1. Feed Clean Forage - The best way to ensure clean
dust-free forage is to use a semi-wilted bagged forage
made specially for horses, such as HorseHage.
2. Feed Good Quality Concentrate Feeds - Any contamination
by mite or mould will cause problems, as well as making
the feed unpalatable - check for dust, smell and the
"use by" date. A simple way of checking
for mite is to put your hand into the feed, then remove
it and watch the residue on your hand. If mite is
present, apart from the smell you will notice the
"dust particles" will start to move as they
get warmer. If mite is present, you will need to throw
away the feed, and may need to fumigate your feed
3. Correct Management of Bedding - Use a dust free
bedding. As distributors for one of the major natural,
dust-free bedding companies, we recommend HEMCORE.
Avoid the use of deep litter, as it will allow the
build up of noxious gases. Always muck out when the
horse is out of the stable and allow dust to settle
before putting him back. Remove cobwebs regularly.
4. Location of Stables - Store any hay and straw and
site the muck heap a good distance from the stable.
Never store forage or bedding above the stable in
hay lofts. Make sure that all the horses in a shared
airspace or in adjoining stables are also in a dust-free
5. Ensure adequate ventilation and drainage in stables
- Air vents should be provided in the eaves, and windows
may be put in the back walls to ensure a good flow
of air through the stable to remove stale air and
harmful gases. However ensure the horse is not in
a draught. Never shut the top door, except in extreme
conditions - far better to add an extra rug. Good
draining will maintain a dry bed and helps prevent
the build-up of gases or moulds.
6. Groom outside if possible - Ideally with the horse
facing into the wind, so that any dust will be blown
away, or use a vacuum grooming kit.
7. Consider travelling conditions - Very important
in the confined space of a lorry or trailer. Use dust-free
forage and rubber matting instead of straw.
8. Manege management - Keep surfaces dampened and
9. Pasture management - Keep pastures clear of weeds
and droppings to minimize dust and pollen levels.
10. Exercise regularly - It is often forgotten that
exercise will help to keep the animal's airways clear,
but try to avoid riding on dusty tracks or near fields
full of rape etc.
Finally, remember that any improvements to your horse's
environment are also improvements to your environment
as well - human allergies are also on the increase,
and all the same factors apply.