Horse care per se has many dimensions – regular workouts, periodical checkup by vets and of course nutritious feed. But the most important aspect that has a direct bearing on the health of the horses is the state of the stables. However well you may care for your horses, if the stables are not maintained optimally, their health will surely suffer and in some cases might even be fatal. Under such circumstances, what are the factors that should be focussed on with regards to stable maintenance?
- Installing fire fighting equipment – Stables are highly fire prone areas. Think of the different sources that can turn even a minor spark into a major blaze. Dry hay, bedding and wood are the most likely points. Feed piled up near or in stables can ignite in very hot and dry weather. Dry leaves on trees around stables planted to provide shade can catch fire too and spread to stables. To pre-empt such possibilities, adequate number of fire extinguishers should be kept handy. Horse owners often put up state of the art sprinkler systems that are set off at the slightest hint of smoke or fire.
- Ensuring optimum cleanliness – Moisture content and dust in any form is harmful for horses. Wet beddings and hay almost always damage the hoof of horses and ammonia fumes from urine weaken the lungs and can badly affect their running power. Thus the wet materials should be regularly taken out to be dried and aired. The walls should be cleaned for cobwebs as they retain moisture in the air. COPD can lay horses low so it must be made sure that the hay being fed to them is free of dust and fine particles. The rubber matting placed on floors to prevent seepage of water below the stables should be frequently washed. As they are slippery when wet, horses should be let in only when the matting has dried out.
While it is true that for ages stable boys have been responsible for cleaning stables, owners today have devised sophisticated cleaning routines for overall stable maintenance. This includes skilled labour hire as well as using specialised equipment to efficiently expedite the task. People hired for this task are well trained and understand the finer nuances of stable maintenance. Where the safety and health of your loved horses is at stake, nothing but the best should do.