Are shared airspaces a good decision for horses’ stabling?
Studies undertaken have investigated the construction of stabling that promotes airflow through stabling since airflow through the buildings should reduce inhaled particulate. 4 -8 air changes per hour should be provided in stabling to reduce dust in a stable setting (Wheeler 2006). Flow monitors are commercially available to calculate air changes per hour.
Performance horses are frequently kept in stabling such is as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2, where enclosed shared airspaces are a common feature.
Figure 1: Typical plan of housing with shared airspaces
Taken from https://www.dkhoi.com/8-stall-barn-plans/good-8-stall-barn-plans-2-10-stall-horse-barn-floor-plan-barn-guru-325×600.jpg/
Figure 2- Typical Performance housing with small enclosed airspaces
Taken from – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvvz3XB7NEQ
Shared airspaces can affect dust levels from one area to the next. Areas external to stablings such as corridors and communal areas can directly influence levels inside stabling. Art et al. (2002) and Woods et al. (1993), recommend avoiding storage hay and straw near housing for equines to prevent cross-contamination of dust. Difficulty in controlling the inhalable environment at competition or on racing days can be an issue for professionals, where turnout is prohibited, and stabling assigned.