Stable hygiene is a key area for consideration all year round. Whether you do or don’t use a stable throughout the summer, cobwebs, dirt, dust, debris and bird droppings easily build-up. By mid-summer, the area can be dirtier than it was during the winter months.
August offers another good opportunity to clear away all that has built up during the summer months gone by. Stable hygiene plays a part in your horse’s health, and should not be underestimated in the importance of tasks ‘to-do’. Respiratory health, for example, can be compromised when stables are dirty, dusty and un-hygienic. Parasites, and other unwanted viruses my lurk unless attention is given to a clean environment.
Here we run through a general check of what needs to do done to keep the stable environment clean.
Before you reach for the stable hygiene equipment
First things first, before you reach for the cleaning liquids, prepare your area. Lift any mats, remove buckets, rugs, stable licks, feed holders, equipment etc and reach for the long-handled yard brush. The yard brush is an excellent tool for getting to those hard to reach areas. Don’t forget to pay attention to clearing accumulated dirt from the upper timber structures, ledges, and partitions that separate each stable.
Use a feather duster if needs be and don’t forget any window areas, being thorough now will benefit you both in the long run.
From the traditional Jeyes Fluid, to specially formulated stable hygiene products, there are now a wide variety of suitable cleaning products available.
When using any cleaning product, make sure you carefully follow the instructions that accompany the item. This may sound obvious, but this can often save you money, and time when it comes to getting the job done.
Jeyes Fluid Outdoor Cleaner can be used to clear and disinfect stables and surrounding areas. The product acts as an excellent deodoriser and kills many bacteria that can cause a problem to your horse’s health. The product is best used by diluting in water and applying to areas with a brush. Scrub thoroughly, pay extra attention to grease marks, where horses have rubbed and behind where rugs normally lie when not in use. Corners, areas under where water buckets go and behind where the haynet lies too all need attention.
Agma, Stablemate, offers a selection of anti-bacterial and deodorizing products to help thoroughly clean and cleanse the stable. Items can be purchased separately or together by purchasing the Bio Security Box. The Agma range includes;
- Dis-in-Fect Tablet
- Bio Security Box (includes all of the above items)
Stable mats are a fantastic way of helping protect your horse when in the stable, this we know. Placed under the bedding, around the stable area where your horse stands and often on the walls, they offer protection from scrapes, injury and hocks being damaged. Not only this, but it can help with drafts, providing your horse with a warm and safe place to lay down.
Heavy stable mats, although still available, have been over recent years re-designed with many lighter options now available. This makes stable cleaning a breeze as the days of almost breaking your back to clean underneath them are long gone.
When cleaning mats, it’s recommended you remove all from the stable and placed in a well-drained area. Remove heavy debris with a brush first. Wet each mat and leave for a few minutes to help soften any stubborn dirt before attempting to clean.
A jet wash offers a fantastic way to thoroughly clean any area, coupled with a stable hygiene wash you’ll be good to go. Start from the top and work your way down, apply a stable hygiene wash to walls, doors and floors, and follow the instructions. Be careful around painted areas, you may opt for a hose here instead.
The jet wash comes in handy when washing mats too. By lying them flat, in a well-drained area or standing them on a wall you’ll have good access to the surface area. Initially wash away any loose debris before applying a hygiene wash, and rinse thoroughly (if required, remember to read the instructions).
Don’t forget the stable accessories too. Buckets, rug hangers, even haynets will benefit from a good clean. Remember to use a product that is safe to be used on products used for consumption.
Winter rugs, although not directly related to stable hygiene should also be cleaned. Be careful when doing this yourself as home machines wash away waterproof sealants. By using a rug wash expert, you are sure for a thorough job, with re-proofing services available.
Stable yard equipment including yard brushes and wheelbarrows benefit from a clean too. Use the jet wash and a cleaner to restore.
A weekly stable health check and m.o.t for fixtures and fittings is a great way to keep on top of your horse’s stable environment.
Scheduling cleans at regular intervals will help keep on top of the environment, taking less time than those who choose to only clean twice a year.