Q&A: How much ventilation?

  • Q: I have recently moved my Thoroughbred mare to a new livery yard. I’m very happy with most aspects of it, but one thing concerns me. The stable has a large open window at the back, as well as the open door at the front.

    I know it’s important to have good ventilation, and in the summer it’s fine, but I’m worried that it will be too draughty for my mare when it’s cold, especially as she has a full clip and it is quite a windswept location.

    She does have a thick stable rug, but no neck cover. Do you think I am worrying too much or shall I ask the yard to block up the window?

    Yard manager Kate Skirrow replies: In summer, it can be a huge benefit to have a window at the rear of the stable that allows air to flow freely. However, a rear window that cannot be shut may create problems in winter.

    Layering your mare’s rugs and using a neck cover will go a long way towards keeping her warm. However, the draughts may make the bedding and rugs feel damp, which could result in health and management problems.

    The simplest course ofaction would be to ask the yard owner to provide a cover for the window. This way, your horse can have the best of both worlds: a cool, airy stable with a second view in the summer, and a dry, cosy one on cold, blustery days.

  • Kate Skirrow is the yard manager at Oaklands College, Herts, where she is responsible for the care of 30 horses.
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