Many beginners need to learn their way around the barn before they can consider owning a horse. Stall cleaning is just one of the many things to master before you can label yourself an equestrian. Every good horsewoman knows that riding is just one part of owning and caring for horses. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to expertly cleaning stalls!
- Manure rake
- Sawdust or shavings
- Barn lime (optional)
1) Leave your wheelbarrow by the stall door and take your broom and manure rake into the stall. Scoop the larger piles of manure into the wheelbarrow first. Determine if the stall has some clean bedding left or if it needs to be stripped (everything taken out).
2) If there is clean bedding left, then pick a corner to begin in and start going through it with the rake. Use the rake to remove the shavings from the corners and sides. Scoop some up and shake it back and forth. The clean shavings will fall to the ground and the manure will be left in the rake. Move down the side of the stall and back and forth until the entire stall has been picked through.
3) When you get to a urine spot scoop it all up. If you have rubber mats, then you can use the broom to sweep up any wetness left behind into a pile, in which you can scoop again with the rake. Apply some barn lime to reduce smell. It is extra helpful when dealing with dirt floors.
4) Distribute the clean shavings evenly throughout the stall. Determine how much new shavings you’ll have to add. Dump the wheelbarrow and load up with clean bedding. Three to four inches of bedding is a good rule of thumb. Spread new shavings throughout the stall.
5) Don’t forget to clean water buckets daily and occasionally feed tubs.
You should only have to remove all of the shavings once a week or so. By cleaning your stall daily, you can pick through it and save bedding that didn’t get dirty. This will help cut costs on shavings.
Remember to check with your barn manager when checking stalls. Each stable has their own way of doing things.