Designing a Safer Stall
How many hours each day does your horse spend in his stall? While stalls are designed to keep horses safe, traditional stalls can actually contribute to injuries and poor equine health. Rethinking your stall design to make it safer for your horse will help to minimize the chance of injury and even support your horse’s health. Put these tips to work in your barn to create a safer stall for your horse.
Maximize Ventilation with Open Stall Designs
You can support your horse’s respiratory health with strategic stall design. Incorporating an open design for stalls, with partitions to maximize airflow, can help keep your horse healthier. Adequate airflow is particularly important in stables, where large amounts of dust naturally occur. Wire mesh or wire bar partitions allow for both airflow and natural light to enter the stall — making for a happier, healthier horse.
Create Partitions to Reduce Stress
While an open stall design lets your horse socialize with the horses in neighboring stalls, some division is important, especially at feeding time. A smaller solid partition around your horse’s feed tub will allow him to eat in peace without feeling threatened by horses in other stalls. This can help to reduce your horse’s stress at mealtime.
Assess Bar Partition Spacing
One all too common stall injury occurs when horses rear up or kick out and get a hoof stuck in a metal bar partition. While bar partitions can make stalls brighter and allow for increased airflow, the spacing between the bars needs to be small enough to prevent a horse from slipping a hoof through the space.
Choose high-quality partitions with no more than 3 inches of space between the bars. You will also want to make sure that any welds on the partition have been done both thoroughly and smoothly.
Incorporate a Flooring System For Cushion and Support
Stall floors that are too cold or hard, like concrete floors, can make your horse sore. Some horses may be reluctant to lie down if a floor is hard or cold, and this can also negatively affect your horse’s health.
Luckily, you have plenty of options when it comes to stall flooring. Products like the Stable Mattress system offer a comfortable, forgiving surface that your horse will appreciate. After an intense training session or a competition, a well-designed stall floor can help your horse to recover in comfort.
Don’t Forget the Barn Aisle
Slick barn aisles can also contribute to injuries as your horse goes into or comes out of his stall. There are many different ways to add traction to an existing aisle, such as laying down rubber mats or installing rubber pavers.
Additional Steps to Support Equine Health
You may be able to implement some or all of the tips above to make a safer stall. But even if you can’t make some of the changes, there are easy ways to support your horse’s respiratory health.
BleederShield provides essential support to your horse’s lungs and blood vessels during strenuous exercise, and even promotes repair of EIPH-damaged lungs. It can help to support healthy lungs in race and competition horses, and is completely free of banned substances, so you can use it safely.
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Use these tips to help your horse arrive at shows or races happy, healthy and ready to compete.