Top 5 Tips For Good Stable Maintenance
It’s not called ‘mucking out’ for nothing! Cleaning out your equine friend’s home isn’t the cleanest of jobs, but with some organised planning and a good attitude, you can have a stable maintenance routine that everyone is happy with.
Check out these five tips for good stable maintenance:
Tip 1: Have all the right equipment ready
Providing a safe, clean environment for your horse is your main priority, but in order to do that, you need to have the right equipment at the ready. It’s important to have all your cleaning materials (make sure they’re environmentally and equine-friendly!), buckets, brushes, brooms and so on in one place so that you don’t waste time or energy running backwards and forwards.
Supertip 1: Park your wheelbarrow or trolley facing outwards (ie in the direction you’ll be going once it’s full). You can make a quick exit and it’ll be easier to manoeuvre.
Tip 2: Clear the area
Remove all muck and clear the area of any loose items like feed buckets, so that the space is ready for a thorough clean. While you’re doing this, have a look at the feed to make sure there aren’t any bugs or other nasties which may contaminate it.
Supertip 2: Remember to check in and around the bedding for any stones or other loose objects that may be harmful to your horse (eg a loose nail or a bit of wire).
Tip 3: Wet or soiled bedding is a no-no
Remove any wet or soiled material, including manure and chaff and put the clean bedding to one side. It will save costs if you can re-use some of the straw but you must remember to check that it is dry underneath otherwise you could end up with mould problems and an unhealthy animal.
Supertip 3: When you’re spreading fresh bedding around, use a pitchfork to fluff it up and distribute it evenly. Double-check there are no ‘thin’ patches in the middle.
Tip 4: Change the water daily
Make sure your horse always has clean, fresh and plentiful water. Whether you use a trough, bucket or any other kind of receptacle for holding the water, it’s crucial that you scrub it at least twice a week to prevent the growth of algae which can cause digestive issues for your horse.
Supertip 4: If you live in a very cold climate, you need to check that the water doesn’t freeze over!
Tip 5: Do a foot check
Checking your and your horse’s feet is an essential part of any good stable maintenance programme. It’ll ensure that no stones or dirt are brought back into the stable, keeping it cleaner for longer and making your horse more comfortable too.
Supertip 5: Make sure you remove all your sweepings from the stable, doorways and alleys otherwise they’ll turn into a slushy mess in wet weather and you’ll have muddy footprints everywhere.
The more organised you are, the easier the whole process will be. Remember to wear the appropriate clothing, keep your tools and cleaning equipment in good working order and store them in a place where they’re out of the way but still easily accessible.
Horses will give you hours of pleasure, but they can only be their best if they get plenty of rest in a clean, comfortable, dry and healthy environment. They’re relying on you to provide that for them – so it’s really important to have a systematic, thorough stable maintenance routine so that everyone benefits.
And if you need stables, horse stable designs or a horse arena, you’ll benefit from Action Sheds Australia’s experienced stable builders. They supply Durastall stables (one of their clients is the Sydney International Equestrian Centre where their stables were used for the Olympic Games in 2000) and can design and build stables and riding arenas to any size or configuration.
For more information on their fully guaranteed, quality assured arenas and stables in Perth (which are surprisingly affordable), please contact Action Sheds on 1300 778 628 or visit their website www.actionsheds.com.au.