Safety

The stable environment has to be as safe as possible for both you and the horse; tidiness is one of the most important factors.

Stables tend to become dusty and the dust can actually cause fires so be careful to keep lamps, electrical connections, heaters and other electrical equipment clean and free of dust and dirt. Clothes, rugs and other equipment should not cover any heaters. The electrical equipment that there is in the stable also has to be approved for use in stables, something that you perhaps don't think about when it comes to radios, for example. Battery-powered radios, however, are not a problem.

Keep the floor free of food waste so as not to attract rats and mice as these can then start chewing on the electricity cables. If there is an accident and a fire breaks out, a knife, a halter, a halter strap and a fire extinguisher should be easily accessible. It is a good idea to place these tools on a special fire poster to stop these tools being used on other occasions and ensure they are available when needed. Something that is important to think about is that there should be as easy as possible to get out in the event of an evacuation. The stable walkway should be free of kit, wheelbarrows and other things that can cause injuries or obstruct an evacuation. 

Although fire is probably the worst nightmare scenario, there are a many other things that can cause serious injuries.

Boxes and stalls (to the extent they still exist) that remain have to be designed so that there nothing the horse can get stuck on. Common traps are grates that have openings that are too large, allowing the horse to get its hoof or jaw stuck. The gap between the box door and the stable floor should not be more than 3.5 cm. If the box door has an open upper part, a rug hanger should not be placed on this door. It is easy for the horse to get its lower jaw stuck if it starts to bite into the rug/hanger, resulting in serious injury.

Lamps and electrical cables have to be protected so that they don't come within the horse's reach when it is standing in its box/stall.

Handles, box locks, taps etc. have to be adapted or equipped with the appropriate protection so that the horse cannot get stuck to or damage itself on them.

Store food where the horse cannot get to it in a space with a consistent temperature and humidity that is not too high.

Forks, spades, brooms and wheelbarrows have to be kept in a designated place so that they do not block the walkway and cause injury.

It may be a good idea to have doors that can be fixed open with a hasp or similar to reduce the risk of the horse getting stuck or becoming afraid of a door that slams shut.

In terms of caring for the horse, it is good if there is the opportunity to put the horse in a specific place as this makes handling it easier and safer.

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