By now you will have realised that owning or riding horses means a lot of equipment. The stable is another place where a wealth of equipment can be found, much of which you will doubtless want to buy.
Keeping the Stable TidyMuch of the stable equipment on the market is designed to help you keep your stable tidy and safe. With all of the other equipment you need for your horse, such as the grooming kit, tack and your own clothes, the stable can quickly start to be very messy and, as such, pose a safety risk, if things are not tidied away. The range of equipment you can buy to alleviate this problem starts with basic hooks. These hooks can be used to hang anything, and special bridle and halter hooks are also available. The saddle, as an important part of your tack, needs to be looked after at all times, so consider buying a saddle stand to put your saddle on when you take it off the horse. In addition to all of these hooks and stands, there are many different types of brooms and brushes to help make mucking out an easier task.
Mucking OutMucking out itself brings a lot of equipment with it, especially if you want to stay as clean as possible during the process. You will need numerous pitchforks in addition to the brooms, and don’t forget a horse poop scoop – or manure collector. Buckets are also always useful to use for water, debris and other less than pleasant artefacts from the stable floor. Mucking out is not the most pleasant task but it is a necessary evil, and as such, the equipment you buy will be valued very quickly.
FeedingHorses are grazers by nature and therefore even when they are in the stable it is useful to give them some way of being able to graze. Again, there are many products which will help with this. A common sight in most stables are nets which are hung up and filled with hay. They allow the horse to nibble at the hay all day, to his heart’s content. Similarly, you can also buy mangers which fit over the door of the stable to put his feed into. Last but certainly not least, you will need a decently sized water bucket – make sure your horse always has access to fresh drinking water.
Treats and ToysOne of the biggest problems associated with leaving a horse in a stable is boredom, which, in turn, can lead to all sorts of other problems. To prevent this from happening, purchase a variety of toys and leave them in the stable so the horse has something to do when you are not there and when he is not in the paddock. These include salt licks, which can be fixed in a rack and mounted on the stable wall. The horse can then lick all around but the salt licks themselves are kept fresh and clean.Boredom breaker balls are also a good idea. These are balls hung from the wall or roof with treats inside for the horse to search for or covered in molasses for them to lick. Horses are clever animals and enjoy a challenge so balls which can be kicked around the floor are always enjoyed, especially if they gradually dispense food while being played with.
The good news about stable equipment is, unlike a lot of other equipment, much of it is optional. Having said that, if you do invest in much of the above mentioned equipment, your stable will be tidier and your horse happier and more interested. A horse left on his own with no toys will become miserable so try to make his stable environment as pleasant as possible.