Maintaining a horse stable is a lot of work, but great horse stables are totally worth it. Well maintained stable buildings are healthier for horses and people, more comfortable to be in, and stay in good condition longer. Here is a list of five things to remember about maintaining horse stalls and stables.
1. Keep it Clean
The first and most important thing about maintaining a horse stable is the simplest one: keep it clean. Picking out stalls every day is imperative for the health of the horses and the life of the stable structure. Wood stables are especially susceptible to unclean conditions and moisture. Moisture, urine, and dirt can cause rot and mould in the wood.
Steel stables are increasingly more popular and don't face the rotting and mould problems like wood stables do. Even though the stables are not as easily rotted or moulded, cleaning is still so important for the welfare of the animals inside.
All barns and stables should be fully disinfected every month. There is a plethora of cleaning agents on the market that are safe to use around horses and other animals.
2. Fix the Small Things
Squeaky doors, loose bolts, dripping faucets, and flickering lights are all minor issues that should be taken care of in a timely manner. Small problems often turn into bigger problems. That squeaky door might stop opening or that flickering light could be an electrical problem. If it is something that wouldn't be tolerated in a home, then it shouldn't be tolerated in a stable. Making simple repairs keeps up the overall appearance and safety of stables. A professional should be contacted if the problem can't be fixed. Fires, floods, and broken doors can be extremely dangerous for horses.
3. Think Dry
Moisture is the great enemy of any building, especially ones that house humans or animals. It can cause mould, pests, and rot. While steel structures may have less occurrences of moisture damage, many of them still contain wood components. Metal buildings are also susceptible to rust or corrosion, but it takes extreme conditions and a lot of time for them to be significantly damaged.
Keeping a stable dry involves cleaning out moist bedding and managing the plumbing and drainage. A plumber should be contacted if there is a leak or if a drain is not draining water the way it should be.
4. Don't Forget the Roof
While most roofs don't need to be replaced for 25-50 years, all roofs need regular upkeep and maintenance. Since a lot of roof leaks happen over horse stalls and may only leak a little bit, they can often go unnoticed. This leaks extra moisture into horse bedding and can be an exceptional problem in the winter. That's why it is so important to do periodic checks of the roof just to make sure that there are no openings for water to get in. How to inspect the barn roof depends on the type of roof the barn has.
5. Maintain Good Air Quality
It is easy to forget sometimes that air quality is just as important for horses as it is for people. Good air quality is a direct result of knowledgeable planning and consistent maintenance. While some stables have expensive air flow systems, others follow some simple steps to ensure good air quality.
Bad air quality tends to be a result of too much dust. This dust often comes from bedding and hay. A great way that anyone can improve the air quality is to store bedding and hay in a separate area outside of the stables. This simple move will keep the hay dust from settling inside the building.
Bedding also provides a large amount of dust, and dirty bedding is full of ammonia. Turning the horses out while mucking the stalls will lessen the amount of dust and ammonia gasses that they are exposed to. Ventilating the area with fans and airing out the barn is a great way to keep air quality top notch.
These tips were brought to you by Wide Span Sheds.