As someone who owns horses, keeping your stables clean should be your top priority — but there’s more to it than regular mucking out. Whatever the weather, your stables need to be in great condition all year round. If it’s been a while since you’ve checked the building over, now could be the time. So, what problems should be you be looking out for?
In this blog post, we’ll be sharing how you can keep your stables in top condition. From the structure of your stables to your flooring, follow our helpful hints to identify any problems and get them sorted as efficiently as possible.
1. Check Out The Floor
You probably don’t spend much time looking at the floor of your stables. But over the years, the surface your horses walk on can have a huge impact on their overall health, particularly when it comes to the condition of their hooves and knees.
Concrete, wood, asphalt, sand, and clay are all commonly used as stable floorings. Whatever you’ve got, it’s important to check whether it’s started to degrade. (For example, if textured concrete has become worn down, it can get dangerously slippery in wet weather).
If your flooring is in poor condition, it could be a good idea to replace it with geotextile fabric or another suitable alternative. This will help to protect your horses from walking on a slippery or uneven surface.
2. Look For Issues In The Wood
If your stables are in a wooden barn or have wooden doors, make sure you give these structures a thorough inspection every year. This is particularly important if you’ve had extreme weather. A bitter winter followed by a scorching summer can lead to cracks, as different temperatures cause wood to swell and shrink.
Other issues to look out for can include woodworm, softening wood (which could indicate woodworm), and splinters. If you catch these problems early, you can usually treat them with special varnishes or oils. Alternatively, you may need to look into replacing individual beams, doors, or wall panels in order to prevent the problem from getting worse.
3. Improve Air Quality
Excellent air quality is asimportant for your horses as it is for us humans. An old, unclean, or dusty stable block can mean that the air quality isn’t as clear as it should be — but the good news is there are some simple ways you can improve it.
Removing overhead storage is a great way to improve the ventilation, especially if you store hay or feed up here. These can trap pathogens and cause tiny particles to get carried around the stable on currents of air, which can affect your horse’s breathing over time.
If you haven’t already got them, installing small openings in the eaves of your stable can also promote air-flow. This will make sure the air stays fresh and can help to prevent damp from building up in your walls or roof. Another great way to achieve this is by installing vented windows into your stable block.
4. Replace Bolts And Locks
Keeping your horses safe is probably your stable’s most important job! Don’t let broken bolts or locks creep up on you. By checking and servicing them regularly, you can make sure they’re in great condition and aren’t likely to become damaged. If any of your locks are sticking, use a non-toxic oil to keep them working smoothly.
Is your stable in need of some TLC? Follow these tips to keep your stable block in great condition, from top to bottom.