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Housing benefits

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Make your horse’s home a clean ‘n’ cosy place to be this winter. Here’s how, with our step-by-step guide…

During the summer, if your horse’s stable has been home to more mice and spiders than you can shake a big broom at, now’s a good time to spruce it up, if you plan to keep him in during the winter. After all, a spick ‘n’ span stable will not only be more pleasant for your equine buddy to live in, but a lot healthier, too.

First up…

1 Remove fittings

Start by taking out any removable stable fittings – such as buckets, feed mangers, haynets, toys and rubber matting.

2 Cobwebs be gone

Then brush away any cobwebs and remove any old, stale bedding, which may have been lying around in your horse’s stable for months.

Old bedding becomes very dusty, which won’t benefit any horse’s respiratory system and which is why it shouldn’t be reused. So remember to wear a mask to help protect your lungs from the dust, too.

3 Scrub-a-dub

If you have a hose, preferably with a spray attachment, use it to wash out the inside of the stable from top to bottom, including the ceiling. And if you’ve got a high-powered jet wash, so much the better. Then when you’ve finished, scrub the walls with a wet broom to get rid of any stubborn poo stains.

But if you don’t have a hose, use a wet broom to scrub the walls and ceiling. This will take longer, but will use a lot less water.

4 Brush away

Brush out any surplus water from the inside of the stable floor.

5 Disinfect

Make up a disinfectant solution, taking care to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Then using your broom or a mop, douse the walls and floor of your stable and set to work!

And no short cuts – be prepared for going over the stable more than once to get it scrupulously clean.

Take note…

Animal and environmentally friendly wood preservatives are available from DIY and hardware stores throughout the country.

6 Freshen-up

Give the stable door a freshen-up. And don’t forget the windows and around the outside of the stable.

7 Air

Once you’re done, leave the door open and allow the inside of the stable to dry thoroughly.

8 A coat of paint

When your stable is dry, you may want to give it a fresh coat of paint or preservative if things are looking a bit tatty.

Top tip

Some stables have two colours on the walls, and a great way to avoid colours overlapping is to use a strip of masking tape to section off each area of the wall.

9 Squeaky clean rubber matting

If you have rubber matting, give it a clean sweep, too. Go over it with your broom, then disinfect it as well for good measure – and don’t forget your stable fittings. However, make sure that you remove all traces of disinfectant from your horse’s buckets and feed manger.

10 Make a nice bed

Now put all the fittings back in your horse’s stable and lay a lovely new bed for him. If you don’t have rubber matting, be sure to give your horse a nice, thick bed to prevent any grazes to the hocks.

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