10 Tips for Easier Horse Stall Cleaning

There’s no getting around stall cleaning. The volume and frequency certainly varies with the number of horses and your management preferences.

Credit: iStock.com Whether you clean stalls yourself, your boarders are responsible for their stalls, or you hire someone to do the work, make it more efficient to save time and labor.

We offer 10 tips for easier stall cleaning at your barn.

  1. Turn out as much as possible. Less time inside means less stall cleaning. Clearly communicate turnout duration with clients, as your boarders might or might notwant increased turnout time.
  2. Horse power. Drive a spreader, compact tractor or utility vehicle through the barn and muck directly into the equipment.
  3. Develop a system. Clean from side-to-side or front-to-back. It doesn’t matter which you use, but pick a method and stick to it for efficiency.
  4. Learn the habits. Horses have preferences for where they “go.” Attack their favorite spots and avoid sifting through unused areas of the stall.
  5. Increase frequency. Leave muck buckets and pitchforks easily accessible. Spot clean throughout the day for horses that are stalled. This prevents stall walkers from “trashing the stall” and reduces overall stall cleaning time.
  6. Use the right tools. Having the right tools for the job makes the process easier. Purchase a heavy-duty muck fork and wheelbarrow to reduce time and trips to the pile.
  7. Be choosy. Buy finer shavings, sawdust or the fines from wood pellets that are easier to sift with a fork and waste less unsoiled bedding.
  8. Bank back and side walls. Keep a reserve of fresh bedding against the back and side walls and make fewer trips to the stock pile. Fluff out fresh shavings as needed.
  9. Easy access. Whether you use bagged or bulk shavings, keep fresh bedding in multiple, convenient locations throughout the barn to cut down on time and trips to refill each stall.
  10. Encourage boarders to get involved. This depends on the clientele. Encourage an atmosphere where boarders help out. Offer incentives (a free lesson a month, free blanketing, etc.) for boarders who pitch in with cleaning their stall. 

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