Healthy horses are happy horses, right? Part of keeping your horse healthy is the slightly unpleasant mucking out of stalls… but we do it anyway because what’s the alternative? A sick horse? No thank you!
The good news is… we have some tips to make cleaning out your stables a little quicker and easier. Let’s get to it.
Use the Right Tools
The first step to make your life easier when mucking out is to make sure you have the right tools. If you use straw bedding, then a wide pronged pitchfork will allow you to fluff up the straw but will be useless with a bed of shavings, where a narrow pronged fork is needed to sift the droppings. A shovel will also be needed for deep cleans to remove the wet impacted layers of bedding.
Invest in a sturdy oversized wheelbarrow to reduce trips to your dumpsite, and a lightweight pitchfork for efficient cleaning. You’ll also need a good quality broom to sweep the stable and yard clean once you are done.
If you don’t have mats in your stall already, think about getting them as they can make stable cleaning a lot easier. Fitting rubber stable matting is becoming more popular as people realise the obvious benefits to horses and owners alike. Rubber matting gives great insulation of the floor and protection to your horse, which means as much as 80% less traditional bedding is needed. They also make cleaning easier, especially manure!
Mats range in quality and as with most things its worth getting the best quality you can afford. Premium moulded rubber stable mats have an attractive anti-slip pattern design on one side and a wide ribbed pattern on the reverse for better drainage.
Rear Windows and Ventilation
I know, you wouldn’t think windows will help you when cleaning out your stall. But having that extra airflow helps improve ventilation and this has all sorts of cleaning benefits.
Good ventilation will help dry out your stalls faster, adds extra light so you can see what you are doing, as well as removing any smells! In hot weather, this helps to keep the space cool, controlling moisture, odour, and ammonia. Plus - your horse will love being able to hang their head out and see what’s going on!
Good ventilation should be built into your stable design, so if you're looking at a new stable make sure to look out for these features:
- Permanent openings for winter moisture removal and summer heat relief.
- Windows that allow fresh air to enter stalls.
- Open partitions between stalls
Hopefully, you already have these tips in place and you’re already cleaning your stalls out efficiently.