Keeping a horse requires plenty of hard work and stable maintenance is no exception to the rule.
Ensuring that horse stables are clean is a vital part of protecting the animals within from diseases and sharp objects. Cleaning out wet and dirty bedding is essential but there’s more to looking after your horses stable than just regular mucking out.
Skipping out is very important in stables and should be done at least twice every day to remove any droppings.
The techniques used can vary depending on whether a horse is kept on straw or on shavings with the key being not to waste either material unnecessarily.
If the horse is only in the stable between riding and grooming, then skipping out twice a day should be sufficient. Should the horse live in the stable then removing droppings three times daily is recommended.
A full muck out is recommended every day and this involves a complete clear out of the stables.
The key tools required are a wheelbarrow, fork, disinfectant and broom. Any disinfectant should be checked to ensure it is not toxic, as this could harm the horse. In order to save on bedding, only wet bedding needs to be removed – the rest can be piled up and used again.
Once a month the stable should then be swilled and the floor swept thoroughly. The walls should also be disinfected and any stains should be adequately scrubbed until removed. Once complete, wait until the floor is dry before relaying the dry bedding and topping up where necessary.
Before horses enter the stable, any stones or other materials should be picked from their feet so that they do not get stuck in the hoof or fall off to become trapped at a later time.
Stones can easily cause lameness among horses if owners are not careful and removing them and any other sharp objects should occur every time the horse is put in.
Any nails, pieces of wire or other unwanted objects could have severe implications should a horse stand on them, so checking thoroughly is essential. Stables can also be kept cleaner by keeping bedding a suitable distance from the front wall and door while floors should be swept daily to keep things safe and tidy.
Cleaning feed and water buckets
Feed buckets should be cleaned regularly using water and a brush as this is the most hygienic option.
Any cleaning tools should not be left in the stable for two reasons – firstly to protect the horses from danger and secondly to avoid unnecessary dirt from entering the area.
Water buckets can be protected with a tyre if a horse is prone to kicking and it is vital to ensure that your horse gets fresh water daily especially in freezing temperatures as drinking ice cold water from a bucket that has had the ice broken can upset the horse’s stomach. Buckets can freeze easily if it’s cold, so regularly checking water in cold conditions is needed, especially as horses will tend to drink more in the winter as they increase their dependence on dry foods and concentrates.
You can find all the stable equipment needed to keep your stables sparkling at Ride Away.