At some stage in your life, as a horse owner you may find it necessary to stable your horse. It may only be for a couple of nights, a week or a more permanent situation. No matter your reason or the length of your horses stay it is important that you clean the stable or barn at least once a day.
So you arrive at you horses stable with a cheery “Good Morning!” you organize their breakfast, change there pajamas (rugs), maybe go for an early morning ride (nice and chilly on those crisp winter mornings), but no matter what else you do there is one thing every owner of a stabled horse does and that is to clean the mess up from the night before.
What a mess!! It really amazes me the mess one horse can make within 8-10 hours! I have been greeted with a wide variety of “Good Morning” situations from my horses over the years from finding poo in the feed dish (which is still hanging on the door!), to finding poo right in front of the door in the walk way! No matter the mess, it still needs to be cleaned up. Not only can a dirty or poorly cleaned stable cause diseases to fester, but they smell bad too.
Here are some simple steps to help you in cleaning out your stable! You will need a good stable fork/rake and a wheelbarrow or bucket.
It is always helpful if you can remove your horse from the stable, so that you aren’t worried about him/her escaping. Otherwise make sure they are tied up securely.
Remove any other objects which may get in your way, such as water buckets and horse toys.
Using your stable fork/rake remove all large piles of poo that are visible.
Remove any obvious wet patches.
Starting on either your left or right in a circular pattern around the stable, toss a fork full of stable bedding towards the side of the stable, remove any feces that this process uncovers.
Remember to dig down to the floor so that all the bedding gets exposed, and continue till you are back to where you started.
Your stable bedding should now be all piled up around the sides of the stable and the floor exposed. If the floor seems wet (will be in most cases) it is great if you can leave it exposed for a few hours to dry out, otherwise continue on.
Starting at either the right or left, pull the bedding down with your stable rake so that the bedding comes back to its original level and covers the previously exposed floor. Continue around till you are back at the start.
You may find that you need to smooth out the bedding so that it is level and covers the floor evenly.
I have always found it a good idea to leave an area in front of the door free from bedding, this will help reduce the bedding that gets ‘walked’ or ‘kicked’ out by your horse.
You may find that when cleaning, some bedding drifts into the water. It is always a good idea to clean out your horses’ water after finishing the stable.
It may be necessary to add more new bedding to your stable, this is usually down once a week, but depends on your horse.
It will also be necessary to remove all bedding from your stable on a regular base. This will depend on numerous factors and is up to your discretion. If it is getting smell then its time for a full clean out!
Now that you’re done you can enjoy some quality time with your beloved horse!