Cleaning out your horse’s stall is one of the most important things that you can do for your horse! A daily mucked-out stall is a great way to provide a clean, healthy environment for your horse to eat and live. Everyone deals with different horse environments and they may have a different routine of how they clean out stalls. But in the end, the technique/results are always the same!
1. Make sure you are appropriately dressed!
You wouldn’t want to go clean out your horses stall, wearing your fancy best! You want to wear the right kind of clothes when mucking out stalls. The right attire to wear would be jeans, a t-shirt, and muck boots (rubber boots, work boots, or some old sneakers). Some also might wear gloves, just in case you get blisters from the pitchfork/ shovel.
2. Make sure you have all your cleaning tools together.
You always want to get your cleaning tools together first. That way, you’re not running around trying to find everything once you need it! The tools you will need include a muck pitchfork/shovel, a broom, a manure bucket/ wheelbarrow, and fresh bedding (some may have a fresh bedding pile or buy it in the bags).
3. Clear out the stall.
If your horse is in the stall, take him out and put him in the crossties or put him in a pasture. A good time to muck out your horses stall is when you he is out in the paddock or pasture. If you can’t put him out for whatever reason, put him in an empty stall while you clean. It makes it a lot easier to muck out an empty stall than it is to try and clean around your horse while he is still in the stall!
4. May the cleaning process begin!
It’s always a good idea to start with getting rid of all soiled bedding first. All you have to do is just scoop it out and place it in a manure bucket or wheelbarrow. It may be easier to use a shovel for the soiled bedding, instead of a muck pitchfork. Once the wet bedding is all out, you can start getting rid of the manure. It you have straw bedding, the easiest way is just to scoop it out and place it in the bucket. If you use shavings for bedding, it is always good to scoop the manure and then sift the pile within the mucking pitchfork, letting the good/dry shavings fall. This way, you end up saving more of shavings to reuse for the bedding.
5. Smooth it all out.
Once you are done making sure all the manure and soiled bedding is gone, you can spread out the bedding, that is going to be reused, and smooth it out evenly within the stall. You want to make sure that the bedding covers the back 3/4th of the stall. Make sure you sweep the remaining front quarter of the stall clean with the broom! All you have to do is just sweep it all back into the stall bedding. By sweeping the front of the stall, it makes the whole stall look more clean and more put together.
6. Bring in the new bedding.
Once the reused bedding is all evened out, you can add the new bedding on top! The thickness of your bedding is going to depend on the kid of floor that is covering your horse’s stall.
* If your stall floor is concrete, you are going to want to add a lot more bedding to give your horse a comfortable support (about 6 inches).
* If your stall has a rubber mat for the floor, you won’t have to add a lot of bedding (about 3 inches).
* If you have sand on the bottom of your stall (which is the best for your horse’s legs), you won’t have to add that much bedding (about 2 inches). Just make sure that you really clean the soiled spots good! The urine really soaks into the sand, making it a little harder to get the soiled spots cleaned.
7. Clean up time.
Once all the mucking out is finished, it is time to clean up! Make sure you put all your tools away in the correct places and don’t forget to dump your manure bucket/wheelbarrow. You can dump it in a manure pile or place it in the manure spreader. It all just all depends on what your barn does and how they would like you to dispense of the manure.
8. Make it horse ready!
After you are done fully cleaning, it is time to make the stall all ready for your horse. Make sure that the water bucket is cleaned out and filled to the top with fresh water. Next, make sure your horse has new hay to eat for when he comes back into his stall. One to two flakes of hay should do the trick!
Now your horses stall is all done and completed! It is all clean, fresh and ready to go. Cleaning your horse’s stall should be a daily task. Horses make big messes that need to be cleaned out in order for them to have a healthy living space. If the horses living space isn’t cleaned out properly. It can lead to lunch and foot diseases. Making sure our animal’s space is clean and healthy is all part of the loving care that we give our four-legged friends. It is our job to take care of them and what better way to show your love for you horse, than a nice clean stall!