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Our barn needs a new ceiling. It’s currently very old foamboard which is covered in mildew and mold. We need a material that will breathe and will be light reflective. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated by us and the horses. Thank you! Sherri

Hi Sherri,

I don’t know of a material for your application that would be both breathable and light reflective. I would suggest a polyiso material with white reflective surface for the ceiling surface. To dissipate the moisture produced by keeping horses in the barn you’ll need to install a sufficient number and size of vents in the walls, ceiling and roof.

Here is a link to a polyiso product.

Polyiso is made of a polyisocyanurate foam core faced with 1.25 mil embossed white acrylic-coated aluminum on one side and 1 mil smooth aluminum on the other. It is installed with the embossed white surface facing into the barn.

We cover ventilation requirements and suggestions in our book Horse Housing and in our DVD Your Horse Barn.

Good Luck!
Richard Klimesh

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I’m new to horses, my 8 year old daughter has always been fascinated with horses and I’ve finally decided to get started. we are visiting some stables now to pick one for her to begin riding lessons before we purchase a horse. I’m currently building a barn and working on the stalls. I was reading in your book, Horsekeeping on Small Acreage, that you used a moving wall to allow you have a larger stall if needed. Could you provide me with some additional information on how you built the wall to move? My stalls are 10′ wide by 12′ deep. It will be the 12′ that needs to move, since I’m only 10′ wide that would be all that could swing to the back wall. Do I leave a 2′ section permanent on the from wall or does it need to hinge back to give the full opening? Just curious how you built yours to help me with my design.

Also had a question about the pen for daily turnout and bad weather, I plan to have approximately 30 x 30 pen at the back of my barn to use for this, the book mentions that this could be graveled. What would be your preference for the gravel type? Are there any con’s to having them turned out on the gravel?

The book has been great, Thanks for your help….Kevin

Hi Kevin,

So glad you found my book helpful ! You sound like you are approaching horse ownership and your daughter’s experience in a logical way. Bravo to that.

First to the swinging stall wall. One of our stalls was set up like yours, with the 12′ side being the swinging side, we left the extra 2 feet as a solid wall. Actually this makes for a nice nook for a water pail or grain bucket. And having a solid wall portion there adds stability for fastening the swinging panel when it is closed to make two stalls. Our 2″ wall portion is on the aisle side and the hinged partition is on the exterior wall side of the barn if that makes sense.

Since you have my book Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage, look on page 108. The short wall where the turquoise bucket is is the 2 foot wall on the aisle side of the stall and if you look over at the right hand side of the photo, you’ll see the 10 foot hinged wall fastened on the back wall of the stall.

There is detailed coverage of the swinging wall construction in our How-To video Your Horse Barn.

Your Horse Barn DVD by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh

Then for the pen gravel question, if you look on page 42 there is a photo of a handful of pen gravel which is 3/8- pea gravel. You can read more about it here on my website Horsekeeping. There is also detailed coverage of pen gravel in the 2-DVD set Your Horse Barn mentioned above.

Pea Gravel for Pens

Turnout Pen Gravel

Best of luck with your new venture !

 

Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage by Cherry Hill

 

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How to Control Flies

on Your Horse, around the Stable and

Horse Barn – Part 1

©  2010 Cherry Hill © Copyright Information

If you look in your favorite equine supply catalog, you could find up to 15 pages of fly control products!  During fly season, the shelves of your local feed or tack store will display a myriad of insecticides, repellents, fly traps, baits, and masks.  The choices for fly control products can be overwhelming.  However, if you arm yourself with some basic fly facts and gain an appreciation for the importance of management, you’ll have a better chance of winning your war against flies.
Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping AlmanacStable flies, horseflies, deerflies, horn flies, and face flies are a menace to your horse’s health and well-being.  Stable flies, by far the most common, are the same size as a house fly but while house flies just feed on garbage and spread filth, stable flies (both males and females) suck your horse’s blood.  Common feeding sites include the lower legs, flanks, belly, under the jaw, and at the junction of the neck and the chest.  When stable flies have finished feeding, they seek shelter to rest and digest.

The bite of a blood-sucking fly is painful and some horses have such a low fly tolerance that they can be driven into a snorting and striking frenzy or an injurious stampede. How  to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill Even fairly tough horses, subjected to a large number of aggressive stable flies, might spend the entire day stomping alternate legs which can cause damaging concussion to legs, joints, and hooves, and result in loose shoes, and loss of weight and condition.

Stable flies breed in decaying organic matter.  Moist manure is a perfect medium.  The life cycle is 21 to 25 days from egg to adult.  A female often lays twenty batches of eggs during her thirty day life span.  Each batch contains between 40-80 eggs.  When the eggs hatch, the adult flies emerge ready to breed.  Stablekeeping(The clouds of small flies on manure are often mistaken for immature stable flies but in fact are a different type of fly which may play an important part in the decomposition of the manure.)  The number of flies produced by one pair of adults and their offspring in thirty days is a staggering figure in the millions.  That’s why fly prevention is the most important line of defense in your war against flies.

FIVE LINES OF DEFENSE IN YOUR WAR ON FLIES

Your first line of defense is
TO PREVENT FLIES FROM BREEDING.

For those flies that manage to breed, your second line of defense is
TO PREVENT THE LARVAE FROM HATCHING.

If some of the larvae succeed in hatching, your third line of defense is
TO CAPTURE ADULTS FLIES IMMEDIATELY.

To deal with flies that avoided the traps, your fourth line of defense is
TO KILL THE REMAINING FLIES.

For flies that escape your previous four efforts, your fifth line of defense is
TO PROTECT YOUR HORSE.

Natural fly protection with Bare Skin Barrier

Watch for parts 2 and 3 of this post coming later this week.

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