Archive for the ‘Stall Rest’ 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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SuperStalls Can Help You Go Green Too!

November 3, 2015

Horse Stalls Going GreenLast week I focused my weekly blog on how our footing can help your barn to “Go Green”. This week we’re going to continue the discussion and focus on our SuperStall Mattress Systems. Our SuperStall Mattress system is a wall to wall mattress consisting of foam and a topcover. The topcover attaches to the wall and seals off the foam mattress, creating a barrier so that no liquids can get to the foam. Our durable topcover keeps liquids on top and your horses happy. Since our SuperStall has the perfect amount of cushion, you don’t need to add three inches of bedding to give your horses more cushion, instead you only bed your stall at the most, one inch. When using less than an inch of bedding, you will be saving up to 60% in bedding. This not only saves in time and money, but in the environment too!

In our last post I spoke of composting your manure. By composting your manure, you will be able to recycle the manure and use it on your gardens or to fertilize pastures in the spring.  When you fertilize your pastures with compost, you are improving aeration and also water retention by creating healthy soil in your pastures. Composting your manure not only reduces your waste and improves soil quality, but reduces flies in your barn and can kill parasites and pathogens.  In addition to composting your manure, think about ordering your bedding in bulk. You should get a discount for ordering a larger amount and you’re also cutting down the amount of gas used to pick up or deliver. If you don’t think that you will use an entire load of bedding for your barn, perhaps think of a neighbor that would be willing to split the load with you. These are just a few options to make your barn more environmentally friendly.

What do you do to keep your barn environmentally friendly?

Options for Horse Stall Bedding

October 19, 2015

Let’s talk about options for horse stall bedding. The options for bedding in your horse stall are pretty endless. In the end you have to choose something that your horse loves and it works great with you too. Bedding should have a few characteristics in order to dub it the best bedding for both you and your horse. The number one thing is that it should be safe for your horse. Don’t try and experiment with random substances in your stall. Ensure that whatever you have in your stall is going to not harm your horse externally or internally in any way, and should also not be dusty. Whatever material you choose should be absorbent (which is kind of the whole point of stall bedding), and easily composted. Your material also needs to be readily available. If whatever material you choose can be compacted, that can immensely help when looking where to store it in the barn. Most importantly, it should be cost-effective and easy to pick manure from so that you don’t spend hours a day mucking your stalls.IMG_2206

Now that we’ve discussed the criteria for horse bedding, let’s take a look at some options.

Option #1 and most popular: Shavings.

This option can be the most economical based on where you live. For example, where we are located in Upstate NY it is very easy to get ahold of wood shavings for stalls. It is cheap and you can often buy in bulk. It is easy to store and is very absorbent. The only downfall of this option is that it can be very dusty, and can even make your entire barn dusty. You should have good ventilation in a barn where loose shavings are present to give your horses fresh air. Some barns that I have gone to keep their shavings stored in a lean-to on the outside of the barn.

Option #2: Wood Pellets

I really think that this option is becoming much more popular in recent years.  Wood pellets are made of kiln dried wood and sawdust. The kiln dried wood and sawdust is compressed into a small pellet. When this pellet is in the stall and moisture hits it, it will expand to be normal sawdust again and is as absorbent as regular sawdust. This option is low in dust from the compression process and is packaged in bags, so it is easy to store; and is relatively inexpensive. The only issue with this type of bedding is that you will need to spend a little extra time to make sure that you don’t take out any pellets when you muck the stall.

Option #3: Peat Moss

Peat moss is an option that is easily available and horses seem to like it a lot because it gives them that soft bedding to lie down on. You can find this at your local hardware or garden store and a little bit goes a long way so you only need to buy a few bags. It is absorbent in the stall and virtually dust free! The only downside is that if you have a barn with many stalls, this is not your best economical option. It can get expensive for many stalls.

Option #4: Straw

Straw has been used in stalls since the beginning of time. It is often inexpensive and can be easily obtained. If it is mucked properly it stays pretty clean and composts very well. But there are many cons to straw. It is not very absorbent, (which kind of defeats the purpose of stall bedding) it requires a lot of room to store the bales, and can be very dusty. Another note to keep in mind is that some horses do try and eat this. You will need to keep an eye on what horses eat this bedding and possibly change their diet based on that.

No matter what type of bedding you use, if you have SuperStall Horse Mattresses in your stalls you will save tremendously on bedding. Our SuperStall System needs less than an inch of bedding, which will then make mucking your stalls out much easier! If you want to save on bedding, call us today for a sample of our stall mattress!

Sand Vs. Mattresses…Which do you and your horse prefer?

December 21, 2012

90308465When choosing a surface for your stalls, how do you decide which material is best for your horse and easiest on you? Here are some advantages and disadvantages of two common stall bedding materials: sand and mattresses.

Sand:

Advantages:

  • Sand is highly absorbent and allows good drainage.
  • The surface is soft making it one of the most forgiving bedding materials for a horse’s legs.
  • Even if the sand is wet it rarely gets slippery.
  • Sand is often one of the most affordable bedding materials.

Disadvantages:

  • Pure and newly laid sand does not compact well, creating potentially dangerous tracks and pockets.
  • Because sand does not compact well, stalls must be raked daily to assure a smooth, safe surface.
  • Sand can retain dampness in cold weather, which can be uncomfortable.
  • Sand tends to have a drying effect on horse hooves.
  • Sand mixed with other bedding material can be a hassle to clean and should be replaced frequently.
  • Horses could ingest sand which could lead to possible intestinal impaction and colic.

Mattresses:

Advantages:

  • Mattresses provide a comfortable surface.
  • Because mattresses provide a more level surface, they can reduce the risk of slippage.
  • Foam and rubber mats provide insulation for a more comfortable and warm environment during the winter.
  • Mattresses tend to have a long life with added ability to withstand continued use.
  • Horses bedded on mattresses are less likely to ingest sand or wood chips.
  • Mattresses with a waterproof top cover can reduce maintenance.

Disadvantages:

  • Foam mattresses without top covers may retain odor and moisture.
  • Mattresses can be expensive; however, many come with a warranty.

When it comes to choosing a stall surface for your horse, for the best return on investment and overall comfort, it pays to choose SuperStall® by IGK Equestrian. In addition to all the advantages listed above, SuperStall features a waterproof, woven top cover which creates a “moisture tray” that allows urine and feces to be captured on top and removed with the bedding. This helps to reduce labor, disposal efforts and cost. Best of all, SuperStall comes with a 5-year warranty.

Which bedding do you prefer? Sand or Mattresses?

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?

Solid Rubber Mat vs. Foam Mattress…Which is ideal for your stalls?

August 29, 2012

When choosing a surface for your stalls, how do you decide which material will provide the most comfort?  Comparing two popular mats, solid rubber and foam, can help with the decision.

Solid Rubber Mats:

Benefits:

  • Long life; added ability to withstand continued use
  • Can help keep dust production down
  • Can help to reduce slippage
  • May assist in preserving your floor’s natural surface

Drawbacks:

  • May require additional bedding materials for comfort
  • Could retain odor and moisture
  • Heavy (can weigh up to 150 pounds); making it difficult to remove and level/clean out stalls

Foam Mattresses:

Benefits:

  • Memory foam material helps cushion tired/strained ligaments and joints
  • May be sized for wall-to-wall coverage in a variety of stalls
  • Remains level
  • May resist bacteria growth

Drawbacks:

  • Initial expense; however, many come with a warranty

When it comes to choosing a stall surface for your horse, for the best return on investment and overall comfort it pays to choose SuperStall®, by IGK Equestrian.  In addition to all the benefits listed above, SuperStall® features a waterproof, woven top cover that helps to reduce labor and disposal efforts and cost, along with a 5-year warranty.

What mats are you using in your stalls now?

Stall Rest Recovery

May 22, 2012

Having a horse on stall rest is something every horse owner will eventually encounter. Whether the recovery period is due to lameness, show fatigue, suspensory problems, or after an operation, you’ll both have adverse reactions to the confinement.  Here are some helpful tips and tricks to help make your horse’s recovery period manageable.

Remember, your horse is used to being active. It will be helpful for your horse to convalesce in a stall with a window so he/she can see activity happening around them and get some fresh air. Your horse may need some extra attention after being cooped up alone for the majority of the day. Be sure to practice regular grooming habits to help keep him/her relaxed and comfortable. Another animal in the barn provides companionship and a mirror in the stall, or a radio at low volume provides welcome background noise. Adjust your feeding routine by limiting intake to counter excess amounts of energy your horse will have from constantly being in the stall.

The reason for necessary stall rest could also play a role in determining proper care techniques.

  • If your horse has a suspensory ligament, it is important to prevent access to open pastures or arenas in order to limit the amount of physical strain that is placed on the legs. Instead, you could handwalk your horse on short jaunts, but only if you think he/she will be up to it.
  • After shows, your horse may experience symptoms of fatigue, including a slowed pace, loss of motivation, hindered coordination and increased breathing.  If your horse experiences these symptoms, it is important to allow him/her the chance to get plenty of rest.  Be sure to provide your horse with a soft surface in the stall to cushion joints and hooves after extended periods of exercise.

Stall mattresses provide a more comfortable surface, which creates a more well-rested horse that will be ready to perform for the next show. SuperStall mattresses are an ideal choice for increased horse comfort and feature an easy-to-clean waterproof top cover for owner convenience and a more hygienic environment.

What techniques do you use to provide your horse with a speedy recovery?


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