You’ve probably heard the expression ‘as strong as a horse’, but horses can be surprisingly delicate creatures! Whereas horses originally evolved roaming thousands of acres of grassland, modern equines tend to spend at least some of their time partially stabled and being fed on dried forage over the colder months.
While stabling horses has obvious advantages – providing shelter for them and convenience for us – it also means that animals are living in an artificial environment which can cause problems.
Horses and allergies
One of the main issues is that horses can develop allergies to an indoor environment. The capacity of equine lungs is huge, and air quality in stables can be poor which means stabled horses are breathing in a lot of polluted air.
What can cause allergies?
While horses do need some form of matting or bedding to keep vulnerable joints off the hard stable floor, that bedding can be dusty and harbour mould spores. Forage is another source of dust, particularly if it hasn’t been correctly stored. Mould can build up in damp areas of the stable, such as on wooden kickboards or window frames. As a result, stabled horses can develop a range of environmental problems, including the equine form of asthma (recurrent airway obstruction (RAO). This affects 10% to 17% of the UK’s horses and is caused or exacerbated by a sensitivity to dust and mould spores in the environment.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms can include coughing, difficulty in breathing and a nasal discharge due to inflammation. Horses can suffer mild or severe symptoms which tend to get worse in the winter when they spend more time indoors. These symptoms can become really severe and impact the horse’s ability to work or even quality of life.
Managing horses with allergies
In conjunction with veterinary advice, it’s important to manage the whole environment carefully by using dust-free bedding, soaking forage and not introducing other allergens... such as paint fumes.
Painting your stable not only helps to extend the life of the building but also create a healthier, more hygiene environment for your equine friend. It’s important to choose the right product, though. Step forward, Little Knight’s range of exterior paint!
Our masonry, wood and metal paints are perfect for stables. They're exceptionally quick drying, and are so safe that you can even paint while your horse is still present. As our paint is 100% VOC-free, there’s no waiting for days for fumes to dissipate – just paint and carry on. Our paint also fulfils the other vital criteria that makes it a good choice for stables – it’s hard wearing! If your pony loves to rub, bash his treat ball around or knock over his buckets, our paint is slightly flexible and can resist cracking on impact, so it will stay smarter for longer. As it’s antibacterial, it will also inhibit the growth of the harmful moulds which can exacerbate RAO.
But don't just take our word for it...
"Hi, Oh wow! Received the tester pack yesterday & immediately tried the paints on our stables. The way they bounce the light off without losing the depth of colour is amazing. They were so easy to apply on the different types of wood (some previously varnished, some painted, repairs so still bare wood). I did hesitate for a while as it’s an investment for stables compared to other paints but I wanted “safe” paints for my horses & especially little Jack Shetland who has the horsey equivalent of asthma. So pleased with your paints and will definitely be purchasing them."
Michelle J (happy customer)