What is the Best Way to Clean a Horse Stall?

Oct 28, 2021

Your horses deserve the very best care, and keeping their stalls clean and dry is one of the most important things you can do to keep them healthy and comfortable. Horses spend a lot of time in their stalls, sometimes lying down at night to sleep. If their stalls are not cleaned regularly, your horses may lie in their own excrement or spilled food and water. Not only is this uncomfortable but it can pose health risks as well.

Whether your equestrian facility is large or small, filled with rows of many horse stalls or just one or two, your horses’ stalls should be cleaned every day and kept as clean and dry as possible.

Supplies You Will Need

  • A wheelbarrow or bucket for collecting solid waste and dirty and wet bedding
  • A pitchfork or manure fork for picking up waste and sifting through bedding
  • A shovel with a flat front for digging out large areas of soiled bedding
  • A broom to sweep away straw from stall entrances and where your horses eat
  • Fresh bedding

Steps for Cleaning Your Horse Stalls

  1. Gather your supplies and take them all to the horse stall so you have them handy.
  2. Go through the stall with a pitchfork or manure fork and pick up any large pieces of excrement, the easiest thing to spot. Shimmy the material on the fork so the dry bedding sifts through the tines and you leave only clean, dry bedding behind. Place dirty material in your wheelbarrow or bucket.
  3. Fluff around the bedding to find material that is still dry and clean. Move any clean bedding aside, and move the dirty bedding to the middle or one end of the stall for easier removal. In addition to looking for solid waste, look for large wet areas. This will most likely be urine, and that soiled bedding needs to be removed too.
  4. To deal with urine:
  • Remove all bedding material in and around any wet areas.
  • With the shovel, pitchfork, or manure fork, scoop the wet bedding into your wheelbarrow or bucket.
  • Sprinkle an absorbent deodorizer (like baking soda or PDZ) on wet areas. Leave them open to the air to let them dry out completely.
  • If you notice that your horse soils the same area regularly, you may want to add absorbent bedding (there are pellets made for this) to that area to help eliminate wetness and cut down on odors.
  1. Once you have removed all the wet and dirty bedding, and the floor underneath is dry, spread the remaining clean bedding over the stall floor. Add fresh bedding as needed to keep your horse comfortable.

A Few More Horse Stall Cleaning Tips

  • Some muckers recommend leaving the clean, dry bedding around the sides of the stall, with the middle part open, the entire time a horse is outside to provide ample time for the stall to dry out. Then, spread the clean bedding around right before bringing your horse in.
  • In addition to urine, stalls can also get wet from water. Keep bedding away from your horse’s drinking water, and check your structure for leaks regularly.
  • Check for and remove spiderwebs.
  • Keep an eye out for evidence of mice. Spilled food is a major culprit of attracting these pests, so be sure to clean up after your horse as needed.

Following a daily horse stall cleaning regimen will maintain a safe, healthy environment for your horses. The team at Blackwood Equestrian Stalls understands your horses and their needs. For more information on how we can help you build the custom horse stalls to help them live their best lives, contact us today.