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Posts Tagged ‘stable’

Hi Cherry,

We moved with our ponies onto a five acre hobby farm which was previously a dairy operation.  There is a large cement yard around the barns causing a lot of wasted space. It would be a perfect winter/sacrifice area for spring though, the barn shelters the north and west sides. I was wondering if there would be anyway to cover this? A base layer of gravel with sand on top? How deep? Ripping it out is not an option, and I don’t like the idea of horses on concrete.  Wondering if you have any suggestions? Thanks,

Allison

Hi Allison,

Well of course I have to go on the record that my suggestion would be removing the concrete but I realize the effort, expense it would take and that you said removal is not an option.

By the way, what you have are concrete pads, not cement. Concrete is comprised of cement (a fine powder), aggregate (sand, stones) and water. It is sometimes reinforced with steel mesh or bars (rebar). When concrete is poured it is agitated and worked so the large pieces of aggregate settle somewhat leaving a sand/cement mixture on top to form a smooth surface. Concrete is one of man’s most durable building materials and it can be a major undertaking to remove it, especially if it is reinforced with steel.

So here are some other things you probably have already considered or have even done by now.

Using the concrete as is for eating areas would be OK, but if the ponies would also be required to use them as loafing areas, standing for long periods of time and/or laying down or rolling, then concrete pads would not be good for the long term for obvious reasons of abrasion and discomfort. However, concrete covered with rubber mats might make a super nice feeding area which would be more comfortable than bare concrete and easy to keep sanitary (as long as the ponies don’t urinate there).

If the areas will be used for loafing, then covering the concrete pads with rubber mats or rolled rubber flooring could work. Another option would be covering the concrete with road base, which is a mixture of gravel and dirt and then a layer of a well-draining fine gravel such as decomposed granite (which is what I would use here in the western US) could work.  Note that if your ponies use the area as a toilet (which they most likely will do) then you will have to diligently manage moisture, odor and sanitation. With a situation like this, whether it is in stalls or outdoor pads, you should plan on an annual overhaul. Perhaps this is something you can do if you only use it seasonally.

You asked about gravel and sand. Gravel on concrete could be like walking on ball bearings and would be tough on hooves and not much more comfortable than plain concrete. It would allow somewhat for drainage of urine, especially if the pads are sloped away from the barn which I imagine they are.

Sand is also a risky choice if the area would be a place you would feed the ponies as sand colic would be a problem if they ingested sand with any hay that fell out of their feeders, for example.

No easy answer. Please reply to this blog and let us know what you have done or are planning to try.

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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 am hoping to connect with Cherry Hill about the definition of the basic keeping of horses.  I live in Massachusetts and recently purchased a 12+ acre parcel for the purpose of building a barn and both indoor and outdoor riding rings.  We are living on the property.  I have obtained my Animal Keeping Permit and Building Permit from the Town.

One of the abutters in not pleased with the prospect of my project and is objecting through various means.  I am trying to connect with experts in the care and keeping of horses to help confirm that horses are “kept” in stables/barns and paddocks (turnout) and the indoor riding ring is not where horses are “kept”.

I greatly appreciate your time and consideration.

Regards, Lisa


Hi Lisa,

The definition of horsekeeping, I’m afraid, has about as many definitions as there are horsekeepers ! It can range from a bare bones dirt lot to deluxe accommodations and hand-on care. Sadly some poor horsekeeers do make a bad impression on non-horse people and it is no wonder why problems arise.

Responsible, conscientous, mindful horsekeeping does indeed include barns, pens, paddocks, turnout areas and daily care. However, many times when time and money constraints arise, horsekeepers cut corners and those shortcuts can result in unsightly changes to the property and possible sanitation and health issues for neighbors.

In terms of a legal definition, I’ve been contacted over the years by various townships, cities, and counties as they try to establish legal parameters for keeping horses. Number of horses per acre, types of fencing, the distance buildings and horses must be from adjacent properties, fugitive dust that is churned up in paddocks and outdoor arenas and much much more.

Each locale has its own laws and wording so it would be best for you to work your appeal within the wording of your specific laws. Stating things appropriately for Larimer County Colorado for example might be inappropriate for your location and  might cause an unintended issue to arise. 

If you care to write more specifics, please feel free. In the meantime, be sure to use my book Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage as a reference guide. And browse the articles on my website horsekeeping.com

Best of luck,


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Dear Cherry,


What is the best kind of flooring to have in a stall? We are building a new horse barn and want to know about the stall floor to make it as easy to keep clean as possible. The stalls will be 10ft. by 16ft. the stalls will be used to feed and hold a horse for foaling.

Thanks for your time.
Debbie

Hi Debbie,
I prefer interlocking rubber mats over decomposed granite or another well-draining, well packed base. I bed with shavings normally but use bright oat straw for foaling.
Cherry Hill

Stablekeeping, A Visual Guide to Safe and Healthy Horsekeeping by Cherry Hill


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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 high should cross tie rings be installed?
Thanks a bunch! Paddy

That is going to depend on the width of your aisle and the height of your horses. My barn aisle where my cross ties are located is 10 1/2 feet wide and I have 15 hand horses.

The 5″ diameter tie rings are mounted approximately 80 inches from the barn floor. They are attached to heavily reinforced wall studs with 3″ x 3/8″ lag bolts. The cross tie ropes are each approximately 5 feet long when tied. I tie them to the cross tie rings with a quick release knot. Tying instead of hard splicing onto the rings allows you to find that perfect adjustment.

This set up works great for me and is featured in all of my books that show me grooming, vacuuming, clipping and tacking up my horses in that area.

Cherry Hill

Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage by Cherry Hill

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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