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Stall Cleaning 101
 By Winniefield Park   •   4th Feb 2016   •   1,565 views   •   1 comments
Stall Cleaning 101

If you spend any time with horses youíll probably notice that they arenít very particular about where they poo. Theyíll even do it in their own bed. Some horses will back up to a certain spot in their stall and let things pile up there. Or, there may be an area in a field a group of horses might use as a toilet area. But, they tend to be the exception to the rule and most arenít as particular.

Most importantly, wherever they go, we must follow with manure fork and wheelbarrow to pick up after them. Why is this so important? Manure contains nasties that can damage hooves, carry germs and provide ample fodder for disease carrying bugs. It also can give off fumes that can damage the lungs of human and horse. On some types of floors, manure and urine soaked bedding can damage the surface.

To do a stall cleaning job right, you need the right tools. You will need a manure fork if youíre cleaning shavings or other bedding that comes in small pieces, or a pitchfork if youíre cleaning straw bedding. Youíll need some sort of container, preferably with wheels to put the manure in as you work. Most often this will be a wheelbarrow, but some people who enjoy heavy lifting will use a large bucket that they can carry out to a manure pile or tip. You will need a wide shovel and a sturdy broom. And, youíll need extra bedding to replace any that you remove.

Itís best if the horse is removed from the stall before you clean it. If thatís impossible, you can tie the horse in one corner. This prevents the horse from trying to beat the wheelbarrow out the door or otherwise getting in the way or escaping. You donít want to stab the horse with a pitchfork because it stepped into your path just as you were going for a good fork full.

With the horse out of the way, park the wheelbarrow in the doorway, with the handles back into the stall. That way you donít have to turn around a full wheelbarrow inside the stall where itís tight quarters and rough terrain. There is nothing more frustrating than filling a wheelbarrow and then having it tip over. Use the pitchfork to toss any good hay back into the manger or corner where the horse can eat it. Take out any feed or water buckets that are sitting on the floor, so you don't accidentally toss manure into them. Now youíre ready to begin.

Start cleaning by using the manure fork or pitchfork to remove the most obvious manure from the surface of the bedding. Once that is done, youíll want to remove all of the wet and badly soiled bedding. This is really important because the wetness is caused by urine, and as it starts to break down that is what generates the lung damaging ammonia. Remove any really soiled bedding, tossing the cleaner, dryer bedding to the side as you work.

As you work, wheel the barrow or take the bucket and empty all into the manure pile. Donít be tempted to overfill the barrow. I always seem to be in some sort of competition with myself to see how much I can pile up, with the result that stray buns and loose bedding bounce out as I head out of the door leaving a trail I have to sweep up later. Or, the top heavy load tips over when I miscalculate a turn.

Once youíve removed all of the manure and soiled bedding, fluff the bedding youíve tossed to the side to fill any bare spots and cover all with a fresh layer from the bag or bale. Check to see that the buckets and feed tubs are clean and put them back into their place. Sweep the area outside the door. Use the broom and shovel to get the last bits of chaff and debris. If the horse is tied, untie it. It will likely reward your efforts by dripping a fresh pile of manure on top of the now clean bedding.

You will probably want to strip stalls down once and awhile. This mean you will remove all of the bedding and perhaps put down a drying agent. Then youíll start fresh with new bedding right down to the floor. And, then youíll do a cleaning to maintain the stall each day.
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
Valkyrie   MOD 
I've experienced both straw and shavings beddings working on horse studs. We'd just skip the shavings beddings (although certain kinds you can throw up against the walls every day or once a week or so) and then strip the boxes out whenever they started getting really dirty. With straw we'd throw the box up every day, lime all the wet patches, and fluff the bedding then add extra straw to replace what we took out.
  Feb 5, 2016  •  1,631 views
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