S is for Stable

A horse spends approximately 22 hours per day in its stable, that’s 154 hours per week and a gargantuan 8008 hours per year so it’s pretty important to make sure their resting place for 8008 hours of the year is a comfortable one.

There are four basic types of stable: Stall, Looseboxes, Barns and a combination of Looseboxes and Barns.

A horse's stable needs bedding for warmth, comfort, and padding. Some good choices of bedding are: Straw is economical, drains well, and widely available, although it is highly flammable. A shaving is clean and doesn’t have spores, like straw does, although it is slow drying and heavy when wet. Rubber Mat is good for padding, but does not protect against cold or absorb urine.

Keeping a stable clean is pretty important paramount to your horse's health and your own. When you consider that a 1,000 pound horse produces roughly 50 pounds of manure and anywhere from six to ten gallons of urine a day. Between the manure and the soiled bedding, the resulting waste is estimated at 20 tons a year. Stables are generally in almost constant use and need regular maintenance to ensure your horse is safe as well as comfortable and healthy. August and September are the ideal months to give them a thorough overhaul as the weather should be dry and the stable will then be ready for your horse if he is kept in during the winter.

Here are a few tips to make you and your horse healthy and happy when mucking out.

1.Dress for the Job - Dress in appropriate horse riding clothing. Gloves can prevent blisters. Urine can erode the stitching on the soles of leather riding boots. Save yourself boot cleaning time by changing into work or rubber boots.

2.Clear the Work Area - Take your horse out of the stall. A good time to muck out is when your horse is in his pasture. If you can't put him out, put him in an empty stall. Remove all the feed tubs, water buckets and stall toys.

3.Assemble Your Tools - Get your cleaning tools and park your wheelbarrow or cart close to the stall door facing in the direction you'll want to go when the barrow is full. It's easier to maneuver an empty wheelbarrow than a full one.

4.Dig In - If the stall is bedded with straw use a pitchfork to remove manure and wet or soiled bedding. If shavings or sawdust have been used, use the shavings fork to remove manure and wet bedding. Fork the manure into the wheelbarrow or cart. Sometimes it's easier to pick up wet bedding with a shovel.

5.Head for the Manure Pile

Wheel the filled barrow and dump out the contents in the assigned area (the manure pile). It's tempting to fill the wheelbarrow really high, but this can make it hard to push and easy to tip. It's frustrating having to clean up manure a second time because you've tipped over the wheelbarrow!

6.Do a Thorough Job

 

 

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