Those lucky enough to own a horse and stable are in for a fantastic experience, getting to spend more time with their horse, increasing the close bond shared with their companion. While it’s a great pleasure to be able to visit your horse daily, owning a stable isn’t free from responsibility – quite the opposite in fact.
Looking after a horse in a stable is a massive undertaking and one not for the faint hearted. There is a lot of work involved to ensure your horse remains safe, healthy, and happy in their stable, so it’s certainly a rewarding experience if you are up to the challenge.
Check the tips below for how to best look after a horse in your own stable:
Food and Drink
Horses need a lot of food daily – around 2% of their total weight – so it helps to have a good source of hay on hand for daily feeding. While a horse naturally eats grass from the pasture, this isn’t accessible from the stable, so you should have a source of good, healthy hay for feeding them.
It’s a good idea to have a method to measure the right amount of hay for feeding in the stable, with scales being a worthwhile investment in this regard. Try labelling some empty buckets for dinner and breakfast feed, weighing out the appropriate amounts for each meal, or investing in some good haynets for them to feed from.
Water is also important, so make sure there is a good supply of fresh water accessible daily. Remember to change this out each morning so the horse has access to the freshest water possible!
Horses require soft bedding in a stable, otherwise they are forced to sleep on cold, hard surfaces. Make sure there is a good amount of hay for them to rest on and enough to last the entire night, as this prevents problems such as ulcers arising.
Mucking out a horse’s stable is very important for their well-being. Some prefer to do this chore daily, replacing straw and any manure, generally doing so when the horse is out from the stable.
This is a fine option but quite labour intensive, so if you are struggling for time consider doing a light mucking out each day where you remove soiled parts of stray and any manure before doing a thorough mucking out once a week. During the deep clean, you should replace the entire bed with fresh material.
Your horse’s water and feed buckets should be thoroughly cleaned to keep them hygienic. Bacteria and grime can develop in unwashed feed and water buckets, which in turn lead to illness for the horse, so always take the time to scrub buckets clean.
Use a hard brush, warm water, and lots of scrubbing and you should have a clean, hygienic bucket for feed and water.
Sweep daily in the stable, especially if not mucking out each day. This includes every area of the stable, from the feeding to sleeping area, and any walkways that might get dirty. You want a clean and pleasant environment at all times, so don’t forget to sweep!