Your horse spends a large amount of time in his stall, so it’s important to make that stall environment as healthy as possible for your horse. Here are 6 ways that you can make your horse’s stall a healthier place.
1. Use the Largest Stall Available
Provide your horse with as much space as possible to move around by using the largest stall available. Standard stall sizes of 10’10’ and 12’x12’ can provide your horse with adequate space, though larger is always better, especially if you own a large horse. Remember, too, that giving your horse more space in his stall can help to reduce pain and stiffness after a workout. A larger stall also reduces the chance of your horse becoming cast.
2. Maximize Ventilation
Good ventilation in your barn is vital to your horse’s health. Barns and stalls with poor ventilation put your horse at risk of respiratory issues, especially when you consider all of the dust in the hay and shavings that your horse must contend with. Try to include a window in your horse’s stall, and if possible, use a stall door grate to allow air to flow freely into the stall.
3. Allow for Interaction with Other Horses
Secluding your horse in a stall with solid sides prevents him from interacting with horses. Horses are social animals, and having relationships with other horses is important to their overall well-being. If you can, stall your horse where he can see and interact with the horses in the adjoining stalls.
4. Create a Soft Yet Supportive Base
You will want the base of your stall to be soft enough to cushion your horse from the hard ground, yet firm enough to offer your horse support. Using rubber stall mats is a good way to create a base which is easy to clean and which your horse can’t dig down through. Then, use enough bedding on top of the mats to provide cushion and absorb any urine.
5. Clean Stalls Regularly
One of the most harmful things that you can do to your horse is to leave him in an uncleaned stall for a long period of time. The ammonia from his urine can irritate his respiratory system, while the bacteria of the unclean bedding can cause thrush. Make a point of cleaning your horse’s stall regularly, especially when he needs to stay in his stall for a long period of time.
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6. Include a Toy for Entertainment
When your horse is stalled for any period of time, boredom can quickly set in. If your horse is the playful type, then consider putting a toy in his stall to help keep him entertained. There are tons of horse toys available for sale, so you can choose the toy which appeals most to your horse.