We’re drawing ever closer to everyone’s favourite season – winter. However, preparation is the name of the game. As your horse is stabled for longer periods of time, it’s important to consider his health and wellbeing – here’s how.
Off to bed
Deep littering your horse’s stable is a quick way to give your horse a comfortable-looking bed with minimal mucking out, all of which sound a real bonus as the days get shorter and we find ourselves with less time on our hands. However, is it the healthiest option?
By deep littering you’re potentially creating a dusty space, and the perfect environment for the production of ammonia. Ammonia irritates vulnerable tissues such as the skin, eyes, nasal passages, sinuses, respiratory tree and lungs. It doesn’t actually come from urine itself, in fact it’s caused by the breakdown of urea – a byproduct of digestion and the metabolism of proteins – which is an attractive food source for a whole host of bacteria. These bacteria are equipped with an enzyme called urease that digests the urea, producing ammonia in the process.
Poorly fitted rubber matting can hide a huge bacteria population, and even if all the wet bedding is removed you’ll still have bacteria present underneath the mats. This makes it essential to clean underneath them both thoroughly and regularly.
Steaming your horse’s hay at high temperatures is proven to dramatically reduce respirable particles, as well as providing clean, palatable forage. While soaking hay is an effective way of reducing dust content, there are potentially harmful bacteria associated with the process.
What can I do?
Horse welfare is the main priority for every owner. Luckily, there are many ways to ensure your horse has a clean and healthy living environment.
Haygain are committed to creating this healthy environment, as proven by the development of their ComfortStall flooring system. The ComfortStall® Orthopaedic and Sealed Flooring System combines three vet-recommended components to keep your horse comfortable and well. These include…
- Orthopaedic Precision Foam™ padding to help promote joint health and reduce fatigue
- Proprietary IronClad™ TopCover to ensure stability and durability under heavy use
- HDPE Anchor Strips to create an impermeable seal with the sub-flooring in order to reduce the production of ammonia, as wet bedding can’t become stuck underneath it
An added bonus of ComfortStall®, it reduces the quantity of bedding required to keep your horse comfortable. This means that bedding is only needed to absorb urine. The reduction in bedding, cleaning time, and the lack of flooring maintenance required adds up to a significant reduction in costs, offering the potential for a return on your investment in a year.
Cornell University Veterinary Hospital in the United States carries out 1,000 surgical procedures a year, and every horse recovers on the ComfortStall® flooring system. The flooring has stood the test of time with minimal signs of wear, providing continual service since it was installed in 2007.
ComfortStall® comes with a six year warrantyand a life expectancy of at least 15-20 years. There are also options for payments plans available.
For more information please visit haygain.co.uk