You should clean horse stalls daily already, but it’s great idea to have a full spring clean at least once a year. Unclean stalls attract pests and could result in problems such as thrush. Your horse will thank you for the more comfortable living!
What You’ll Need to Clean Horse Stables
- A strong wheelbarrow
- Pitch fork
- Shavings fork
- Hose or Pressure washer
- Rubber/Work Boots
- Replacement Bedding
- Rubber Matting (Optional)
1. Dress Appropriately
Make sure that you’re wearing the best clothes for the job at hand, you’re about to get very dirty! An essential is gloves (which can prevent blisters from all the hard work you’re doing). It’s also a great idea to wear specific work/rubber boots and not your riding boots for doing this job, as the urine can effect the stitching on them. Cheap riding gloves with small sticky spots on them are great for handling tools and bags without slipping. Finally, tie back any loose hair and wear your scruffs, it’s going to get messy!
2. Prepare Your Tools
Everything should be on hand or nearby as soon as you need it. When parking the wheelbarrow close to the door, make sure that it’s facing the direction you want to go with it. It’s a lot more trouble to turn it around when it’s full. It might be a good idea to get a tool hanger, which are relatively expensive. These act as somewhere to store the tools rather than tripping over them as you work.
3. Clear the Area
You’ll need to remove EVERYTHING from the area. All bedding, rubber matting, feed buckets and more. At this point, it’s a great idea to check whether things need replacing or just a good clean will do. If you have solid stable matting for example, a good scrub will make them look like new. However it may be less hassle just to buy some fresh ones. Remember to check feed buckets etc. for any cracks or damage, as these will need to be replaced or risk harming your horse.
4. Try a Pressure Washer
These are quite expensive to come by, but will make your job so much easier, so try and borrow one if you can. They’ll be able to get into every single nook and cranny of the stable and leave no dirt behind. A perfect foundation for then laying down the disinfectant, and even cleaning up after it.
5. Don’t Forget the Roof, Walls, Fittings & Windows
It’s easy to forget about some of the areas you may not usually pay attention to. The room should have plenty of cobwebs by now, so remove these with a broom. You’ll be surprised how much dust you pick up along the way. Now is a perfect chance to give the windows a good clean too, so your horse has a great view to enjoy!
6. Disinfect the Area
You’ll want to completely remove all the bedding, use a shovel or scrape up any old remnants and sweep up using a broom. Once bare, clean with a good disinfectant like Stalosan F, Fam 30 or Jeyes Fluid. These will get rid of any underlying nasties like coccidiosis and worms. Make sure that the disinfectant has been rinsed away and the floor is dry before you add any bedding on top of it.
7. Lay Down New Rubber Matting
A lot of people swear by rubber matting. Horses will always need bedding, but putting down rubber matting first means that you’ll need to put less bedding down in total, making it a more economical choice over time. Rubber matting is also a lot easier to clean than the bumpy concrete that may be below it.
8. Replace with Good Quality Bedding
Some bedding is a real chore to muck out, and others are a lot easier to work with. Megazorb is an extremely absorbent bedding that’s manufactured from wood pulp, which is by product of the paper making industry. It will dramatically reduce the time it takes to muck out. Due to it’s high absorbency, you’ll only have to replace small parts of the bedding. If you’d like to know more about it, you can read our previous blog post ‘Product Focus – Megazorb Animal Bedding‘. Some other popular alternatives include Easibed and Comfybed.
9. Add a Lick of Wood Preservative
Your stable doors may have taken a beating this Winter. Now that the weather is improving, take the opportunity and apply some wood preservative to help protect it better in the month’s ahead. Be careful on what kind you buy however, animal friendly ones can be expensive. Otherwise, use standard products and allow a good time frame for it to dry and set. Your horse should be kept away during this time.
10. Put Everything Back
Once you’re sure everything is as clean as can be and there’s no smell of ammonia around, replace what you removed from the stable. At this point you can also re-introduce your horse back to their home. Hopefully they’re polite and keep it up to standard for a while!
What products do you swear by to clean horse stables? Let us know in the comments below!