Have you ever entered a barn only to be assaulted by the noxious fumes of ammonia? Your eyes water, your nose waters, your throat closes; you might be tempted to sneeze just thinking about it. Imagine then what it must be like for horses confined in an enclosed space with poor ventilation. Where can they go to breathe sweet, fresh air?

Ammonia buildup can affect a horse’s respiratory health and performance. The most severe exposures have potentially fatal consequences. Ammonia buildup is preventable with sound management practices. Stalled horses exhibit more signs of upper and lower respiratory inflammation than pastured horses. A well-ventilated stable flushes stale air out and allows fresh air to enter. Thus, a stable that can “breathe” has less ammonia, odors, and humidity.

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