Brigita's Blog: Improving the Air Quality In Horse Barns

Nazareth area Residential properties, Nazareth area horse properties, Lehigh Valley residential properties, Lehigh Valley horse properties, Nazareth area horse farms, Nazareth area farms, Nazareth area rural homes, Lehigh Valley rural homes, Nazareth area real estate, Lehigh Valley real estate, Nazareth area schools, horse properties, equestrian properties, horse farms, Nazareth REALTOR, rural homes, rural properties, equestrian farms,

Improving the Air Quality In Horse Barns

Improving Air Quality in Horse Barns


                                          Improving Air Quality in Horse Barns


Did you know that horses can get breathing problems from air particles?  That's right.  It is the same as dust, pollen and hay fever trigger hay fever in humans.


In barns, hay is consistently tossed around, stirring up dust.  Bedding materials are stirred up daily while cleaning stalls, adding more bedding, and cleaning the barn will stir up dust, increasing airborne particles.  The increases the risk of horses developing respiratory problems or making the existing problems worse.  To make things worse, using leaf blowers, sweeping aisles and mucking stalls with dry bedding while the horses are in, will kick up even more debris and dust into the air.


Two major respiratory conditions are linked to the air quality.  They are heaves and inflammatory airway disease or IAD.  


Heaves is very similar to asthma in humans.  It generally affects older horses, while IAD can be seen in younger ones.


Horses with heaves will show signs at rest, such as flaring nostrils and labored breathing.  Heaves can be seasonally recurrent while horses with IAD will cough only when exercised.  It is highly recommended to make environmental changes to address both of these respiratory conditions.


The things that can be done to improve the air quality is to turn horses out while cleaning the stalls and the barn, which will make a huge difference for the horses with these conditions.  Another thing that will help is to soak the hay when feeding it to the horses.  This will cut down on the dust.  It is best to keep the horses with these respiratory conditions outdoors as much as possible, where there is less dust to inhale.


When constructing a barn, the layout of the barn can change the air quality dramatically.  Things like placement of doors and windows, which can create drafts, relocating the hay loft to cut down on the dust in the stalls, can make a big difference.


Some horses may require medication in addition to the environmental changes to improve their quality of health.  Always work with your veterinarian, using their recommendations, to help the horses breathe better.  Once the right combination has been figured out, keep up with them for the long term so the breathing problems do not return.

Brigita McKelvie is a REALTOR®  (Pennsylvania License #RS297130) with Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, specializing in rural and horse properties and farms in Eastern Pennsylvania.  She has an e-Pro® (Certified Internet Expert) certification and a GRI (Graduate, REALTOR® Institute) designation.  

Brigita McKelvie, REALTOR

Pennsylvania License #RS297130

Rural and Horse Properties and Farms


Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, Ltd.Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, Ltd.


The Premier Equine and Country Real Estate firm serving Eastern Pennsylvania from back yard operations to world class equestrian facilities.

Use a REALTOR with "horse sense" that doesn't horse around when it comes to horse properties.



e-ProGRI (Graduate, REALTOR Institute)BNI




Comment balloon 6 commentsBrigita McKelvie, Associate Broker • July 14 2016 06:05AM


Good morning Brigita. While I never thought about this it makes perfect sense. Your post is informative and necessary to anyone with or thinking about horses.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 1 year ago

Good morning, Brigita McKelvie what a informative post....I loved learning this information..... and, as Sheila said, it makes perfect sense.... I'll have my granddaughter read this post today....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 1 year ago


It is definitely important information for horse owners to know.


Posted by Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker, The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around (Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd.) about 1 year ago


I like to educate others on various information about horses and it is needed.


Posted by Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker, The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around (Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd.) about 1 year ago

Horses need air just like us especially during the summer months.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) about 1 year ago


Absolutely! Fans can also be put up in the barn or on the individual stalls for air circulation.


Posted by Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker, The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around (Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd.) about 1 year ago