Most domestic horses generally live a luxurious life in comparison to the wild cousins. Though a stable that is well-bedded and cozy may appear as an ideal environment that is not enough. There is a strong connection between the health of your horse and the environment in which it lives. For this, you need to focus on some basic considerations.
1. Control Contagious Disease- Like children share germs in their school similarly a horse can catch a contagious disease in the barn should you be careless. In case of a starter, it is vital to ensure that every horse is on a routine vaccination program. Different forms of respiratory issues can circulate on the barn especially if the horse sneeze or coughs. Being a horse owner, it is your responsibility to keep the horse which is sick separately away from the remaining. Also, ensure that all are not using the same equipment or bucket. The moment you add a new horse to your farm keep it separate from the existing equine population.
At this time, firstly look after the resident horses and then the new member in order to stop the transfer of bacteria or germs. Make it a point to avoid sharing thermometers, buckets, grooming supplies, equipment or tack between the existing and new horses at the time of the isolation. In case there is no separate barn, then put the new member in a stall where it will be distanced through a tack/feed room or empty stalls. And if this too is not possible then keep the new member in a paddock to keep it away from eating and drinking right away with the existing resident horses.
Since you have added a new member you will have to monitor it from time to time to check signs that are not ordinary like depression, lethargy, decrease or lack of appetite, cough, nasal discharge or fever. If you see any of these signs contact a veterinarian at the earliest. The rule is to keep a new horse away from the rest for about three weeks. After this, if the horse is healthy and has no symptoms of illness, it can be integrated safely with the rest. This way you can groom the new member along with others for a horse race competition. Learn more about horse racing at TVG.
2. Respiratory Problems- If the barn is not adequately ventilated it can result in equine respiratory issues. Germs, ammonia, and dust will combine together and make the air unhealthy and stagnate. Besides poor ventilation will spread respiratory bugs easily from a particular horse to another. Before creating a barn consider how its design will have an impact on the ventilation. Windows, open stall fronts, louvers, vents, doors and the design of the barn in its entirety will all influence the movement of the air through the barn. If you think that a barn that is closed up and snug is a good choice, then you are wrong because it will be unhealthy for the horse.
During winter too, you have to do all that is possible for promoting the right flow of air by opening the windows and doors strategically. There should be sufficient air exchanges for keeping the air clean and fresh. Hay and bedding by its nature are dustily resulting in problems despite there is good ventilation in the barn. Use a feeder while feeding hay for best results. You can also replace hay with a bagged forage product which is quite in demand these days. It is sans dust and contains starch in lower amounts. Use bedding that has the least dust and while cleaning it keep the horse away from the stall. Mist the bedding with some water before the horse is brought back to the stall.
This shows the strong connection between horse health and a safe environment. It is important to keep the environment safe and clean to help the horse stay in the pink of health.