It’s a great feeling when stalls have been cleaned and all the horses have been grained, hayed and watered. The halters are all hung outside the stalls, the aisles have been swept. It’s a beautiful morning, not cold, not hot. It’s just right. The birds are singing. No flies yet. There’s an underlying antiseptic scent in the air. You take a breath and sigh. All is well with the world, at least inside your barn. You hope.
You’ve done everything you can to create a clean healthy atmosphere for your horses. But have you done too much? Are you guilty of over-kill? Horses are animals, remember. Yes we are, too, but that’s the problem. We have placed our human standards onto the backs of our horses, and rumor has it we are not doing them the better for it.
When was it decided that we should routinely bleach our horses‘ water buckets? I’m not talking about using a brush and just cleaning them well. I’m referring to the practice of adding bleach to the cleaning water and scrubbing like crazy. I have seen horsemen so diligently cleaning their buckets; it looks like a bicep/triceps workout. Why? Because we think we’re getting out the germs. Horrible germs lurking in the water, for the very same animals that graze off the ground, where dirt, bugs, slugs and all sorts of „icky poo’s“ dwell. Water is different, I can hear the diligent horseperson say and I agree. Water in most barns these days, sadly, is chlorinated. And yet, with or without chlorine, water buckets still get scummy over time and smell. Thus said, I can swear on my horse’s life, that I have never had scum so foul and so strong that a simple swishing with a brush could not alleviate it. So why, oh why are we scrubbing them to death with bleach?
A barn that has a contagious disease is one thing. I’m not downplaying conscientious attempts to irradiate that disease. I am referring to the caring horsemen and horsewomen who are exposing their horses to bleach residue imbedded in plastic and rubberized water buckets day in and day out, under the assumption that it is the right thing to do. It puts me in mind of the hand sanitizers that are so popular right now with our attempts to kill all contact bacteria, a practice which is now being touted as possibly paving the way for even stronger bacteria, the super bugs.
Give your horse’s water bucket a good cleaning at least once a week and even more often than that. Clean it daily if you like; just don’t use chlorine bleach unless chlorine bleach is actually called for. Simply dump your horse’s water bucket and give it a swish with a brush and rinse. Horse’s like fresh water. Make sure they have access to water at all times. Don’t count on moisture in the grass when you turn them out on pasture. I shudder at practices like that. Give them water. Give them fresh water. Give them endless water. It is the single most important nourishment in their lives. They can live without a bleach-scrubbed water bucket. They can not live without clean fresh water.Immobilienmakler Heidelberg Makler Heidelberg