Your Horse Will Love These Brilliant Tips To Spring Clean The Stable

Top Tips For Spring Cleaning Your Stable

Despite the recent cold snap, spring and summer are well on the way, so it’s the best time to give your stable a good tidy and clean up. From making sure the food room is all organised and pest-free to refreshing your summer tack and packing away all the winter warmers, why not make sure everything is spick and span, and set up your horse for a beautiful season?

Read on to discover some tips and recommended spring-cleaning actions to take…

It’s been a cold and wet winter in the UK, so there are plenty of things to look out for and clean up now that everything is looking more lively. From the trampled, muddy grass to your winter clothes and their dirty stable, there can be pests, mess and even disease lying in wait, so here is a list of top things to clean this spring:

1. The stable

If your steed has been stabled over winter, the space is probably a bit worse for wear. So, to get it in ship shape, begin by clearing everything out. Remember:

  • The cobwebs
  • The dust
  • The bedding
  • The rubber mats
  • The hay nets
  • Water buckets
  • Feed buckets

Don’t forget to brush down the walls and windows, as well, then let it settle and give the whole space a final dust and brush out. 

Bacteria thrive in lower temperatures, and you never know what is lurking in muddy corners, so once all the surface mess is gone, it’s time to wash it all down. Pressure washers are excellent as they can remove all the dried-on bits, but some elbow grease and a brush will work just as well. Don’t forget all your light fittings and windows too (try white vinegar for a streak-free shine). Once the worst of it is gone, get in there with some hot soapy water to disinfect it all, then open the windows to let it completely dry.

As a final measure, spray some horse-friendly disinfectant all over the lower walls, and leave it to work its magic. 

Then, once all your rugs and mats are clean, hay nets replaced, and buckets scrubbed, you can bring everything back in and lay some nice clean bedding for your horse to enjoy.
2. Check your horse

Winter weather is ideal for common illnesses to thrive, including the dreaded mud fever. So, when you brush down your horse, give their hooves and skin a good check-over for irritations, lesions, scabs or cracked skin, discharge or any swollen or hot, inflamed areas. 
If you find some, quickly contact your vet to confirm a diagnosis and get a treatment plan. If the issue isn’t too severe, keeping them clean and dry will do wonders to help them heal. Your vet may also recommend using disinfectant to clean their wounds twice a day, applying bandages to keep their legs dry, and maybe even clipping the hair around the affected areas to improve airflow and access for treatment. Just keep your vet in the know and follow their instructions.
Another issue that may come up in winter and spring is Asthma. It’s very common in horses and can be triggered by dust or spores in the air, so why not change to low-dust bedding and feed, or consider using a hay steamer or adding some respiratory supplements to their diet?
3. The feed room

We all know how messy, dusty and unorganised a feed room can become, with scoops moved, lids misplaced, scraps in corners and more. Giving it a good clean and some top-tier organising is a great practice to get into. 
Start by checking expiry dates and removing old or empty products and packaging. Next, check your bags and nets for holes, and empty your buckets, containers, and scoops. Now, give the room a good check over for pests – look out for droppings, chewed boxes and more. Finally, give everything a good sweep out and scrub with some warm water and antibacterial soap – the floors, walls, and windows, too – and let them get 100% dry before refilling and restocking with scoops for each bucket, expiry dates noted, and everything labelled. 
4. Your tack and gear

Why not take your spring clean as a time to check over everything, including your tack? 
It’s recommended to give everything a good looking over regularly, especially your leather, in case of cracking, reduced elasticity or loose stitching. If it looks like it needs a refresh, steer clear of water if you can. Instead, use a dedicated tack cleaner and a deep conditioner to lengthen its life. The same goes for synthetic saddles, or you can follow the manufacturer's guidelines if you’re unsure what to use.
Some extra things to consider:

  • For bits and stirrup iron, give them a good wash and let them completely dry.
  • For saddlecloths, remove as much hair as you can and wash them in the machine.
  • For your riding clothes, these should be washed after every use, but check for rips, tears, cushioning and more.
  • For your lead ropes, check for wearing or fraying and soak them in cold or warm water for about an hour, then scrub them before letting them dry completely.
Spring is the time of increased riding and increased use of all your equestrian equipment – especially if you’re in competitions, so give them a bit of TLC and prepare yourself for the year ahead.

About The Author
Debbie Woodliffe is Head of Content & Outreach at Affinity