When It Comes to Horse keeping, True Love is Clean Air

So are mold spores, dust, bacteria, fungi and other not-so-lovely respiratory irritants. Carrots and cookies are nice, but clean barn air is what horses really want on this special day and every other. Providing clean air is the best display of love and it’s not hard to do.

Kim F Miller
Equestrian writer, 14/02/2020

Cleaning up the air quality in the barn involves rethinking common horse keeping misconceptions

Nix the idea that more is better when it comes to stall bedding. Let go the notion that high-quality hay must be clean hay. Both beliefs contribute to an unhealthy stable environment that compromises otherwise healthy horses’ comfort, well-being and performance. 

Let's Start at ground level, in your horse's stall

That stall - filled with banked corners of shavings and a pile of lush, fresh-looking hay - may seem to reflect an owner’s enduring affections, but it could be the cause of that persistent cough, unexplained poor performance or, worse, a condition on the Equine Asthma Spectrum. 

Kicking old horse keeping habits starts at ground level. Consider a surface that doesn't require bedding to be comfortable, like ComfortStall Orthopedic Sealed Flooring. Proprietary foam supports joint health and circulation throughout the body and encourages horses to lie down for deep, beneficial rest and sleep. Savvy stable managers recognize long stretches of lying down as the ultimate indicator that a horse is relaxed and comfortable in its environment.

The respiratory benefits of this sealed flooring system are equally powerful. Shavings or straw are only needed to absorb urine and are easily removed with daily maintenance. The resulting slash of labor and maintenance costs shows a lotta love to the pocketbook, too.  

Another perk is eliminating the accumulation of urine that creates ammonia odors in the stall, a major airway irritant. Unlike rubber mats that are laid down in pieces, ComfortStall’s flooring system is installed in one piece and sealed to the stall walls with an anchor strip. No seams or gaps in coverage mean no places where moisture and urine seep through and become a foul petri dish of bacteria.

Next, let's take a look at your horse's hay

The field-to-barn trek all hay undergoes en route to the stable is an odyssey of exposure to multiple pollutants. It's grown in dirt, harvested with industrial machines, transported on highways and stored for long periods. It’s widely accepted that even top-quality, top-dollar hay is loaded with participles that can irritate and inflame the delicate lining of the equine airway and lungs.

Steaming hay is the established way to clean it. Haygain's high-temperature steaming eliminates 99% of dust, mold, bacteria and fungi in hay. It also adds water to the diet and its good taste inspires even picky eaters. 

Take home message 

Less shavings and cleaner hay equals cleaner air. And that equals happier, healthier horses. As Valentine’s Day horse gifts go, that beats carrots and cookies!

How can Haygain help?

Haygain is committed to improving the respiratory and musculoskeletal health of horses through research and innovation. Numerous scientific trials have shown that Haygain's high-temperature steaming eliminates 99% of dust, mold, bacteria and fungi in hay; effectively removing the health threat from respirable dust.

Developed by riders, for riders, we understand the importance of clean forage and a healthy stable environment for maintaining the overall well-being of the horse. Our hay steamers are recommended by many of the world’s leading riders, trainers and equine veterinarians. Find out more by clicking on one of the links below. 

Related Articles