioned it but if the pony is rugged then a spare outside rug for her left permanently at the yard or in the car. If you arrive and find she has damaged the rug you may need to get it repaired and she needs something to wear in the meantime.

ETA and as Peglo said ones with a reflective strip.
 

fidleyspromise

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I have 2 ponies. I used to bring them into a stable overnight once a week. It let's their hooves dry and let's me check legs etc.
They weren't rugged and they were also brought in during the most horrible of nights.

I liked to make up a weeks worth of hay in one go at the weekend along with a week's worth of feeds. It meant dark nights were done quickly.
 

Crazy_cat_lady

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Heat holders socks are wonderful!

I just wear joggers at the yard as I'm a slob, but if it's really cold I'll pop a pair of leggings underneath

I make up all feeds and haynets in one go, to make it easier in the week, I put the spares in those big treat tubs you can get.

If your daughter wears a body protector, ensure it doesn't get too cold, especially if it's one of the ones with a single panel for the back and front, as they can freeze and trying to bend them back to put on can break the foam

Waterproof trousers. Ensure any t shirts etc are tucked into trousers to avoid any gaps that cold air can get into. Try and have boots you can get a nice thick pair of socks in, even if you get some cheap ones for the winter, provided they are safe to ride in

Are there any jobs you could do while watching her ride, standing around will be what gets you cold, if its safe could you poo pick/ do some sweeping in between watching her?
 

Boulty

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Have at least one spare of all human waterproofs (& if living out I'd say the same for rugs if the pony wears them... If not I'd have at least a rainsheet & 50-100g for emergencies. Oh & the most efficient way to dry rugs is to leave them on the pony as long as they're not soaked through to the lining & going to make pony uncomfortable.)

Good waterproof trousers are a godsend (would advise lined ones to prevent condensation. Decathlon do some good ones with a zip at the bottom & fleece lining to the knees or ski trousers are good too), as are Welly warmers & a good waterproof coat with a decent hood (if pony is ok with flappy things rain ponchos over your actual cost can work well. I have a brilliant "Cape" I got from decathlon... It may be my favourite shop! They also do good waterproof breeches which are a literal game changer in terms of how tolerable wet, horrid weather is)

Good waterproof gloves make everything easier as well.

Oh & if it's freezing something like a snood to stop your ears from freezing can be good as well (heatholders do a really good one & also socks etc). Base layers of you can pick them up cheap can help if you're out in it for hours.

May be worth having somewhere in the stable or tack room for you to hang your human waterproofs to dry to avoid them taking over the house.
 

bonnysmum

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Great tips here, thank you. I'm more worried about my daughter than me as I used to work outside in East Yorkshire winters and I'm dead 'ard (lol, perhaps not so much any more!). We will only be a few minutes from home which makes it feel a lot less daunting than it would have been where we are at the moment (an hour's drive away).
 

windand rain

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Daughter must be warm and dry or she will be miserable so warm layers and good waterproofs that fit well and are not too bulky a heated waistcoat might be a good idea for her so she doesn't get too much bulk in her arms for using her elbows, Warm feet are also pretty essential while riding or helping
 

Caol Ila

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A few minutes away from home sounds like a huge win for you guys.

When my Dad took us skiing as kids, my feet used to freeze off and I would be miserable. Dad started buying these little heat packs you could shove inside boots or gloves. Probably not the most ecologically friendly things in the world, so I would recommend that adults suck it, but totally worth it for a kid.
 

P.forpony

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Every year I think about buying a ski suit for winter waterproof and warm.

This!
I actually do this!

I am that person who is always cold. I have a cheap pair of ski trousers/salopettes they come out from around October to March and I live in them.
Stick them on over whatever your wearing and the difference is incredible. Warm dry and stay clean underneath. I ride in them too.
When your legs are warm your feet are warm, and you don't have to over compensate with 100 layers on your top half so it's much easier to move around and get things done.
 

vhf

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On an isolated yard (limited facilities, down a lane kind of place) in the past... rugs would disappear off the horse's backs overnight. I even lost half a bag of sugarbeet! So I painted the postcode on them in foot high outdoor paint. None of those ever went walkabout! But until you know how safe an area it is, don't leave anything of any value anywhere obvious. And keep a spare headcollar in the car in case they take that too (speaking from experience, locked shed is no deterrent).
A trug thing to dump all wet muddy stuff in, in the boot, so the car stays vaguely clean and dry-ish.
Towels to remove worst of mud after you face-plant in it/leave a welly behind in it.
Never save time by 'winging it'. (e.g. rugging with no headcollar on/not tied up etc.) sooner or later, it takes up all the time, and probably money, that you ever saved by doing it!
Camera phone handy for awesome dawn/dusk/frosty whisker photo ops.
Every kind of torch you ever see and think 'that looks good'. Keep spares in car at all times.
As above for warm and waterproof clothing.
I was grateful for car rescue services on more than one occasion as a lone female at a dark yard...
 

bonnysmum

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On an isolated yard (limited facilities, down a lane kind of place) in the past... rugs would disappear off the horse's backs overnight. I even lost half a bag of sugarbeet! So I painted the postcode on them in foot high outdoor paint. None of those ever went walkabout! But until you know how safe an area it is, don't leave anything of any value anywhere obvious. And keep a spare headcollar in the car in case they take that too (speaking from experience, locked shed is no deterrent).
A trug thing to dump all wet muddy stuff in, in the boot, so the car stays vaguely clean and dry-ish.
Towels to remove worst of mud after you face-plant in it/leave a welly behind in it.
Never save time by 'winging it'. (e.g. rugging with no headcollar on/not tied up etc.) sooner or later, it takes up all the time, and probably money, that you ever saved by doing it!
Camera phone handy for awesome dawn/dusk/frosty whisker photo ops.
Every kind of torch you ever see and think 'that looks good'. Keep spares in car at all times.
As above for warm and waterproof clothing.
I was grateful for car rescue services on more than one occasion as a lone female at a dark yard...
Thanks. I'm pretty confident about the area and I think we'll be pretty safe, especially as owner is on site. :)
 

D66

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Only thing i can add to the above list is to get some cheap rubber floor mats for your car to put over the usual ones, possibly cheap seat covers and boot liner as well. Even if you change or wash your boots before getting back in the car the dirt seems to come as well.
I also had OH primed to have a roast dinner ready on the table after Sunday morning ride. :)
 
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Birker2020

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Head torch, wellies a size too big with thick socks and making up feeds/nets in advance when you have more time certainly helps.

Also having decent mud fever stuff, I use the Keretex mud shield powder and mix iodine and ecualyptus oil and put on horses feet three times a week to strengthen hooves and prevent thrush.
 

Cob Life

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I wear running tights under jeans/jodhpur, more comfortable but keep me super warm!

I also have a hot water bottle that I can tie around my waist

cold nights lambing I would wear running tights, jeans, leggings on top, overalls, 2 long sleeve tops, 2 fleeces and a long mark Todd coat and I wasn’t cold sleeping in a barn in 1-2*

wearing hair in braids if it’s raining helps it not be awful to de-knot

rechargeable head torch that I can charge In the car
 

poiuytrewq

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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.
Do you have a thermal mug suggestion? So many aren’t any good and I have a cupboard full of those! My one really good one was a freebie from VW. As you say still very hot hours later but it’s cross threaded and starting to leak a bit :(
Sorry op!
Second the decent head torch, not sure how I managed before discovering them!
Instead of big warm winter coats last year I bought a good thin waterproof/s which I layer over a gilet or decathlon quilted jacket (about £30 and my favourite most worn item!)
The thinner top layer is easier to dry, stash in carrier bags in the car etc and the inner ones easier to wash.
 
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