Stables and Hay Barn

Efficient horse stable management is not just about feeding the horses and mucking out the stables, it’s also down to good communication, planning and organizing too.  Here are our tips on managing your stables successfully.

Food and water

Horses are naturally foragers and enjoy regular, small meals that provide all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and bulk needed in relation to the restrictions of their digestive systems and the amount of energy they are expending.  A horses’ stomach isn’t just small in relation to their size, their stomachs can also be sensitive to diet changes.  A horse’s large intestine is full of specialised microbes that need time to adapt to changes in their feed, including forage.  Rushing a change may put your horse at risk of colic or at the least, loose droppings.  Introduce new foods gradually.

Providing fresh, clean water is vital to your horse’s diet.

Horse Stable Ventilation 

It is highly important to get your horse stables well ventilated. Correct ventilation is a crucial aspect in keeping horses healthy, free from allergies and infectious respiratory diseases, and in minimizing your horse’s exposure to environmental irritants.  Horses typically spend considerably more time in their stables other animals. Plus, they are usually required to perform as athletes and so require a plentiful supply of clean air for optimum health and fitness.

Improve quality by adding inlets, vents, or windows where fresh air can enter, complemented by sufficient outlets where warm, stale air can escape. For maximum efficiency, these should be close to the roof to allow air to enter the stables, dip down, and then rise to exit once it becomes warmer.

Cleanliness and grooming

Mucking out regularly speaks for itself. It is also important to regularly refresh or replace bedding.

Some horse stable yards prefer to clean beds out every day with slightly damp bedding put out to dry and then used again and soiled bedding going on the muckheap. The floor needs to be washed down, disinfected and dry before beds are remade. Some yards prefer cleaning using a deep-litter method whereby they remove droppings regularly and top up the beds with clean, fresh straw. This way the stable only needs cleaning once a week.

Horses themselves should be kept clean and well groomed. Grooming daily will increase blood flow to the surface of their skin, helping to maintain healthy skin and coat and affording you the opportunity to check the horse for lumps, bumps and cuts, and provides the chance to bond, spend time with your horse and take some time to pause and reflect on your relationship with each other.

Ensure they are comfortable and able to rest

It is important to make sure horses are comfortable in their stable particularly the bed your horse lays down in, so they are kept warm, comforted and well cared for. Their bedding needs to be deep enough to induce the horse to lie down safely, without sustaining any injuries from contact from the floor.

The stable should be dry and warm with as few draughts as possible. Ensure drainage is efficient and if possible, position your stable so your horses have an interesting view and can socialise with what’s going on in the yard.

Make your Horse Stable Interesting with toys

Ensuring you have plenty of toys and boredom breakers will go along way in and keeping them stimulated, calm and happy.