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December 15, 2021
The Gift of Easy Breathing
By Kim Miller | Equestrian Writer
Dust, mold, fungi and bacteria are the equine equivalent of coal in the stocking. None of us mean to give these invisible irritants to our horses, but unfortunately, many of us do it inadvertently.
Hay is critical to horse health and it's ubiquitous in the horse keeping environment. It's also the #1 source of respirable irritants that cause conditions on the Equine Asthma Spectrum. We're talking dust, mold, bacteria and other allergens, all small enough to be unseen by the human eye.
At less than 5 microns in size, these particles can infiltrate the horse's natural respiratory defence mechanisms to trigger inflammation and excess mucus throughout the horse's respiratory system. When that happens, there's no such thing as easy breathing.
Haygain can help. All three of our core products help reduce airborne particles in the stable.
· High Temperature Hay Steamers reduce up to 99% of the respirable particles commonly found in hay. Even hay with desired nutrient content and that looks and smells good can be loaded with dust. Hay is grown in dirt, harvested with heavy equipment and often transported long distances and/or stored for long periods. Let's face it: it has things our horses don't want or need in it.
· The Forager Slow Feeder provides an effective alternative to wall-hung hay nets and the clouds of dust that emerge when the horse has to yank hay from them. The sturdy cylinder keeps hay away from bedding and manure on the floor, too. It's an ideal way to feed clean, Haygain Steamed Hay.
· ComfortStall Sealed Orthopaedic Flooring, by Haygain, has built-in foam cushion that reduces the bedding requirements to only that needed to absorb urine. Because bedding is the #2 source of respirable irritants in the horse's environment, less bedding equals less dust in the stable.
Additional Tips for Giving Your Horse the Gift of Healthy Stable Air
· Ventilation. Horses are comfortable in much lower temperatures than their humans. Throw an extra blanket on and leave a window or door cracked open to maintain air circulation inside the barn.
· Strategic Cleaning Times. The process of reducing dust from nooks and crannies can stir up a lot of particles. Do it when your horses are outside. Don't use leaf blowers around horses!
· Choose Bedding Wisely. Low dust bedding -- like Airlite's cardboard product -- will help cut airborne particle content.
· Mold Inspector. Look and sniff for moldy spots on barn walls, floors or other structures: especially those that are close to the hay supply. Get rid of it!
Happy, healthy holidays to you and your horses!
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