Wednesday 27th September, 2017
The nights are already drawing in, and, although no one wants to admit it, winter will be here before we know it. As thoughts turn to your new stabling routine, now is the perfect time to take care of any necessary stable repairs or improvements. Many horse owners will choose to stable their four-legged friends during the colder weather, so alongside your regular stable maintenance, check out our essential Autumn stable check list before the winter sets in.
1.Floor and Mats
The floor is one of the most important aspects of your stable, as this is the surface that your horse will stand on, walk on and sleep on. Stable floors need to be flat and smooth, with adequate drainage to prevent damp which is a breeding ground for bacteria and results in poor air quality. If your horse paws the ground he may have caused damage so empty the stable completely to check the surface condition. Stable matting is an important consideration too, as it insulates your stable and saves money on bedding in the winter. If you already have matting, check that there are no tears or holes that could affect its efficiency or pose a threat to your horse’s safety.
2.Walls and Doors
Despite a lovely soft bed, horses often spend a great deal of time on their feet. Although they can sleep standing, your horse will likely lean on the wall panels and doors of his stable/stall, which can weaken them considerably. Check timber stable walls and doors for bowing, dents or cracks that could become much larger holes and compromise the safety and security of your horse. Damaged timber panels could easily impale your horse or trap him if his limbs were to go through them. If your walls are damaged it is worth updating your walls with cladding which offers great strength while withstanding all weathers.
3.Nuts and Bolts
From joists and walls to stable doors, most stables are secured with steel nuts and bolts to keep your horse safe. When stabled, horses may lean on or push against these fixings, particularly door hinges, bolts and padlocks, which can loosen them. Add to that the weather damage inflicted by hard frosts, wind and rain, and old damaged fixings may soon lose their strength and efficacy. Check your fixings regularly for weather damage and horse damage alike to ensure that your stable is as safe and secure as it can possibly be for your horse.
4.Views and Ventilation
After endless days frolicking in the field, it is understandable that horses could suffer with stable boredom once the weather turns. Windows overlooking a busy stable yard or nearby paddock can help keep him entertained and prevent loneliness, and also provide vital ventilation. Ensure that your window mechanisms are operational, and horse proof, and that the glass pane, grill or mesh is not damaged in any way.