Farm Management

Breathing Blue Ribbons

Breathing Blue Ribbons
NW Horse Source

Maintaining Respiratory Health at Competitions

By Jennifer Roberts


You’ve trained hard, practicing the sticky points over and over again. Your tack is cleaned, the trailer is packed… you feel as prepared as you can be as you pull out and head to the horse show.

You’ve done everything in your power to ensure a successful competition. Don’t let respiratory irritations keep you out of the ribbons. Air quality at horse shows is a huge concern, what are you doing to address it?

While you are able to carefully design and maintain your horse’s stall at home, unfortunately at a competition you don’t have many options. Depending on the facility, you may experience a wide variety of stabling, which means that you must come prepared!

stallIf the stall is not already stripped when you arrive, this is your first priority. Not only is it essential for air quality, it is also a biohealth hazard with many pathogens being able to survive in bedding.

After cleaning the stall completely (if it hasn’t already been done for your by the facility), the real work begins. Start by putting down an ample amount of relatively dust free bedding (we know that no bedding is perfect!). If the only bedding available is going to be extremely dusty, you may want to consider bringing bedding from home.

But don’t think that you’re done yet. Before putting your horse in his or her stall, be sure to apply an ample amount of a stall refresher such as Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher. This will neutralize the ammonia that will accumulate in the horse’s stall during the course of the competition.

Being exposed to ammonia can have devastating effects on the respiratory system. Ammonia irritates the lining of the airways, which can lead to complications as minor as coughs and nasal secretions, or as major as inflammatory airway disease (IAD) and recurrent airway obstruction (RAO).

In addition to the stall refresher, keeping your horse’s stall consistently throughout the competition will cut down on ammonia levels. Horses tend to be more active in there stalls when they are in unfamiliar locations, so their stalls may need more frequent cleanings.

Showing and travelling is stressful enough for your horse; remove respiratory stress from the equation. Keep your horses breathing easy and implement ammonia control procedures as part of your horse show routine.


Sweet PDZ has been keeping stalls healthy for over 33 years and continues to be the leading horse stall freshener on the market. This organic (OMRI Listed), non-toxic mineral captures, neutralizes and eliminates harmful levels of ammonia and odors.  Sweet PDZ is a far superior alternative to lime products for ammonia removal and moisture absorption. For more information, visit, and visit Manna Pro Products at for a dealer locator.

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