Monday, June 05, 2017

Next big project - resurfacing stalls with Stable Grid

I'm posting this partly to psych myself up for this next BIG project. It's likely we will get to it in early fall but the prep work starts now.

We've been here on November Hill for 12 years and when we arrived the stalls were in super shape. All but one had stall mats and keeping them clean was easy with Keil Bay and the pony as our only occupants!

Then Cody came, and then Salina, and then the donkeys, and 6 equines put a lot more wear and tear on stall flooring, especially when 3 of them weigh 1200+ pounds. Then Salina needed "a soft place to fall" so to speak and we re-did her stall with a very thick layer of peat moss and extra fine pine shavings mixed in. All the horses ended up liking that stall best so I did two more stalls that way, removing the mats (which were starting to shift and create urine spots between the cracks) in the process.

We've done minor touch ups on the stall floor as needed through the years but this year it's become clear - it's time to get down to the base and resurface the floors.


I decided if we're going to do it, we're going to do it in a way that will hopefully make life easier in the long run. And honestly, I am hoping that this is it for us and resurfacing stalls! The stall mats are great in a lot of ways but getting them in and out when you need to do a deep cleaning OR to repair something underneath is a huge pain (in the back, usually).

I have done some research and decided that we're going to take out the dividing walls (ours are removable), clear everything down to the base, make any repairs to walls, etc., level the entire floor, put in a layer of gravel, install Stable Grids, and then put stone dust on top of that. We'll bed deep with extra fine pine shavings as we do now.

We're also going to need to replace the wooden "doorjambs" in the front and back doors of each stall. These keep the horses from tracking shavings out of the stalls. Keil's stall is missing his and oh dear, it is a constant chore this time of year sweeping the shavings back in where he tracks them out. (Bear in mind that our stall doors are mostly open so the equines go in and out all day long)

The prep for doing this starts with the arena, oddly enough. The arena needs topping off, and the "dirt" paddock needs additional screenings added at the end directly behind the barn. Over time, the surfaces out there have eroded away and everything needs to be topped off again so the drainage does what it's supposed to do when it rains.

So this is the order of business:
Arena topped off
Dirt paddock built up at the barn end
Shelter mats removed, floor leveled and resurfaced with Stable Grids
Three back stalls cleared, re-leveled, and resurfaced with Stable Grids

Then we'll do the barn aisle and the two stalls on this side of the barn, and the new shelter.

I think if we start now the timing will be just about right - with the horses in the barn during the summer days it's just not the right time of year to resurface stalls. Fall will work well, I think, if I can stay on schedule and Get It Done.

Thankfully we have a quarry 15 minutes away and a local man with a smallish dump truck who is very reliable and very affordable. I just hope he will be willing to do the stall part of this job!

Any advice or BTDTs welcome.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like a huge project but when it's done hopefully you won't have to do it again. No advice here, we have stall mats and they are annoying when they shift. We're stuck with them for now though. There are just too many other things that need attention first.

billie said...

I hope this is it for a long long time! Since we haven't had to do much in 12 years I hope this really is a long-term maintenance/repair that doesn't need our attention again. Our horses don't paw or dig but some of the things I've done have contributed to things needing attention now, so I can't complain too much!