By Chris Egg (Guest Writer)
Owning a horse feels majestic, but pampering a horse and up keeping him is not that easy. You bought a horse for the first time to pursue your horse riding hobby or some other commercial purpose. To avoid any health issue or harm to your horse and keep enjoying your ride, you should make sure proper care of your horse and barn.
“A healthy horse means a happy owner”- Kim Houlding (Iowa Horse Council)
To become a happy owner, let’s discuss metal barn maintenance tips for first-time horse owners.
Maintain Proper Air Circulation in the Metal Barn: Inadequate air circulation in the barn can affect your horse’s health. Make proper opening or windows to avail air to circulate across the barn. Use fans & exhaust fans to circulate air in the barn and expel the hot air. You can set vents on each horse stall to enhance the ventilation. You should leave some open space on the stalls for adequate airflow. Keep doors open during the day to allow fresh air circulation. You can use a dehumidifier to deal with moisture or condensation.
Pest Control: Hay bales and grains entice rodents, pests, flies, etc. These infectants can spread diseases in the metal barn and affect your horse. You should maintain proper hygiene in the barn to protect your horse from unnatural health issues. To resist the mildew growth, mice, raccoons, etc. you should adequately store the feed and hay in the metal container. You should put the feed off the ground on the pallets to avoid fungal growth. Use proper cleaning treatment to remove existing pests. To tackle raccoons and rats, prefer using cages and traps. Never use poisonous baits or pest control spray because these toxic substances can harm your livestock also.
Appropriate Saddle Storage:
If you are storing your saddles or other riding accessories randomly anywhere, then it can harm your building as well as the horse. Saddles are made of leather and prone to pests and moisture. If the saddle comes in contact with the moisture, then it can create a habitat for mold. Once the mold starts growing, it will spread throughout the building and damage the metal structure. To avoid such circumstances, you can dedicate a room for storing saddles, bridles, and other equipment or use a saddle stand. You should also employ proper breathable covers to guard your saddle and bridles against infectants and humidity.
Adequate Hay & Feed Storage: You should make adequate hay storage arrangements to keep up the quality of the barn and food. Improper storage of hay entertains the microbial growth on building and feed. The mold growth on the building can lead to corrosion or rusting. On the other hand, contaminated hay becomes a vector for many diseases. You should stack the bales properly to prevent any harm to you or your building due to hay avalanche.
Consider Barn Floor Alternatives: An improper floor can cause leg injury to your horse. You should get your barn a floor that is easy to maintain and safe to walk on. There are different types of floor options, like asphalt, concrete, clay, etc. You can get any of these according to consistency but set a rubber mat in case of a hard floor to protect your horse’s hooves. Dirt floor doesn’t require any bedding but hard to clean and keep the hygiene. A suitable floor is necessary for the easy functionality of the metal barn.
Never Neglect Still Water: If your area faces frequent downpours or floods, then there must be some water collecting near your building. You should arrange an adequate drainage system because water oxidizes the metal and causes rusting and degradation of the metal structure. One more place where still water can create a problem is the roof. Sometimes due to inadequate cleaning of debris, the drains get chocked, and water keeps collecting on the roof. You should clean your metal horse barn’s roof frequently to ensure the proper water drainage.
Roof Maintenance: If you live in dense snowfall areas, then your metal building’s roof can get affected due to snow loads. Your building can collapse due to increasing snow weight. You should remove the snow frequently to avoid any building’s demolition or deformation and safeguard your livestock. You can employ a vertical roof to slide down the snow easily or talk to your building expert to help you with the best metal barn designs for heavy snowfall. You can also take the help of other tools like a snow shovel, snow blower, deicers, etc. to tackle the snow.
Remove Nearby Vegetation: Trees or plants near the metal barn can create many adverse impacts on the metal building. Trees block the air circulation around the building and increase the probability of condensation & mold. The foundation of the building is also prone to roots because roots undermine the foundation and degrade the stability of the metal horse barn.
Lubricate Doors of the Metal Barn: Different metal parts of the doors like hinges, latches, etc. are vulnerable to humidity or moisture. Moisture forms rust on the metal parts, and doors functionality gets affected due to friction. Ignoring this functionality issue can lead to wear & tear of doors. Metal horse barn has many stalls, and each booth has a door. So, if you are ignoring door maintenance, then you are going to face a considerable loss of the assets. You should oil or lubricate the door’s hinges to smoothen the process and optimize the maintenance cost.
Suitable Insulation: Metal barn insulation has many advantages like restricting condensation, saves energy bills, noise cancellation, etc. If you live in worse weather conditions area, then you must get suitable building insulation to get the above benefits and give a comfortable environment to your horse. There are some factors U-values, R-values, and Vapor retarders that are used to measure the quality of the insulation. Analyze all the values or ask your building expert to get the best suitable insulation for your metal horse barn.
Inspect Metal Barn’s Paint: Your building’s paint not just enhance the aesthetics, but also guard your building against elements like sun, dust, moisture, etc. Paint start fading or peel off due to aging and other factors. You should inspect and touch up the paint to safeguard your building against mold, rust, etc. It’s good to be on a safer side and have a reserve option like a primer. Use a matching primer with paint to touch up or paint your building. Paint is the outermost layer of the building, which faces the most exposure to environmental elements. Hence pick the quality paint & primer for your metal horse house.
These are the 11 Metal Barn maintenance tips for first-time horse owners that you must consider for effective care of your horse and barn.
Author Bio: Chris Egg is Content, Marketing & Sales Manager at Viking Steel Structures. He has substantial experience in metal buildings industry and writes enticing content about it.
Source: Chris Egg, Viking Steel Structures