Looking for ideas on how to rainproof your horse stables before the rainy season starts? We would be happy to help!
America covers such a large area, we have drastic differences in climate from coast to coast and north to south. Some areas in the west will be under severe drought warning while parts of the South and Midwest are ankle deep in water. One thing that’s consistent throughout the country though, is that farmers and horse lovers should take precaution and rainproof their horse stables before the rainy season of their area hits. There’s a lot more to weatherproofing than fixing the random leaky roof! Regardless of what region you call home, these key pointers will help you rainproof your horse stables and avoid problems when the rain hits.
When rain water falls, it will follow a path and accumulate in the lowest point possible. To help redirect water from its natural flow, you can simply dig small ditches and angle the runoff away from your barns, horse stables, arenas, pasture and other high traffic areas. To make a diversion ditch effective, it needs be created with an appropriate accumulation location in mind. Ideally this would be to a larger permanent ditch but in some cases, your only option may be a low point that you can isolate from the rest of your pasture. If you find that your pasture is in a low lying area, you may want to add top soil or rocks to redirect the water and then create a slope into an adjacent ditch. For more information, check out how to build a drainage ditch step-by-step.
Start with an annual gutter check and cleaning
Think about your rainy season schedule and pick an month to do an annual check and cleaning of all your barn and stable gutters. Double check that your gutters are unobstructed, in good shape and take rain water away from your important farm buildings. Gutters can be damaged or not perform well if they ice over in cold months. To combat this problem, consider installing or digging into the ground and creating a tile line to redirect the water without soaking the soil. Creating a tile line will help avoid the muddy mess that freeze and thaw days can leave behind. These PVC or clay pipes and drainage tiles allow water to pass through tiny holes. That are is then covered with rock, smaller rocks and top soil. Your tile line can be directed to a nearby drain and away from your property. Use this step-by-step guide to help you find the best place to put a drain tile.
All entry ways should have rubber mats added to prevent slips and falls and cut down on the typical mess that a muddy paddock invites. Rubber horse mats are especially useful in the high traffic entry ways where horses may come in. While there will always be some mud tracked in, rubber mats help ensure no one slips and falls. Rubber stable mats are easier to clean and reinforce your safety standards in the rainy season!
Inspect staircases and steps to rainproof your horse stables
Staircases, fireman-style loft ladders and any step in a horse barn can be dangerous obstacles when wet. Horse owners may want to consider putting rubber mats in these areas, as well, to avoid accidents when it rains. Double check the stairs to haylofts while you’re doing your rainy day prep, just to confirm your railings are secure. Jiggle them for any loose areas and be sure to make any necessary repairs. A little water and an unstable rail makes a bad combination!
Weatherproof stable doors
Ensuring your horses’ safety is priority number one so before rainy season hits, be sure to assess the conditions of your interior and exterior stable doors, exterior barn doors, and all exterior windows. Making sure these areas are ready for the rainy weather is crucial. Test all features and functions and watch that they perform smoothly and effortlessly, with no leaks, corrosion or weaknesses. Be prepared to take care of any maintenance issues that you notice. Even interior common areas need a once-over as storms may spook horses and cause them to act out, testing the strength of random points in your horse stables.
Rainproof your horse stables by adding rubber pavers
Horse lovers should pay careful attention to horse stalls and the interior flooring of their stables. This area is essential to the overall health of your horse, especially if they spend a good amount of time in the stall. While you can put down wood chips and rocks, you may want to invest in a better solution – rubber pavers. They provide the comfort, safety and an ease of cleaning that is not found in common stall bedding and are especially easy to maintain in the rainy season. Check out rubber pavers at popular horse stable sites to help weatherproof horse stables.
Checklist rainy day chores and prevent fires
As part of your weatherproofing inspection, do a visual walk through of your stables and discard any clutter and debris build-up that you find. Make sure you keep fire extinguishers that are within code and not expired in your stables, near exterior doors. Rainy seasons can bring storms with lightning and no one wants to see a sudden fire and not be prepared for it. Confirm the stable has a lightening rod and is properly grounded before the event of a bad storm. With heavy rains, you want to avoid the risk of shock from a storm or electrical charge in a stable. Be sure to check around areas where you may have water troughs or any other water sources. For more inspection tips, check here.
Map out problem areas in your horse stables
One of the best things a horse owner can do is map out where they have the most rain collection or mud when it rains. By ensuring where it collects in your stable, you’ll be better prepared to understand how to go about fixing it. So make a map of your stables and grounds. Then the next time it rains, be sure to confirm and mark where wet areas form in your stables. With this information, a rain water strategy can be implemented and maintenance performed.
Rainproof the roof and exterior of a horse stable
Waterproofing a horse stable can be time consuming, but if you look at it as routine maintenance you can get through it every season. Go through your checklist to rainproof your horse stables and tackle rainy season chores head on. Don’t keep in indoors and forget the obvious areas like the stable exterior and roof, however! If your stables are aging or weren’t built with a weather-resistant material, consider putting a fresh coat of sealant on them before the next series of wet days. And of course, do a roof and stable exterior inspection and repair any areas that need attention.
As you take precautions and get ready for to rainproof your horse stables the rainy season, these steps will help ensure your stables and stalls stay safe and dry. Don’t throw the galoshes out just yet though – always be prepared for surprises from Mother Nature!
Want to learn more on how to Rainproof your Horse Stables? Contact Saratoga Stalls, experts in custom horse barns and stables!