Why You Must Keep Mold & Mildew Out Of Your Horse Stalls

Keeping your horse stalls clean and dry is important to the health of your horses. One of the biggest problems that can affect horses is mold and mildew. Both mold and mildew are a form of fungus. Most forms of mold are microscopic airborne spores, while mildew is the visible growth.

They are different in many respects, but one thing that's for certain is that they can be dangerous to your horses. The best practice is to keep all mold and mildew out of your horse stalls.

Why Mold & Mildew Are Bad for Horses

Eating moldy hay can cause gastrointestinal problems and airborne mold spores can create respiratory issues in horses. The amount of mold spores in the hay is almost impossible to judge without laboratory equipment, but the moldier the hay is, the worse it is for horses.

The effect of mold and mildew mycotoxins on horses can be as minimal as a mild allergic reaction to as severe as organ failure. Never put hay or horse feed into your stall that you suspect might have any mold or mildew on it whatsoever. Once there, the mold and mildew will only increase, eventually reaching potentially dangerous levels. 

Keeping Mold & Mildew Away From Your Horses

Keeping a close eye on the condition of the hay and other feeds is simple. However, mold and mildew can begin to grow in your horse stalls unnoticed. Since the consequences of subjecting your horse to either can be a problem, you need to keep it out of their stall.

  • Clean Horse Tack

Horse tack is the term used for the various pieces of equipment necessary for riding a horse. This includes saddles, bridles, reins, stirrups and breastplates. Each of these pieces of tack are either all leather, or made up mostly of leather.

Leather has a tendency to get moldy if left damp and unattended. The first goal is to keep all your horse tack clean and dry. Since there's always a chance you'll get caught riding in the rain, it's a good idea to store your tack away from the horse's stall.

Mold and mildew grow best in a stagnant environment, so keeping the air circulating around the space where you keep your equipment is essential. There are also excellent products that are safe for your horses that help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

  • Clean Stalls

There is going to be a tendency for dampness in a horse stall no matter how much effort you put forth keeping it out. The idea is to keep the area clean, since mold and mildew are enhanced when excess dirt is present. If there is not a medium for the fungus to grow, it has a hard time even getting started.

Just because the stall looks clean, maintain a rigid schedule for regular stall cleanup. During warmer periods with higher humidity, be extra vigilant in stall maintenance. It's always better to add hay as needed, rather than let it sit for extended periods. Change out the feed trough on a regular basis.

It's also very helpful to use fans to keep air circulating, especially when your horses are outside their stall. You can also add florescent lights overhead. The combination of moving air and light reduce the ability for mold and mildew to grow.

Never use toxic cleaning products for your horse stall. There is nothing better for reducing the chances of mold and mildew than a good old-fashioned Clorox cleaning solution. You can wipe down wooden surfaces with a nontoxic preservative that will make the stall easier to clean, plus help prevent mold and mildew from getting started.

Mold and mildew may seem like little more than an unsightly inconvenience in a horse stall. Fact is, both can be dangerous to your horses. Keep a watchful eye on your horses hay, feed supply and keep everything inside their stall clean and dry. For more information, talk with a company like Rarin' To Go Corrals.