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Has anybody heard of bedding a stall in this way?

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  • Has anybody heard of bedding a stall in this way?

    One of the stall cleaners at our barn leaves each stall with the bedding swept clean a good four feet at the front and the same at the back, leaving a narrow strip of bedding across the center for the horse to do his business. (Of course this rarely happens, which is especially bad in the case of urine, which just spreads in an unabsorbed puddle.) The method supposedly is used at the fancy facility where this person previously boarded, but it just seems goofy to me. Has anybody heard of bedding a stall in this way?

  • #2
    Our barn (and others that I have been to) sweeps bedding away from the front part of the stall - away from the front door, and away from under the water buckets along the front wall. Works for me and saves bedding - that said, we do not leave a "strip" as you have described.
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    • #3
      I've heard of using this method for horses that pace. It works well if you have plenty of bedding. As the horse walks his track he spreads the bedding out.

      It doesn't work well for horses that like to pee and poo in particular locations and not stall walk.

      l've found that you bed each stall for the horse that's in it, not by one particular method.

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      • #4
        Stall walkers and weavers, I'll tend to pile the bedding high in the center and very little along the edges. The horse then moves it out as it moves around...helps to avoid having no bedding in the center and all the bedding shoved against the walls.

        But I've not seen leaving just a center strip...I'd think it would make for a messy and smelly stall. And a sticky, messy horse if it wants to lay down. Are those stalls matted too?


        I do sweep back from the front of the stall a couple/few feet. I also use a 40 gallon rubber trough up front under the water buckets and hay nets...I serve grain or loose hay in the trough. This way hay chaff, hay and slobbers from the buckets don't get mixed into the bedding or really go anywhere but in the big rubber tub. HUGE benefit for a clean stall!

        Now for my younger gelding...I haven't come up with any method yet that keeps his stall even nominally clean. No hay mixed in or water wetting it down but by morning there's rarely any surviving poop balls. All are ground into dime sized bits. Except for the poop balls that get flung out of his stall. (or the one time I found one in one of his ears) I've tried different beddings, less bedding, more bedding, so much bedding he could barely move, sweeping into the center, sweeping it out to the sides....my next attempt will be glueing his freaking Happy Feet to the stall mats.
        You jump in the saddle,
        Hold onto the bridle!
        Jump in the line!
        ...Belefonte

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        • #5
          I bank them, so they lay down in the center, not against the wall.

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          • #6
            We sweep away from the door/water buckets- but not at the sides or back.

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            • #7
              I sweep from the door and from under the buckets/hay net. Mine are on wood floors. I pile more in the pee spots, and pull away from the walls.

              If anyone can also share with me how to keep my gelding from mashing his poop into little bits, I'd appreciate it too I do think he does it on purpose - I use rubber dishes on the ground for feed, and there will be times he manages to fill one entirely with a poop pile, so I know he can aim!

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              • #8
                ^I have a gelding that does the same thing. And it seems like he tries to bury his poop sometimes; as I'll walk in the stall (first I must remove the poop from right in front of the door) in the middle there is usually is a huge pile. I bed with straw so picture a mangled mess. Underneath that is smooshed manure on top of a pee spot. Then there is shredded manure over the rest of the stall. Oddly, I have never once seen him do anything in his stall but stand there with his butt to the door. I always picture him getting busy as soon as the lights are out.
                Last edited by hundredacres; Nov. 13, 2012, 08:13 PM. Reason: poor structure

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                • #9
                  I sweep out under feed buckets and hay piles. Never heard of it done that way. Idk sounds weird lol
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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                  • #10
                    I pull the bedding a couple feet away from the front and under water buckets, and a foot away from the other three sides. We got a couple mares in that pee against the back wall, so I leave the bedding against the wall for them.

                    At the barn I board at, they pull away from the front and bank clean shavings at the back once a week, so clean bedding can be added throughout the week as needed.
                    Proud mother to Matt, a 18 year-old TB gelding.

                    FOREVER

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                    • #11
                      At our barn, the workers usually only keep bedding on the back half of the stall floor. The stalls are matted. Another boarder and I are self-care (we do our own stalls), and we sweep back about a third of the way from the front of the stall, plus out from under the haynets, and I generally leave only a scant amount of sawdust in the spot where my horse tends to poop the most.

                      It's the only barn I've been to where they clean like that, but now that we do it like they do, I like it much better. The horses have it all tracked where they want it within an hour anyway , but for the time when the barn is empty, it DOES make for a much neater, tidier overall appearance. (The farm is also a functioning B&B, so there are not-necessarily-horsey Inn guests coming through regularly, and the owners like things kept very neat.)
                      *friend of bar.ka

                      "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

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                      • #12
                        Oh I did find out why my younger guy's stall looks like a hotel room after Guns n' Roses had a party in it.

                        After lights out and when the hay and snacks are all done, Sonny gets bored. And when Sonny is bored, he tries to get Petey to play. Through the stall wall/bars. He starts by standing near the wall and running his lips up and down a few bars. Petey ignores him and goes to sleep. Sonny escalates into clinking his teeth on the bars, moving back and forth along that wall. Petey ignores him. Sonny then goes into walk/trot circles with little rushes at the wall until Petey gets pissed off and gets back up. Sonny then hops up and down...boing, boing, boing...but then can't figure out how to play through the wall. So he boings all over the stall crow hopping and smashing every last bit of poop. Finally gets tired...lays down and pillows his head in his urine spot and sleeps until he wakes up around 4 am and starts the process all over again.

                        This is why Petey's stall has one neat large pile and 2 smaller pee spots and a clean Petey and why Sonny's stall looks like someone was testing small explosives in it and why the side of Sonny's head and his forelock have that Matted Bedding Glued To Pee look.

                        And that's why you don't bother with game cameras in the barn anymore. Why watch the moron?
                        You jump in the saddle,
                        Hold onto the bridle!
                        Jump in the line!
                        ...Belefonte

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks to all-- for the good information, not to mention entertaining descriptions!

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                          • #14
                            I have seen a couple of employees at the barn I board at do stalls that way. I HATE it! My horse is very messy, so I like to keep a lot of his bedding banked up against the wall to keep it clean. What some of the stall cleaners would do is mound everything up in the center, with about a pitchfork wide clear strip all around the sides and back. Great, so now my horse can pee all over all the bedding and grind poop into all, as well. The folks that did the stalls in that particular manner all had done time at the local harness track, so I am not sure if it was something that they picked up there.

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                            • #15
                              That sounds odd to me. I always banked the bedding - shavings or straw - a bit. Not only did it keep more of the bedding cleaner, but I was always told that it possibly prevented a horse from being cast. I can't imagine mounding the bedding in the center.

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                              • #16
                                The other person doing stalls now at the barn where I board my horse piles all the sawdust up in a large mound in the middle of the stall. Ugh! It just allows the horses to mix in and grind all of the manure up as they move around and spread out the sawdust. And get more of the sawdust wet with urine.

                                I agree to bedding stalls to the individual horse and I always pull sawdust away from the hay / water bucket areas. But I don't see how it makes sense to make one large mound in the middle!? I've seen 3ft tall mounds in the middle before!?
                                Originally posted by RugBug
                                Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.

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                                • #17
                                  Never heard of them done that way. One of my closest friends (We met working at a barn in our teens) started rough boarding. I don't know where she picked the style up from but would pull all the bedding back to the back 1/3 of the stall. I couldn't stand it! Lol

                                  I usually sweep back a foot or 2 from the door and pull the bedding out from under the buckets.
                                  Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
                                  Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
                                  "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
                                  I love my Dublin-ator

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                                  • #18
                                    I sweep shavings away from the front and back of my stalls leaving a strip in the middle, but I only sweep back about 2'. There is no need for shavings in the very front as that is just space for the horses' food and water. I sweep a strip in the back because all stalls have dutch doors in the back that are always open, so sweeping back prevents them from tracking tons of bedding into the paddock. I also have a pony who poops only along the back wall of the stall, so it makes it easier to muck his piles without bedding underneath them
                                    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by jawa View Post
                                      l've found that you bed each stall for the horse that's in it, not by one particular method.
                                      This! For sure this.


                                      I have one mare that if I do not mound her bedding in the middle when I get out there in the morning three is no bedding in the middle, it is all mounded at the walls. I think she does this by rolling in her stall. She does not usually manure or urinate in her stall, she goes outside to do that.

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                                      • #20
                                        l've found that you bed each stall for the horse that's in it, not by one particular method.
                                        That's fine if you have a few horses and 1-2 people doing stalls! For a barn with 25 stalls and different crews of stall cleaners, that gets to be a bit much. Most barns have a "method" they want their cleaners to use so that all the stalls (and the owners that pay for them) are getting the same treatment.

                                        Where I board my horses in training they sweep back about 2' from the front of the stalls, and for one of mine who has to eat off the floor they sweep all the bedding away from his "hay corner", which I appreciate. I pay extra for extra bedding, and leave the BO to decide how she wants the stalls cleaned. At home, I am free to do it "my way", which is nothing special.
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