When preparing for the Olympic 100 meter dash, you probably won’t see Usain Bolt getting ready for the race with a couple of cigarettes. There are obviously many reasons for this, but one is the importance of outstanding respiratory health. The same goes for racehorse’s who compete at the highest level. The health of your horse is of course important no matter if it’s a racehorse or a companion who you visit for beautiful adventures in the woods every Sunday, but today we will focus on how you can optimize your racehorses respiratory health.
What causes respiratory health issues?
Up to 80% of stabled horses develop some kind of airway inflammation. There are many reasons for this high number, and many of them can be avoided by optimizing the stable environment for your horses. Some of the reasons to airway inflammation include:
- Biomass, animal waste, spores, mold, bacterial products etc.;
- Inorganic material such as metals and diesel discharge;
- Endotoxins in particle dust.
Particle dust is a big villain as the horse can breathe it in, and depending on hay and bedding, you can limit the amount of dust, and therefore improve the air quality by a large margin.
How to limit the risks and improve air quality
There are many simple tricks to limit the risks and improve the air quality in your stable. What horse bedding you decide to use is one simple change which can make for a huge difference. For racehorses Lucky Hooves straw pellets bedding truly is outstanding as it basically is dust free, and therefore is beneficial for horses with existing respiratory issues, as well as for horses who can’t afford any respiratory problems such as racehorses.
Except for doing yourself and your horse a big favor by choosing the best bedding, here are some other things to keep in mind:
- Improve the ventilation within stables and consider buying a couple of fans if you haven’t already. Do not place the fans on the floor as this re-entrain dust and dirt from the ground into the air again. Instead, mount fans either on the wall or in the roof, and ensure that the fans are secured out of reach from your horses.
- Feed your horses hay outside the stable, or if not possible, make sure that the hay is good-quality and low-dust.
- Clean your stable regularly by sweeping the floors while the horses are outside and by wetting aisles.
- Try to keep vehicles away from the stable, and human activity within the stable at a minimum. Research has shown that stables with the highest amount of harmful particles are close to roads or construction sites, as well as stables which sees a lot of human activity, such as equestrian centers.
Lastly, remember that fresh air is not only important for humans. No matter how hard you try to keep your stable clean and sterilized, a bit of fresh air will always be good for a racehorse’s respiratory health.