Keeping your Horse Healthy During the Winter Season

The grime that builds up on grooming brushes and
other tools is more than just unsightly; it may harbor bacteria and fungi that
can cause a number of diseases. Any tools that come in contact with your horse
or his wastes—including muck buckets, shovels, wheelbarrows and hoof
picks—ought to be sanitized with a disinfectant periodically. It’s especially
important to sanitize any tools you’ve used caring for a sick horse. Here are
the basic steps:

Scrape or knock off any hair or caked-on dirt and

Clean with a squirt or two of dish or laundry
detergent in a gallon or more of water. Scrub your grooming brushes against
each other to remove all dirt; use scrub brushes on larger tools and buckets.

Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

For extra disinfection, soak the tools in a
commercial sanitizer, such as phenol, quaternary ammonium, accelerated hydrogen
peroxide or a peroxygen-based product, or a mild bleach solution for at least
10 minutes as recommended by your veterinarian. The type of disinfectant needed
will vary with the targeted micro-organism and the surface of the material
being cleaned. Read the labels for handling instructions and safety
precautions; use rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your skin and

Rinse feed and water buckets thoroughly, making sure
no soap or chemical residue remains.

Set the items out in bright sunlight to dry—the
ultraviolet light will kill more pathogens.