Creating a Horse Urinal

Control the Smell with this Easy Solution

by Alayne Blickle, Horses for Clean Water


July 2017
Photo courtesy Alayne Blickle

The “black spot of ick” is how Jay Mirro refers to the paddock area where some horses repeatedly urinate so that it becomes nasty and smelly. Mirro is a senior farm planner for King Conservation District outside of Seattle, Washington, a populated area of the Pacific Northwest known for its high concentration of horse owners and home owners. These home owners want to live in a rural area, but may not be as tolerant of odors as horse owners.

“If an area develops where the horse urinates perpetually, you may have to dig out and replace gravel in that area. Don’t let it get to that point where you dread going to the barn or have to go out with a clothespin on your nose,” says Mirro with a smile. “Just replace a little bit of the footing once in a while.”

Since horses tend to urinate in an area where it won’t splash, use this to your advantage and create an inviting “soft spot” in their outdoor paddock where they might want to urinate. Then you can trap that urine in a compostable product that you regularly remove, creating a sort of a horse urinal. That’s just what Patricia Cosgrove of Enumclaw, Washington did on her four-acre horse property with three equines.

Here is her recipe for creating a horse urinal:

  1. Identify where your horse routinely urinates
  2. Dig out a shallow, slopped sided depression, approximately 3 inches deep, 2 feet x 4 feet wide
  3. Sprinkle with ½ bag zeolite product (for odor control)
  4. Spread one bag bedding pellets in the hole
  5. Hope your horse continues to use their favorite spot!
  6. Remove all (soaked & discolored) bedding pellets monthly, compost
  7. Repeat

Good luck and here’s to less odors this summer!

Check out the Horses for Clean Water website for information on innovative programs such as:


Trinity Ranch

Saturday, September 23, 9 am to noon

WORKSHOP:  Small Farm Equipment for Horse and Livestock Owners  Register at 425-282-1949 or signup@kingcd.org or kingcd.eventbrite.com


Location TBD

Sunday, September 24, 1 pm – 3 pm

WORKSHOP: Fall in Place for Winter Details & registration: NWhite@thurstoncd.com or 360.754.3588 ext. 105


Originally Published July 2017 Issue

Leave a Comment

Join our eMail List!
Sign up now! Don't miss an update.