Horses Need Fresh, Clean Air When In Their Stable Over Winter.
With Winter upon us, and many Horse owners now preparing to stable their beautiful ponies, it's worth spending a short amount of time ensuring you know how to keep their stable with fresh air flow.
The air in your horse's stable could harm them if you don't understand what nasties are building up under that roof which can affect their respiratory system.
Certain contaminants include:
- Mould from damp hay, food and bedding.
- Dust from Hay, Arenas and bedding.
- Ammonia build up from urine and manure.
- Endotoxins from Manure
These things can all affect your ponies health in a negative way! However, there are some really simple ways to manage such risks.
1. Clean your Stables Regularly
This is really important. Old bedding and feed need to be cleaned out regularly to prevent the growth of mould and other toxins.
With this in mind, it is really important that you DO NOT clean them out when your pony is in the stable. This is because when you sweep and shovel, it's easy to naturally kick-up a lot of dust and send mould a d fungi spores into the air.
This, in itself, can cause respiratory irritations. Just make sure you are also using a mask to protect yourself from the very same toxins, mould and dust which you are protecting your horse from.
Also, make sure your horses are not in the stables if you are also then sweeping the aisles. Just because the aisle is away from the stall doesn't mean the dust won't float over them and irritate their lung!
If they are reluctant to leave their stable try using some Horse Treats to encourage them to move.
By cleaning your stables regularly you will control the build up of Ammonia and other nasty moulds and fungi by removing the very reasons these things occur.
2. Use Ammonia Absorbing Products
Ammonia is a naturally occurring gas which is released by bacteria which is feeding on the Urea in Manure and Urine passed by your Horse.
It is natural and unavoidable.
However, this gas can build up if the faeces and sodden bedding material is not cleaned out regularly, or if windows are kept closed for continuous periods.
To help with this gas build up, there are numerous products on the market which can absorb these gasses and keep them under control.
This is especially important if your ponies have to stay inside for days at a time because of cold weather or wet weather; which we have had plenty of recently!
3. Use Mats.
Mats and other low dust bedding alternatives are available and should be used both in the stall where your pony spends the night, as well as in the aisle within the stable.
The use of Mats are particularly good because they help to suppress dust from the dirt below, but also help provide some insulation from the ground, whilst at the same time, collecting any waste from the bedding and thus making it easy to clean and prevents it from mixing with mould spores naturally occurring in the dirt below.
It also helps prevent your pony from digging holes and creating their own dust bowl.
Obviously, if you have a concrete floor this isn't such an issue. However, the matting is even more important because it provides insulation, softness and grip.
4. Store Hay and Bedding in a Different Place to you Stable.
Hay naturally attracts dust and insects etc... This is why it's important that you try to store your hay and food in a different place from where your Horses are sleeping.
Obviously sometimes this is difficult if you don't have another space close by, however, if you can, it will go a long way to keeping the air in your stables clean and healthy.
5. Open Windows during the day to encourage air flow.
This is such a simple way to help manage the air within your stables but it's probably the most important action you can do.
Clean fresh air is really important and by simply opening the windows during the day will make such a big difference.
Yes, it does let the warm out, but remember, horses have thick hides and would prefer fresh air.
Regardless of how you stable your ponies, just be sure to keep the stables clean and well aerated..... And make sure that you do not let your horses get bored.... No matter how cold it is outside.
If the weather is so inclement that they can't go outside for a few days, make sure you spend some time with them and do some training inside using some Horse Treats and Stable Treats. This will help with alleviating any boredom.... Plus be super fun for you as well!
Good luck this winter and enjoy creating awesome memories with your ponies.