How to maintain horse stables

Charlotte Howard By Charlotte Howard, 20th Oct 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1xe.fioi/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Horses

It is vital to be able to maintain a horse stable in order to keep the horse healthy and happy.

Maintaining a horse stable

Stable management is an important part of owning a horse, and is something that most riders will learn very early on. Learning and doing are completely different however, and everybody develops their own systems on how to maintain horse stables. But, there are certain things that need to be done on a regular basis to keep a horse’s stable clean and tidy in order to help keep the horse healthy and well-cared for.

Whilst certain aspects of maintaining a stable will depend on the materials used to build, the bedding chosen and the amount of time a horse stays inside, it is just as important that the outside is cared for as much as the inside.

Roof

Whether the roof is felted or tiled, it is important to check it at least once a year for damage, and keep it in good repair. It is also vital that any rotting wooden beams are replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Keeping guttering clear will prevent leakage and bad drainage. Remove any leaves on a regular basis and give the gutters a good clean before the Autumnal season begins. As well as gutters, make sure the pipes and drains are also cleared of any leaves and debris.

Walls

Wooden walls should be treated at least once a year. It is a good idea to treat them using creosote during the warmer months when the horse is out most of the time, as inhaling the fumes can be harmful. Make sure the walls are dry before the horse is allowed back in the stable.

On a daily basis, brush down the walls, whether they are wooden or brick, and remove any cobwebs. Whilst spiders are a stable’s friend, helping to keep pests like flies down, cobwebs mean that nobody is living there anymore, and they can begin to cause damage as they hold moisture and dust close to the walls and ceiling.

Floors

A good stable will have a solid concrete floor, and ideally rubber matting placed over it to prevent possible injuries and sores from happening to the horse. It is vital that the floor is kept clean and dry, not only for the well-being of the building, but most importantly, to keep the horse healthy and happy.

Mucking out depends generally on the bedding used. Deep-litter is where bedding is continuously placed, but still the worst of the soiled bedding should still be removed on a daily basis. Occasionally ‘skipping out’ is only required (removing of the worst), but a deep clean should be done at least once a month in all circumstances.

Once a year all of the bedding should be removed and the floors and walls thoroughly disinfected using an animal-friendly disinfectant. This is to help reduce the risk of bacterial and viral infections.

Windows

Stables should be well ventilated, and windows should be kept clean, clear and movable. Natural light is vital for the horse’s well-being as it provides essential Vitamin D. Give the windows a good wash at least once a week to maintain a natural light source.

Insulation

Stables are designed to keep horses warm and dry, and whilst extra insulation is not normally necessary, if you live in a particularly cold part of the world, or if the horse is in foal, extra insulation may be needed. Make sure that any internal walls are kept in good repair to prevent insulation becoming visible and prone to chewing.

Drains

Good drainage is absolutely essential in any stabling environment, and drains and gutters should be kept clear at all time. Ideally a stable should be built with a slight slope so that any water or urine drains away. Make sure that drains remain covered but clear to prevent any injuries.

Lights

Artificial lights should be protected using a waterproof cover to prevent water damage, and should also be placed out of the way so that the horse cannot reach them. Make sure light bulbs are changed when they blow, and that there is a supply of fuses in case one blows.

Clean Water

Water is vital for any animal, and horses are no different. Make sure that the water supply is kept clean and free from debris. Generally a tap connected to the main water supply is used in stables, but if a tank is used then make sure it stays covered so that it cannot be contaminated.

General Safety

As well as maintaining a stable, it is also important that you are prepared for any emergencies that arise. Always make sure that first aid kits and fire extinguishers are easy to hand, and that they have been checked by the proper authorities. Most fire departments are happy to show people how to use extinguishers correctly and advise when they should be replaced. You should also make sure that fire or smoke alarms are working properly and that all batteries are full at all times.

Keeping a stable maintained is not a hard job, as long as you continue to keep it in good shape. A badly kept stable will be expensive to run and can cause serious health problems to the horses they house. Keep your horse healthy, by keeping your stable healthy.

Sources: Horselopaedia (Ringpress) by Stewart Hastie and Johanna Sharples

Tags

Horse, Horse Stables, Horses, Maintain, Stable, Stabling, Yard

Meet the author

author avatar Charlotte Howard
I write for Helium.com, and am also a published author. Somehow I also manage to be a busy Mum to 2 young children and housewife as well!

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
21st Oct 2010 (#)

Good information, as with any "stable" one should always check regularly for loose nails, broken fences and so forth.

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Oct 2010 (#)

Great info. I enjoyed reading the article, even though,
I do not have a horse.
Thank you for sharing. :)

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author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
23rd Dec 2010 (#)

I always wanted to learn about that. Thanks!

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