The Good Air


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This week at our new horse property my focus has been on improving the ventilation in the barn for the horses–as well as for us humans. Our 52 x 44 barn has large, open doors on the front side as well as open doors for each of the six stalls that allow for a good amount of air exchange. The problem is that when we sweep stalls or when the weather is very hot (a common occurrence in sunny southwestern Idaho), dust and heat get trapped inside, particularly along the west-facing back wall, which doesn’t have a door or other opening. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this isn’t healthy for horses or humans.

My solution was to have a couple electric industrial exhaust fans installed. I had a smaller version installed in the tack room on an outside wall. Another big fan was installed on the back wall of the barn at the very top of the ceiling in the aisleway. This one works manually and it has a thermostat. When air temperatures at ceiling level reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the fan automatically kicks on, pulling stale air out and fresh air in

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Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

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