Winter is here and, for most of us, that means being layered, bundled up, and shut in attempting to keep cozy. It's the natural reaction to cold. We do the same for our horses layered in winter blankets, shut in their stalls, and extra hay to warm their bellies. Winter homes can get stuffy. Winter stables can be even stuffier! Sweaty leather, urine, manure all shut behind closed barn doors can create some fierce "barn odors" and that's real BO! Okey, so it smells bad but the more serious issue is some of this can negatively affect your horses respiratory health. Below are 3+ tips to not only help keep your stable smelling nice but likewise help your horses health all winter long.
1 - Fresh Air. Proper ventilation is key. Don't create a massive draft but crack windows and stable doors at least for a short portion of each day to allow for fresh air flow through your barn.
2 - Sufficient Bedding. Proper bedding can be expensive but this is where your horses stand in their stalls more often than not. Don't cut corners here. No matter if you you bed on straw, shavings, or pellets make sure you have a sufficient amount of bedding to properly absorb urine in your stalls. Quality stall mats can help by mitigating the amount of bedding needed saving bedding expense in the long run.
3 - Clean Up. Clean stalls daily! Spray Bye Bye Odor on the urine spots. Bye Bye Odor eliminates the ammonia in the urine. Think your stall smells just fine and don't need it? Get down at floor level where your horses noses spend a great deal of time and take a good wiff. Ammonia not only smells bad but is detrimental to respiratory health. Bye Bye Odor eliminates the ammonia but likewise it has a light, refreshing, pleasant smell on its own.
3+ Water Buckets. Make a habit of dumping, rinsing and then refilling water buckets at least every other day. If you are just constantly refilling buckets with grain and hay remnants floating around in it will sour. We want to encourage our horses to drink more in the winter with a fresh, clean supply of water readily available for them and not discourage them with sour, old grain and hay remnants floating around in there.
3+ Blanketing. Use a light fleece sheet under your winter blankets. Light fleece you can wash easily and it will dry fast for reuse. This keeps the layer closest to your horse fresh plus fleece wicks away any sweat that might accumulate if they do get too hot. This also cuts down your grooming time by always having a clean layer on them. Now those outer waterproof layers?.. Winter turnout rugs usually only get washed 1 or 2 times a season. Spray urine and manure spots on your outer blanket and straps with Bye Bye Odor to neutralize the smell.
All too soon it will be Spring. The birds will be chirping and warm sun shining down. Until then, utilize these few tips to keep your horses happy and healthy through winter!
PC: Richard Horst Photography
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