My thing is... I'm not going to make my horse sleep in a stall I wouldn't sleep in with him!
So all the smells and moisture have to go!
1st thing is I try to evaluate the stall before I go poking around in it!
2nd thing... Is I try to create clear areas for piles. There are always THREE Piles I make.
a. First pile is for "perfect" shavings. These shaving have never see anything from the inside of a horse. These and what ever new shavings I need to replace are always put on TOP!
b. Second pile is for "questionable" shavings. These are in the middle when put back together. These are clean but no longer perfectly fluffy, large, or pretty.
c. and Third pile is for sifting. And this pile is the kind of wet but still usable shavings that will ALWAYS go on the bottom of the stall so to be used completely and thrown into compost on the next cleaning.
YES sifting! If you create a tall centered cone or pyramid shape pile your dry poop is more likely to .... roll.... down the side where you can throw it out! and save the rest for the bottom of the pile.
|see all the different piles! And I was no where near being done. This stall keeps about 6 to 8 bags of shavings due to our wet weather AND this horse has dermatitis... he is older... also has PPSM... and MUST be kept dry and comfortable at all times.|
As you get better and better at cleaning a stall you can feel by the weight of the fork if you have "wet" materials in your fork full of shavings. (unless your horse is a grinder... which is another story all together, and I feel for you ... because I have had them! They are TOUGH to put it nicely.)
3rd thing is most horses have a specific pattern they abide by. As with any other animal they do not necessarily like to sleep where they crap. So learning where your horse poops, pees, and sleeps is one of your best tools for cleaning.
Shavings are going to be more WET on the bottom no matter what your stall floor is made of.
So clearing off the top of shavings is saving shavings for later.
I know how many poop and pee piles I should find. How large they should be; and I use this information to assist in gauging how my horse is drinking and eating.
REMINDER... I have stall mats in my stalls