In the heat of the competitive season, you may find yourself spending more time on the road and stabling at horse shows. It is essential that you spend time on horse show stall setup to keep your horse safe and comfortable throughout the competition. Some strategic horse show preparation will pay off with happy, healthy horses. Follow our quick tips to turn a horse show stall into a comfortable resting spot in no time at all!
Biosecurity may seem like a buzzword these days, but it is no joke. Maintain a healthy horse by ensuring that all the shavings, hay, and manure from the stall’s previous occupants have been removed. Then, use an equine-safe disinfectant to kill any pathogens that may have been left behind. Even at facilities that remove the bedding and manure, it’s a good idea to disinfect the stall before your horse enters.
Make Your Bed
Once your stall has been thoroughly cleaned, it’s time to add a healthy layer of bedding. Take note of the base material to determine the amount of horse stall bedding that you will need to use. For example, concrete floors will require more bedding to keep your horse comfortable than stalls with rubber or dirt floors.
Ventilation at horse shows may not be adequate as-is. In order to effectively remove ammonia from your horse’s stall at horse shows, use a zeolite-based stall-refresher product. Keeping your horse’s stall free from harmful ammonia odors is imperative for maintaining maximum respiratory health; the accumulation of ammonia in horse stalls and barns is more than just an odor nuisance. Studies have concluded that low levels of ammonia stress a horse’s upper respiratory airways, placing them at risk of pneumonia, heaves, and other serious illnesses.
Depending on the time of year and the weather conditions, you may want to use a horse stall fan to keep your horse cool and comfortable. Make sure that you have selected a fan that meets local fire codes and is not under any recall; then, secure the fan in an area that is out of your horse’s reach (pay extra attention to the electrical cords).
Here’s one last essential tip for horse show stall setup. Providing your horse with a consistent forage that they are used to eating will help them to settle in more quickly. Consider using chopped timothy hay for your horse, which is easy to source all over the country. This will help your horse feel relaxed and comfortable as they munch away on the same taste of forage from home.