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Dover is headquartered in New England, where bitter winters are normal. To help those who’ll endure cold climates right along with us, our staff of horse owners offers these top five tips to get prepared.

1. Inspect and wash your horse blankets.
Look inside and out for signs of wear, replace worn leg straps, and make sure all clips and buckles still work. Replace your horse’s blanket if it can no longer provide comfortable, secure coverage. Shop our wide selection of horse blankets here. For cleaning your horse blanket, we recommend Nikwax Rug Wash and Synthetic Rug Proof.

2. Get your heated water bucket or rubber bucket out of storage.
Freshen up your buckets by scrubbing with a mix of white vinegar and water. Non-toxic, inexpensive and effective, white vinegar chases away grime and rinses easily. Check the wiring of your heated bucket for wear or rodent damage. Replace the bucket entirely if in doubt about its electrical system. A rubber bucket, which won’t crack in the cold, is a good option when electricity is unavailable. Our favorite buckets for winter are the Rubber Flat-Back Bucket and 20-Quart Heated Flatback Bucket.

3. Keep your horse clean and comfortable.
If you plan to keep your horse in work, then a strip, trace, blanket, hunter or full body clip may be in order to prevent your horse from becoming sweaty during workouts. The Oster® Clipmaster Variable Speed Clipper is a top choice for both our customers and staff. A horse vacuum is handy for keeping your horse’s winter coat clean. A great vacuum choice is the Metro® Vac N' Blo® Pro III.

4. Clean and condition your tack.
Cold air is as drying to leather as it is on your own skin - and once it gets cold, you won’t be able to clean it very often. Give all your tack a thorough cleaning and deep conditioning now. Check for cracking, fraying or other signs of wear, and replace worn pieces promptly. Check out our large assortment of leather care goods here.

5. Clean up turnout areas and check gates.
Remove all traces of manure, pick up stones and search for holes in the ground before it freezes. Check functionality of gates and latches; ice can make a weak or damaged piece of hardware break easily. For cleaning up manure, we recommend the 5-star rated Future Fork®, which is a customer favorite!