So with a bit of hesitation, I wanted to continue the stall care discussion by addressing the urine problem. As you know, my stalls are very open so ammonia is not a big deal. Even so, I don't want my horses sleeping in wet bedding. Unfortunately, Sydney prefers to pee indoors.
We scoop the wet bedding and toss it outside to dry, but he continues to pee indoors. The dirt outside is plenty soft enough to absorb the urine, but his habit persists. Speedy is currently peeing outside, but as soon as it rains and the outside gets muddy, he will also pee inside. Yuck! In the past I have used a few different products to combat the ammonia odor and wetness, but it's been quite a while. As with the pellet issue, I decide to do a little research.
As before, I visited Wikipedia to find out more about hydrated lime. You can read that article here. [Val, of Memoirs of a Horse Girl, will no doubt enjoy the scientific nature of the article.] The first part of the article describes its low toxicity and goes on to list the many ways hydrated lime is used, including as a food additive. Ah, good! I was feeling very encouraged. But then I read the last line of the article, Unprotected exposure can pose health risks and exposure should be limited. It can cause severe skin irritation and chemical burns/blindness/lung damage.
The article goes on to describe products "such as Sweet PDZ, Stable Boy, and Stall Dry, [which] are composed of substances like diatomaceous earth, clay, and natural minerals, such as zeolites, that are non-toxic and won’t irritate your horse’s mucus membranes or respiratory system. These products, especially diatomaceous earth and clay, are considered highly moisture-absorbent, and the minerals trap ammonia within tiny channels in their structure, eliminating odors and noxious chemicals from the stall and the air. [...] Research has shown these products to be highly effective in ammonia and moisture absorption, and their all-natural content makes them an excellent alternative to hydrated lime."
In short, these products work, don't need to be used cautiously, and can be used in a willy-nilly fashion. My kind of stuff! Even better, these products can be safely dumped into our composting site!