The importance of hygiene in the stable

Covid-19 reminds us just how important hygiene is for your horse’s health too.

The Covid-19 crisis has given us all a sharp reminder of how crucial good hygiene is in combating dangerous viruses and bacteria. Owners and equine professionals already know how important it is that their horses are housed in a clean and hygienic environment. But this is a good time to make sure we’re bringing our horses into a hygienic stable environment where the risks of infection, disease and respiratory problems are minimised for horses and humans.

Below, Bedmax recommends seven steps for helping to create a safe, dust-free, hygienic stable for your horse:

Remove horses.

Sterilising the stables will churn up a lot of dust that could potentially damage your horses’ respiratory system, so keep them well away from the areas being cleaned.

Clear the stable completely.

Remove all bedding and sweep out the stable thoroughly, including beams, ceilings if you can reach, and all surfaces such as windowsills where dust can accumulate.

Sweep alleyways and doorways.

Once you have fully cleaned the stable or loosebox out, sweep out the stable or barn passageways and doorways and dispose of any debris.

Scrub, wash or mist everything.

Remove any rubber matting and scrub both sides thoroughly with a stiff brush and a mix of water and Defra-approved disinfectant. In the stable, start from the floor up, then walls and doors. Then do the same in passageways and doorways. Disinfecting can also be done with a pressure washer or by spraying or misting, but make sure you follow instructions to carry this out effectively and safely.

Let it dry properly.

Before replacing anything, make sure the stable and mats are completely dry and let the stable air for at least an hour.

Clean all equipment.

Rugs, leadropes, headcollars, buckets and grooming kit can all carry dust and germs. So make sure that any equipment you are going to use in your nice clean stable is also cleaned and disinfected.

Keeping it healthy.

Cleaning your stables regularly is essential, but keeping it clean and healthy is just as important. Ventilation is crucial to maintain clean airflow. Using good quality bedding and forage will help minimise harmful respirable dust and spores. And good bedding and proper maintenance will help minimise the threat of bacteria and ammonia.

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