The responsibilities of owning a horse can sometimes come as a shock to those who haven’t experienced it, with a lot of time and commitment required. Your horse’s stable is their home, being a place of familiarity and providing endless quality time so you can build up that all-important bond. If you’re a first-time horse owner looking for tips or are looking for a refresher before your newest addition, we’ve pulled together some of our top tips for stable care to help you get prepared.
Keep them warm and comfortable
Ensuring your horse is protected from the winter chill will mean you don’t have to worry about their comfort during the cold nights. As the colder months come around, get your hands on quality stable rugs which provide an added layer of protection against the elements, especially in stables that are in locations with high wind chill. As the morning comes around and your horse heads for a day in the field, change their rug to suit the weather conditions of the day ahead.
Maintain a clean stable
Mucking out is never the highlight of a horse owners’ day, but it has got to be done! Choose whether you use straw or shavings as a base and maintain a clean stable by removing any wet or soiled sections. Some people prefer to do this daily to keep on top of the work but others choose to do light mucking out on the daily and a full clean once a week. It tends to be easier to get stuck in whilst your horse is outdoors so find a routine that works well for you.
Provide plenty of feed and water
Of course, this is a given, but ensuring that your horse is getting all of the nutrients it needs to suit its lifestyle is important. Measure out their daily feed and provide access to ongoing pasture for grazing, as chewing makes up the majority of their diet. Clean, fresh water should be constantly available and regularly refreshed also.
Stay on top of grooming
Especially for horses who spend their day out in the field, the build-up of dust and dirt does not take long. Use a body brush and main comb to stay on top of grooming on a daily basis, focusing on any mud and removing excess hair so their coat maintains in a neat and tidy condition. Keep an eye on their feet too; any mud should be picked out and keep an eye on the condition of their shoes.
Clean your equipment
When you get into a daily routine, it can be easy to forget about the less frequent cleans. Their food and water buckets will accumulate dirt which can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so ensure these are kept clean with some regular scrubbing. Keep an eye on the condition of your tack too, wiping down the surfaces so it can stay looking newer for longer and save you from having to buy new equipment as often.