Winter is just around the corner, so to help our customers we’ve put together a list of our top ten tips for looking after your horse during the colder months of the year…
- Before you event bring you horse into the stable, ensure that you horse is prepared for the stable, by picking out its feet. This will ensure that the horse does not bring contaminants and soil into its clean bed.
- Providing a hygienic in the stable environment for your horse is imperative, that is why we make Bedmax shavings predominately of pine, because of its antimicrobial properties. So, before putting a fresh new winter bed down, make sure that you have cleaned and dusted your stable. Cobwebs harbour dust which can impact on the air quality in the stable and on your horse’s respiratory system.
- Banking shavings around the edge of your stable helps reserve clean shavings making for a more efficient and cost effective system. Although banks may not necessarily prevent a horse becoming cast, they will act as a draught excluder keeping your horse warm during the cold winter nights. Banks must be rotated to prevent bacteria.
- Cover the whole area of the stable floor with an even bed between eight and ten inches deep. This will ensure that the horse’s hooves and joints are supported at all time whilst stabled. After all, most horses will spend the majority of time standing at the stable door.
- Moisture content is important in your choice of bedding. Too dry and the bedding will draw moisture from the hooves causing problems such as cracking. Too much moisture can cause hoof walls to soften. It can also cause the bedding to become less absorbent, resulting in damage to the hooves by the ammonia in the horse’s urine. Both will increase the presence of bacteria in the bed such as thrush, aspergillus and E.coli. Bedmax is made to the optimum moisture content for the benefit of horses’ hooves and hocks.
- Take care in mucking out to ensure that you horses’ bed remains as client and dry as possible to minimise health risks in the stable. Bedmax is designed to remove moisture from the surface maintaining a clean surface for the horse to stand or lie on, that is why we recommend establishing from the outset a good depth of bedding.
- During the winter months, some horses spend the majority of their time in the stable. It is important to provide a stable bed for consistent support under the hoof, particularly under the frog. Bedding that moves too easily will quickly leave an uneven, patchy covering. A good bedding material will provide a level and even cover between maintenance, mucking out and topping up.
- If you are managing your horse(s) around a full time job, timing can be tricky. Make the most of the weekend and plan ahead. Make sure your stables have decent beds with enough clean shavings banked to keep you going through the week
- Remove your horse from the stable when mucking out. This saves precious time because you can push the wheelbarrow right into the stable keeping the yard clean. It is also better for your horse as when you disturb and remove the wet and dirty bedding, it will release some ammonia into the air which is bad for the horse’s respiratory system.
- Many horse owners worry about the dust in hay, which is commonly soaked to minimise the negative effects. This is also important in bedding which is responsible for the majority of the airborne dust and spores in the stable. Bedmax is dust extracted which removes all particles which can enter the horse’s respiratory system and travel to the bottom of the lungs causing breathing problems; it is also free of Aspergillus and other harmful spores.
Have you your own winter tips that you would like to share? We’d love to hear about it. Tell us about it by emailing us or connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll award a prize to the one we like the most.