One of my horses has what I call "lazy feet" in her stall and she literally drags her bedding to the very back by morning and has made a little bedding bank.
She's extremely neat in her stall but I find the best way to bed her it to actually leave space between the back wall and where her bedding is as she pushes it back herself and then by morning isn't standing on any bedding (they do have matted stalls).
I think more barns need to bed based on how the horse actually uses their stall vs a general this is how we bed approach.
I always sweep mine away from the front of the stall about 2 ft. The bedding is deeper in the middle. All three of my geldings poop in the back of their stalls so I put a thin layer of bedding there. If they are in due to weather 2 of them will have their stalls trashed - one will have all the bedding pushed to the side, the other one will just poop and pee all over. The third one is the cleanest and will poop in the back and pee in the same spot in the middle - I like cleaning his stall. Of course the messiest one is gray
Typically, I put most of the bedding in the center of the stall, with a little on the sides and rear, then keep the front of the stall (door, buckets, feed bucket, hay area) swept pretty clean. This is largely due to the mare who was like a centrifuge, spinning all her bedding out to the sides of her stall and now the gelding who rolls and naps in his stall many, many times a day. He also doesn't pick his feet up when he backs up and pushes his bedding out. Those two natural bank their stalls. Now the one who would get cast, his stall would get banked.
At a barn I work at, the owner likes the bedding to be all piled in the center and the rest of the stall swept clean down to the mats, so when you're done you have about a 4ft wide pile in the middle and everything else is bare. IT DRIVES ME INSANE. It does absolutely nothing to keep the stall any cleaner, and the stall is also inhabited by 2 minis, and with the bedding that way there isn't room for both of them to lie down at the same time if they wanted to. Plus I waste time sweeping it all every day.
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I do this at the back of my stalls - but they open to pasture and I don't want bedding (pellets) tracked out.
Also sweep a narrow - 1' - patch at the front and under their buckets.
I only bank bedding along the NE corner of each stall, because that's where my 2 boys choose to pee.
In this corner they are positioned so they can look out the (always)open stall back doors.
I figure it's so they can keep watch while otherwise "indisposed" and nothing can sneak up on them with their parts hanging out.
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I have doors into the aisle and doors to the paddock (front and back). I have no bedding under the water/grain buckets on the aisle side of the stall, and none at the back, where the hay and back door is. So, in a 12 x 12 stall, I bed a 9 x 12 area, roughly. Works for me. I use pelleted bedding.
Where my horse is boarded they have the same door set up, with an attached paddock, and they also sweep back the bedding from the front, about 2 feet, and from the rear door area, so it doesn't get dragged outside. I like it, so does Mr. Horse.
I do something kind of similar at shows (10x10 stalls, usually concrete floor), but I've always been on full care board so I don't know if it works at home with bigger stalls.
I sweep shaving under buckets, no point in having them where they're not going to stand and in front of the door so he doesn't drag any out. Then after I've taken all the gross stuff out and let the pee spots dry, I take the clean/semi clean shavings that I've banked and fluff them into a pile in the middle so the middle is the thickest part of the bed. The pile comes up to his cannon bones and then he can walk around and spread them to where they need to be, while keeping the thickest point in the middle. Minimal shavings on the sides because he always stands/lays down and pees in the middle.
I only bed the back 1/2 - 2/3 of my stalls, and keep the fronts swept. The pile of shavings starts small, and ends up about a foot deep against the back wall. I was told to do it this way, as another way to help prevent a horse from getting cast. The can't-roll-uphill idea. Whether is works or not, I can't say I've ever had one cast when bedded like this. But I HAVE had horses get cast when shavings were just piled in the middle and horse came in and dropped to roll in the new fresh shavings.
I have a friend who I farm sit for once in a while and she does something similar. All stalls are matted and level she spreads sawdust only where they do their business and only enough to absorb a days worth of manure and urine. It's usually about 3-4 forkfulls of sawdust. Two geldings get it in the middle in a pile the others get it in a 2 foot wide strip along the back wall. All the horses learned pretty quickly to use the litter area so they didn't get splashed. I love to clean her stalls! We use a squeege to push everything into a pile then scoop it out. Usually a half muck tub per stall! I can finish 5 stalls in 30 min that is scooping rebedding and filling water! The barn is so clean, of course this same person used to have industrial carpet in the aisle it actulally worked well just clean with the leaf blower.
DOn't get me started on the bedding topic from the barn my older gelding is at. However, the barn my young 3 year old at, they do an amazing job. Always really plush deep bedding and they sweep a good 2 feet back from the front and then a 1 foot wide strip away from the wall on the other three sides. After horses spend a couple hours in the stall, the bedding is all spread back out anyways. It just looks really clean and tidy as well.
Seems odd to me. My last horse was a nice tidy boy. What worked best for us was bedding heavier in the front 2/3 of the stall, swept away from the door. This gives plenty of bedding in the spot he pees and lots of cush for when he laid down. All I used in the back of the stall was a very light sprinkle- no point in bedding super heavy there since all that happens back there was manure in one corner and his hay in the opposite corner. Made for a quick scoop instead of needing to do a ton of sifting. .
sounds like someone being stingy, does not matter if high end place. My horse has better bedding in his shed now that he is on field board than he did at a higher rent stall board place. As someone once noted, it is called bedding for a reason.
You know it kind of sounds like they want the stall to appear to have more bedding in it by doing it this way. One good thing is that the back part of the stall is swept. Sometimes, I have found that the edges of a stall are ignored and that bedding there can get very dusty or gross. I like to rotate the bedding using it from the sides to pee spot then adding fresh bedding to the sides again making sure I keep the edges clean and fresh.
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I remember when the pelleted bedding first came out, the Horse Journal (was Mike Plumb's Horse Journal back when it started) did an article about using that type of bedding. The article said that this was the way they did it in the "test barn" and had great luck with it. To me it just seems like they don't have a comfortable spot to lay down and its pretty hit or miss if the horse will actually pee where the bedding is (less hit or miss for geldings I guess).
At our barn, we sweep back the front 2 feet or so, keeps horses from kicking bedding out in to the aisle, and keeps wet bedding from accumulating under the water buckets (have seen stall walls rot out from that). My dad used to work at a Haflinger breeding farm, and they would sweep out about a 8 foot longx1 foot wide section along the back of the stalls (12x12 stalls). All the imported mares would only poop along the back of the stalls, so you would just shovel that out. The back corners where left bedded to soak up urine. My understanding was that at the fohlenhof in austria, they would teach them to do that...I don't know how...but stall cleaning was a SNAP!