Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
First, consider the purpose of a horse's stall. It is for shelter from the weather and for comfort. People built stalls for their horses to rest after being worked all day. THIS is why many people here talk about keeping their horses outside most of the time with JUST a shelter bc they aren't worked very hard.
That being said, the best stall keeping is too remove the poo so that any parasite eggs are not injested from any hay your horse eats on the floor of his stall, and to remove anything WET. Wet urine produces ammonia, which is bad for your horse's lungs. Spilled water wets bedding, and your horse's feet are the healthiest when they are dry--no hoof, no horse.
I would suggest that you clean 2x/day or 1x/day if twice is not possible. Every horse keeps his stall differently. I can tell which of my horses was in which stall just by cleaning it bc they have different habits. My mare, for instance, ONLY soils (urinates and defecates) in a 3 x 3' spot in her stall when I keep up with it, and she picks another spot to urinate only in, if I leave it for a day. My 16"3hh gelding drinks/urinates a lot more than she does, so his stall can get a lot wetter. I have 2 stall seasons: SUMMER--all 3 wander 4 acres and go in the shelter when they wish--no stalls; and WINTER: stalled every night, and sometimes all day. Your horse will want to lie down at night. You can tell bc he will have bedding on his side in the morning. You wouldn't want to lie in your own mess, and some horses lose rest bc the stall is dirty and he/she isn't lying down. (They only lie prone for about 15 minutes, and they are only in "Nativity Position" for aobut another 30 minutes, but it is necesary rest.)
Horses are pretty tough. If you get sick or weather gets foul and you have to miss a few days of cleaning your horse will survive. I just sleep better when all of my animals--I have dogs, cats and chickens, too--are tucked in, clean housing, every night. =D