With the Farmers’ Almanac calling for a colder, snowier winter for much of the United States, it’s important to make sure your horse’s stalls and bedding are winterized! Follow these steps to ensure your horse stalls remains dry and comfortable all winter long!!
1. Remove the Manure: Don’t believe the myth that manure keeps a horse warm. No horse wants to sleep in its own droppings, regardless of the temperature. If manure is not thoroughly removed, it can freeze, leaving your horse to lie on a bed of “manure cubes.”
2. Minimize Wood Shavings: A recent study showed horses are more likely to consume wood shavings during wet, cold weather because they are both hungry and bored. Ingesting wood shavings can cause potential serious digestive problems, including colic, so be sure to keep wood shavings to a minimum in your horse’s bedding.
3. Change Bedding Materials Frequently: Stalls bedded with wood shavings, straw, sawdust and shredded newspapers absorb a lot of moisture. These materials need to be changed frequently to ensure dryness, which can be a real chore when the temperature drops below freezing.
4. Install Foam or Rubber Mats: Foam and rubber mats provide insulation fora more comfortable and warm environment during cold winter days and nights. SmartStall™ Foam Mattress by IGK Equestrian features a waterproof, industrial top cover which creates a “moisture tray” that allows all liquids and manure to be captured on top and easily removed. This results in a cleaner, drier environment with less need for wood shavings and other bedding materials. Consider installing SmartStall™, and both you and your horse can look forward to winter.
Let IGK Equestrian know what are your biggest challenges when it comes to winter stall cleaning?