Archive for the ‘Shavings’ Category

Stall Floors

November 9, 2015

You would not believe the kind of questions I get during sales calls for our SuperStall Systems. How old is your oldest stall? (Our first one was installed in 2006!) How thick is your foam pad under the topcover? (1 1/8”) How thick is the full mattress system together? (Around 1 1/4”) The next question I normally get is “what flooring should be under the mattress system?”

When building a barn, you normally have a subgrade (your soil), then 2-4 inches of a subbase, composed of aggregate stone, and then 2-4 inches of a compacted crushed stone, such as limestone. There are a variety of floors that you can have in yourIMG_2205 barn. Some choose to keep this crushed stone base as the floor of their entire barn, some pour a cement center isle while keeping crushed stone in the stalls, while others will pour a cement floor inside the entire barn. Pouring cement in the entire barn, or at least a cement center aisle are the best options for horse owners. If you for some reason cannot pour any cement, there are ways to make crushed stone work. The most important thing when utilizing a crushed stone floor is to make sure that it is fully compacted. If you are using crushed stone as your entire floor, you will most likely disrupt only the top 1/2 inch in the aisle way. Everything under that 1/2 inch will not be disrupted if it has been compacted correctly. Both cement and crushed stone are not adequate enough for a stall floor. There should be some sort of barrier between your horse’s hooves and the hard surface. Think of how much our bodies hurt from standing on concrete all day, a horse is the exact same. They don’t want to stand or lay on a hard surface, and adding extra bedding for padding is not much help. The stall requires some sort of cushion for the horse.

Our SuperStall Mattress System works great with both crushed stone floors and cement floors. IGK SuperStall system is composed of foam and a rubber topcover. The foam lie
s directly on the floor, while the topcover is installed over the foam and attached to the stall walls, sealing the foam under a waterproof surface. When you have a crushed stone floor, we recommend that you have a plastic sheet under the foam, so the moisture that sometimes works its way up through the crushed stone, does not reach the foam. If you have any other questions that you would like me to answer in a blog please let me know!

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Barn Hacks For Your Barn

September 8, 2015

Running a barn is a lot of work. Whether you have IMG_2205a lot of help or not. It can be easier with different tips and tricks that you can use around your barn. I’ve pulled together a nice list of a few “barn hacks” to make your life at the barn easier!

  • In the summer, freeze gallon jugs of water and throw them in your outdoor water buckets to keep the water cool for your horses.
  • Put your feed and hay in a central location in your barn so that you’re not running to one end of the barn every time you have to feed someone.
  • Mount a bucket horizontal with the opening facing out where your hose is, you can wrap the hose around the bucket for organizing your hose, and the bucket serves as a perfect spot to store your nozzles, brushes and soaps for giving your horse a bath!
  • If your horse likes to drag his bedding out into the isle, install broom bristles at the opening of his stall, it will keep the bedding in.
  • The most annoying noise to me is when you drop a cross tie and it clinks against the wall, I’ve even had horses scare from this noise. To help this issue cut a tennis ball on both ends to slip the cross tie through, it won’t make any loud noises when you drop it!
  • Install a PVC pipe near an indoor or outdoor arena to hold your various whips. If it’s outside just make sure to drill a hole in the bottom so that water can get out.
  • Colored duct tape is a great way to distinguish everyone’s supplies, just tape the handles of grooming supplies. Everyone gets their own color or their own pattern.
  • Use shoe organizers in your tack room to store all of your polo wraps and boots either in the barn or in your trailer. Grab a larger clothes hanging organizer to store helmets!
  • A pool skimmer comes in handy when trying to clean out your horses water bucket, quickly use it to grab debris that’s in both your outdoor water buckets and stall buckets!
  • During the winter time, hang your bridle around your neck, inside your jacket to warm it up for your horse, they’ll greatly appreciate a warm bridle and bit!

I would love to hear any other “barn hacks” that you may have in the comments below!

10 Most Popular Posts on Carolyn’s Footing and Bedding Blog

March 12, 2013

Top 10 Arena Footing and Stall BeddingOver a year ago, I wrote my first post introducing myself as part owner of IGK Equestrian.  I created this blog so I could address some of the main challenges associated with arena footing and stall bedding and share success stories from people who have used the products. I’ve covered topics ranging from dust control in arenas to tips on how to “go green” in a horse stall. Here, in reverse order, are the 10 most popular posts to date on Carolyn’s Footing and Bedding Blog.

#10: Is Your Horse Eating in Bed? This post revealed horses on restricted calorie diets were ingesting wood shavings in their stalls. Typically, wood shavings aren’t a horse’s “go-to” snack, but when on a diet, bedding can look pretty tasty!

#9: Fuming Over Stall Odor. When drainage is poor, or stalls aren’t mucked out regularly ammonia fumes and bacteria can build up. This can be irritating and harmful for both horses and humans.

#8: The Link Between Sand Footing and Lameness. A study by the University of Glasgow showed the type of arena footing, specifically sand, can be a risk factor for lameness in dressage horses.

#7: Cutting Back on Bedding. Replenishing materials and mucking out stalls can be a hassle. This post suggests using a mat system with a waterproof top cover because it helps reduce the amount of bedding and disposal costs.

#6: Is it Time to Change my Stall Mats? If you are using a lighter- weight mat, you may have to remove it once a month to re-level the stall; however, with heavier mats, this may only be a semi-annual event.

#5: Horse Stalls can “Go Green” Too! At a young age we learned the 3 R’s: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. This popular post proposes ways to make environmentally-friendly choices when it comes to your horse’s bedding!

#4: My Names Carolyn “I’m an Arena Footing Freak!” This was my first post introducing myself as an arena footing freak! From this point on I aimed to educate my readers about both arena footing and stall bedding.

#3: Dust Control in your Arena. Dust in the arena is common, and suggestions on how to control dust is a topic we’ve returned to time and again on this blog.

#2: How to Create a Safe Foaling Stall. A lot of people are searching the Internet for ways to create a safe foaling stall. Needless to say, quite a few of them are landing on this post.

#1: Solid Rubber Mat vs. Foam Mattress…Which is Ideal for Your Stalls? This informational post compared two popular types of stall mats. If it helped you make a decision, I’d love to hear from you!

Promoting Safety and Good Health in the Barn

January 15, 2013

SuperStall is healthy beddingAlthough time consuming, building or renovating a barn can be an exciting project. You’ll want to design a barn that is safe and promotes good health and well-being for both horses and people.

According to a recent article in The Horse, veterinarians suggest avoiding attaching a newly constructed barn to an indoor arena. Although this is a convenient set-up, the dust produced in the arena can be harmful for horses. Dust interferes with breathing and can also lead to Inflammatory Airway Disease or IAD, a condition that causes coughing, nasal discharge and exercise intolerance.

If this isn’t realistic, or you are renovating a barn that is already attached, than limiting the amount of hay and sand in the stall will help reduce dust. These materials not only produce dust, but can also create an uneven surface, which could cause slippage. Wood shavings should also be minimized in the stall due to the risk of ingestion, which can cause serious digestive problems, including colic.

Concrete covered with rubber provides a nonslip surface that is comfortable and gentle on the horses’ joints, and is easy to clean. Frequent cleaning is important to help protect horses from oral-fecal diseases such as Salmonella infection, which can occur when moisture is trapped underneath the mats.

When it comes to building or renovating your barn, consider SuperStall™ Memory Foam Mattress by IGK Equestrian. SuperStall is a one-piece wall-to-wall, foam mattress system that features a waterproof woven top cover. The top cover creates a “moisture tray” that allows all liquids and manure to be captured on top and easily removed with the bedding. This not only reduces the amount of bedding needed to provide comfort, but also reduces the risk of slippage and disease risk.

How do you keep your horse healthy and safe in the barn?

 

Are Your Stalls Ready For Winter?

November 30, 2012

157081684With the Farmers’ Almanac calling for a colder, snowier winter for much of the United States, it’s important to make sure your horse’s bedding is winterized! Follow these steps to ensure your horse remains dry and comfortable all winter long.

1. Remove the Manure:  Don’t believe the myth that manure keeps a horse warm. No horse wants to sleep in its own droppings, regardless of the temperature. If manure is not thoroughly removed, it can freeze, leaving your horse to lie on a bed of “manure cubes.”

2. Minimize Wood Shavings: A recent study showed horses are more likely to consume wood shavings during wet, cold weather because they are both hungry and bored. Ingesting wood shavings can cause potential serious digestive problems, including colic, so be sure to keep wood shavings to a minimum in your horse’s bedding.

3. Change Bedding Materials Frequently: Stalls bedded with wood shavings, straw, sawdust and shredded newspapers absorb a lot of moisture. These materials need to be changed frequently to ensure dryness, which can be a real chore when the temperature drops below freezing.

4.  Install Foam or Rubber Mats:  Foam and rubber mats provide insulation fora more comfortable and warm environment during cold winter days and nights. SuperStall® Foam Mattress by IGK Equestrian features a waterproof, industrial top cover which creates a “moisture tray” that allows all liquids and manure to be captured on top and easily removed. This results in a cleaner, drier environment with less need for wood shavings and other bedding materials.

Consider installing SuperStall®, and both you and your horse can look forward to winter.

What are your biggest challenges when it comes to winter stall cleaning?

Horse Stalls Can “Go Green” Too!

October 26, 2012

Horse Stalls Going GreenThe popularity of “going green” has been ingrained into our everyday lives. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn you can make environmentally-friendly choices when it comes to your horse’s bedding, too. Just follow the three R’s: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.

Reduce: Stalls bedded with wood shavings, straw, sawdust and shredded newspapers absorb a lot of moisture. These materials need to be constantly changed and disposed of to ensure dryness. Reducing the amount of bedding you use reduces the amount going into your local landfill.

Recycle:  Although you shouldn’t “recycle” bedding for obvious hygienic reasons consider using bedding materials that are themselves recycled, such as newspaper or sawdust. And consider the actual stall comfort product that contains recycled shoe soles or tire rubber, even recycled memory foam!

Reuse:  Choose mattresses designed to last horse after horse, year after year. Unsure about the lifespan of your mattress? Ask about the warranty!

Going green is easier with SuperStall®, a foam mattress manufactured by IGK Equestrian. This bedding option reduces wasted materials, eliminates potential hygienic problems caused by “recycled” bedding, and lastly ensures durability and comfort for years to come.

“How do you practice “going green” when it comes to bedding?

Is Your Horse Eating In Bed?

September 27, 2012

Cut back on bedding with SuperStallAccording to a recent university study, researchers looking at horses on restricted calorie diets found that nearly half of them were ingesting wood shavings in their stalls.

Wood shavings aren’t a horse’s “go-to” snack, but when they are put on a diet, bedding can look pretty tasty. Although all the horses in the study remained healthy, ingesting wood shavings can cause potentially serious digestive problems, including colic, and should be discouraged.

If your horse is eating his bedding, one obvious solution is to reduce the amount of bedding in the stall. The SuperStall™ Memory Foam Mattress by IGK Equestrian features a waterproof woven top cover that fits wall-to wall within the box stall, creating a “moisture tray” that allows all liquids and manure to be captured on top and easily removed with the bedding. This not only reduces the amount of bedding needed to provide comfort (or a snack), but also reduced odor, labor to muck out stalls, and disposal costs.

The SuperStall™ Top Cover is constructed of tough fabric that can be custom fit for everything from a 12’ x 12’ box stall to a 12’ x 24’ foaling stall

Have you ever caught your horse snacking in bed? What did you do?

Fuming over stall odor?

February 23, 2012

Stinky StallThe average horse generates more than two gallons of urine and 30 pounds of manure a day. All that waste has to go somewhere, and in a stall environment, that “somewhere” is usually into a pile of pine shavings on top of a rubber floor mat. Now, no one expects a boarding stable to smell like a lilac grove, but it shouldn’t bring tears to your eyes, either. When drainage is poor, or stalls aren’t mucked out regularly, the resulting ammonia fumes and bacteria build-up can be irritating at best and harmful at worst – for horses and humans.

Bedding material is obviously important, and you’ll want the most absorbent you can afford – sawdust or pine shavings are ideal. And while you certainly don’t want to skimp on all that waste-absorbing bedding, it’s worth noting that the thicker the floor mat, the less bedding you’ll need.

One major cause of stall odor is urine pooling under the mat. Foam and rubber mats provide dual benefits of cushioning tired joints and reducing the amount of bedding needed, so don’t get rid of them. But if pooling is a problem, the mats will need to be lifted, cleaned and allowed to dry completely. This will help reduce odor and disease-causing bacteria in waste trapped under the mats, but it’s also time and labor-intensive.

To give your horses all the cushioning benefits of a mat without the potential pooling problems, consider a waterproof top cover. This is a single piece of tough, woven fabric made to fit wall-to-wall on top of a foam or rubber mat within the stall. The top cover creates a “moisture tray” that allows urine and feces to be captured on top and easily removed with the bedding. In addition to getting rid of all that odor and bacteria-producing waste before it has a chance to run under the mat, you’ll also reduce the amount of shavings needed for bedding, labor to muck out the stalls, and disposal costs.

Foam mats like SuperStall®, and rubber mats like EquiSoft® by IGK Equestrian, come with top covers that can be custom-sized for any surface, from a standard 16’ x16’ box stall to a 12’x24’ foaling stall. They do a great job of keeping “stall stench” to a minimum.

How do you manage stall odor?

Carolyn


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