Maybe the answer here is do whatever seems to fit best for each horse?
For my 2 I bed heaviest in the NE corner of each stall - where they always stand to pee. When I am using 100% pellets, this is where the bulk of them go.
If I'm using a mix, most of the pellets in this corner, shavings to the center.
My theory is that the favored spot was chosen because they can then look out the open Dutch door at the back to make sure nothing can sneak up on them whilst they are "occupied".
This is my second set of geldings who use the stalls the same way.
Second heaviest spot for either pellets or shavings is in the center - because they will walk out the stuff from that spot anyhow.
And I sweep the area in front of the stall doors - front & back - as well as beneath the water bucket & feed tub.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
I place the pile of shavings in the center of the stall because I have a gelding that will kick the shavings around once he gets in there. If I spread them out then he still kicks them around but now he has cleared the center of the stall where he pees and wants to lie down. if there is a pile of shavings and he pees, the pee runs to the bottom where there is a slight dip in the mat and it gets absorbed by the shavings at the bottom of the pile. The shavings on top stay dry and the horse has a dry place to lie down. I don't place the shavings at the back of the stall because that is where he prefers to poop and poop is easier to remove if I don't have to sift them from the shavings. I also sweep the shavings out from under his feed bucket so if he drops any feed he can pick it up without having to sift through the shavings.
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."