Fall is upon us, so Winter won't be far behind. Soon some of us will need to batten down the hatches and close up everything to keep our horses as warm and cozy. When you couple being all closed in for winter with sweaty saddle pads, moist leather, urine and manure 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 horse's 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. Bye Bye Odor will eliminate the ammonia that is the byproduct of the decomposition of urine. You might think your barn smells fine. To really know how bad the Ammonia smell might be, get down at floor level where your horses noses spend a great deal of time and take a whiff. Ammonia is heavier than air so is worse down lower. It doesn't have to be this way. 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. If your horse rolls in manure and urine, spray those spots with Bye Bye Odor on your blanket and straps, let it sit overnight, then wash to neutralize the smell.
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