Winter Solstice has passed and the days ARE getting longer but we're still in the midst of winter weather. The hatches are battened down, everything is closed up to keep our horses as warm and cozy as possible. Right? Combine that with sweaty saddle pads, moist leather, urine and manure and you’re in for some serious “barn odors” that are far from cozy. Bad barn smells are one factor but also consider yours and your horses respiratory health. Fresh, clean air is a key component of that. Here’s 5 tips to help you keep your barn smelling like roses (well maybe not roses per se but at least not stinky winter “barn odor” smells) all winter long!
1. Fresh Air. Check your stable for proper ventilation. Without creating a massive draft, crack windows and stable doors at least for a short portion of each day to allow for fresh air flow through your barn.
2. Sufficient Bedding. Yes, proper bedding is costly but this is not a place to cut corners in the winter months when horses are standing in their stalls more often than not. Whether you bed on straw, shavings, or pellets make sure you have a sufficient amount of bedding to absorb urine in your stalls. Investing in quality stall mats can also mitigate the amount of bedding needed thus saving your expense on bedding in the long run.
3. Clean Up. Pick urine and manure from your stalls daily then spray Bye Bye Odor on the urine spots. The Bye Bye Odor will eliminate the ammonia in the urine. Believe your stall smell just fine? Get down at floor level where your horses noses spend a great deal of time and take a wiff. Ammonia not only smells bad but is detrimental to respiratory health. Bye Bye Odor eliminates the ammonia but likewise it has a light, refreshing, pleasant smell on its own.
4. Water Buckets. Don’t just refill water buckets but make a habit of dumping, rinsing and then refilling at least every other day. This is a year round tip. If you are just constantly refilling buckets with grain and hay remnants floating around it will sour. Encourage your horses to drink more water by keeping a fresh, clean supply readily available for them.
5. Blanket Maintenance. Try using a light fleece sheet under your winter blankets that you can wash easily and that will dry fast for reuse. This will keep the layer closest to your horse fresh plus wick away any sweat that might accumulate if they do get too hot, and cut down your grooming time by always having a clean layer on them. Winter blankets usually only get washed 1 or 2 times a season. Spray urine and manure spots on your outer blanket and straps with Bye Bye Odor to neutralize the smell.
And remember... Just when you thought you've experienced the last sub zero, wet messy day you can muster, it will be time for some sweltering heat! Happy Valentine's Day and happy winter!
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