Keep Your Barn Environmentally Friendly

Making your barn more environmentally friendly makes good business sense.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has Cooperative Extension programs across the country.  Congress created the Extension system nearly a century ago to address exclusively rural, agricultural issues. At that time, more than 50 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas, and 30 percent of the workforce was engaged in farming. Today, fewer than 2 percent of Americans farm for a living today, and only 17 percent of Americans now live in rural areas.  But Extension agents still serve a purpose by helping farmers grow crops and small farm owners plan and maintain their acreage.

mudd and manure HorsesForCleanWaterMany states have an Extension programs and can provide a wealth of information to barn managers.  Two of the ways that can help keep your farm environmentally friendly are through mud and manure management.  The first thing they suggested is to put gutters on your barn or any outbuildings.  Rain can make a waterfall off the sides and front and rapidly turn the openings into mud.  With this easy fix of gutters directing water away from the openings, going in and out of the barn is a much easier process.  Another option is to collect the water from the gutters and store it in a rain barrel to irrigate your garden or pasture in the summer.

Remember that Classic Equine Equipment’s collection of rubber stall mats and it innovative Stable-ity grid system can also options to keeping your farm mud-free.

The second suggestion is to establish a sacrifice area for the horses during the wet, winter months.  By keeping them off most of the pasture when the grass is easily destroyed by hoofs, it allows them to have much more useable pasture the following summer.   To keep pastures healthy during the summer, they also suggest rotational grazing.  Using simple temporary fencing, horses are moved around the pasture each week, never allowing them to graze down more than 4 inches.  Once the horses are moved off that pasture, it is given a chance to rest and regrow before the horses are put back on.  To keep the horses and pasture healthy, manure is picked up every day in the stalls, paddocks and sacrifice area, and the pastures are dragged weekly to break up and spread the manure for fertilizer. 

A horse can produce over 50 pounds of manure each day.  One of the best ways to turn manure after composting MillCreekSpreadersmanure into a valuable commodity is to compost it.  Compost, a combination of manure and other materials, is an excellent natural fertilizer.  Once composted, you can give it away to friends who want to naturally fertilize their gardens, sell it to nurseries, or keep it yourself for your own garden.   By taking what can be a nuisance around the farm and turning it into an income producing resource, you are literally “taking lemons and making lemonade!”

Photo credit: Horses for Clean Water, Mill Creek Spreader
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Light Up Your Barn This Season

barn lightingAs the days start to get shorter with corresponding longer nights, now is a good time to start thinking of adding some additional lighting to your barn to chase away the gloom for both you and your horse.  Horse’s eyes are sensitive to weak light. They can see fairly well at dusk, but they don’t have the ability to adjust their eyes to darkness quickly, which is why they will often refuse to enter a dark building from bright sunshine. In addition, shadows and poorly lit areas make stall cleaning cumbersome and inhibit observation and care. A combination of individual stall and general aisle way lighting is preferred. Place fixtures where they won’t create shadows for the horse when he enters his stall.  

For natural lighting, provide a minimum of 4 square feet of window space in each stall.window with glass There are a variety of window styles from which you can select.  Many come with grills or yokes to help keep your horse’s nose out of where it shouldn’t be. Glass windows should be either out of reach (generally above 7 feet) or protected by sturdy bars or mesh. 

Big barn exteriors require big lights – standard residential type lights are typically too small and do not provide enough light. Dusk-to-Dawn Halogens are often installed over entryways for general lighting purposes and for safety. Select fixtures as to where they will be used as barns are dusty and in some areas (wash bays) very moist. Vapor tight fixtures are required in wet areas for safety and durability.  When selecting lighting bulbs, there are several options.  

Using lights in strategic places can also help with barn security. Install security lights at farm entrance and around barn doors. Either leave them on from dusk to dawn or install motion detection lights to alert you to intruders. Remember, however, that motion sensors can also be tripped by your barn cat or other animals.

In order for the lights (and other equipment) to work in the barn, you need adequate electricity.  All electrical wiring in the barn should be housed in metal or hard plastic conduit since rodents may chew unprotected wires, creating a fire hazard. Metal conduit can be used, but has the tendency to rust. Plan enough circuits, outlets and fixtures so switches are within easy reach.  Locate switches so lights can  be turned on and off at two convenience locations, usually at either end of the barn. Install outlets every 15 feet or so on both sides of the aisle.  Light switches should be four feet up from the floor and outlets should be 13-15 inches off the floor (or as required by code). 

Consider lighting in other areas of your barn as well. Common places are the wash/grooming areas, feed room and tack room. For wash bay lighting and other ideas from Classic Equine Equipment, click HERE

Classic Equine Equipment has a variety of lights for both indoor and outdoor use.  For a full listing of what is offered, check out Classic Equine Equipment’s catalog – click HERE.  

Look to lighting to help keep you and your horse safe and happy during the dark winter months.

photo credit:  Classic Equine Equipment

Classic Equine Equipment Is Made in America!

made in america 2In support of the White House’s proclaimed “Made in America” week, we wanted to celebrate Classic Equine Equipment’s long-time commitment to their own made-in-America products.  Their contribution to the long lifespan of products is a quality point you won’t see on the surface. All of the company’s steel products are made in Classic’s hometown of Fredericktown, MO, ensuring complete control over the quality of the process and the end result.

Classic Equine Equipment, located among the rolling hills and horse farms of Southern Missouri, was founded in 1991 on a love for horses and a commitment to their ultimate care and safety. Though a lot has changed since then, our mission remains the same: To provide quality stall systems, barn components and accessories to meet the needs of discriminating horse owners.

The company goes to great lengths to make sure their passion for quality and love for horses shows in the details of the products we produce – smoother edges that prevent scratches or scrapes; narrower spacing between grills to make sure that small hooves don’t get caught; galvanized hand-welded steel frames that can endure all the punishment and abuse your horse can throw at them and keep on shining.

The quality that distinguishes Classic Equine’s products is not always evident to the untrained eye. The rust prevention built into Classic stalls is a case in point. The aisle 7company uses only pre-galvanized steel in its grillwork, stall hardware, pasture gates and all other components. A thin coating of zinc is applied to the steel at the mill, which combines with the powder coating process to provide an additional layer of rust prevention. It’s one example of the many extra steps Classic takes to build longevity into great looking, highly functional equipment. This is the case in settings ranging from private, small facilities to large, heavy use public boarding operations and veterinary hospitals.

Classic Equine’s stall systems come in styles that suit several budgets, but they’ll never be the cheapest based on price tag alone. When economies over the products’ long life span are factored in, however, the upfront costs are a sound investment. Plus, Classic Equine Equipment promises the one thing nobody can put a price tag on: peace of mind.

For more information, contact Classic Equine Equipment:

sales@classic-equine.com   (800) 444-7430

Source material:  Ride magazine, Classic Equine Equipment

Cleaning Up After the Winter of 2017

barn in snow photography bloggerIt’s been a long, hard winter.  High winds, excessive snow, rain, ice and flooding have taken their toll on whole communities, including our farms and stables.  What are some things to look for when evaluating the safety and sturdiness of your barn for the rest of the year.

  • Have the wind or ice dumped tree branches on or around your barn?  These branches are a danger not only now, but in the summer when dry conditions can makes branches instant fire-starters. Clear debris, combustible material and weeds  at least 30 feet from structures for fire protection?
  • Check barn structure. Is there damage to posts, beams or walls? Is the roof in good condition?  End doors and paddock windows? These are key components to keeping your barn strong so repair or replace these as soon as possible.
  • Are the outside electrical outlets and switches safe to use?  Water and electricity never mix and can cause shock or fire.  In the future, consider waterproof covers for electric outlets.
  • Inspect all wiring. Older wiring may have damage from weather or rodents looking for a dry place to hand out. .
  • Check all electrical cords. Appliances and equipment should be unplugged when not in use.
  • Barn aisles are a common place to store things when bad weather causes havoc. wick buildings tree in barnAre you storing hay, farm equipment or jumps in the aisles? Make sure you clear aisles of unnecessary items. Any items remaining stored in the aisles should be placed on hooks high enough that a panicked horse will not injure himself. Tack boxes and other items on the floor should not prevent stall doors from opening.
  • Daily barn cleaning may have gone by the wayside during stormy weather.  Now’s a good time to check if there are  cobwebs and dust accumulating behind refrigerators and other appliance, around lights, near electrical sources.  If so, clean the area.
  • Horses stuck inside for extended periods of time can find destroying their stalls a great way to pass the time.  Also, horses afraid of thunder or strong wind can panic and break stall items.  It’s a good idea to:
    • Check stalls for damage to wood surfaces, broken or cracked feeders, protruding nails.
    • Check the floor for damage or uneven surfaces, especially if you use dirt stalls.
    • Look around the bottom of stalls for areas that may be hazardous when a horse rolls.
    • Check latches and door knobs. Are they in good working order? Do they pose a hazard? Will tack or horses be hung up on them?
    • Check floors for standing water, slick surfaces and uneven areas. Are your water pipes in good order? Freezing conditions can cause floors to “heave” up and become uneven.
  • Check your tack room to be sure that water isn’t dripping from a missing roof tile onto someone’s tack.
  • Your arena(s) should be checked for the same things are your barn – broken posts, damaged wiring, uneven footing and other safety issues.
  • Don’t forget to check your fencing all around your stable for loose or broken boards.

If you love your barn and your damage isn’t great, you should be able to be back to normal with alot of good riding time left.  However, if the damage is too great, now may be a good time to consider a new or renovated barn.  We’ll try to give you helpful hints for that in the next blog.

photo credits:  photography blogger, wick buildings

 

Types and Styles of Barns

One of your toughest decisions – but many people feel the most fun – you’ll make when building your barn is the style. There are many to choose from and each style can have modifications. Things to consider are the style’s suitability to your climate, the function or “flow” of your horse work and, of course, your budget. The amount of time you can wait for a new barn is also a factor. A modular barn can be erected in a few days, while a pole barn building can take months.

TYPES

A Pole Barn (Post Frame) framing utilizes posts and beams to minimize the number of framing elements in walls. It is economical, strong and relatively simple to build, making it the most popular framing method for custom barns. A pole barn frame consists of 6- to 8-inch round or rectangular pressure-treated wood posts set 3 to 6 feet below the ground. Poles are typically set at 8- to 12-foot intervals and rest on a pad of concrete at the bottom of each hole. Poles and trusses or rafters are generally visible inside the barn. Pole barns are easy to build in part because they require no trench work for a foundation, only holes; and these can be dug using a tractor auger or a hand posthole digger.

A Timber Frame (Post and Beam) is another type of post and beam construction, but rather than plugging into the ground like a pole barn, a timber frame barn sets on a concrete foundation. A properly constructed timber frame is incredibly sturdy–some have lasted for hundreds of years. It is typically comprised of 8- and 10-inch square timbers for main members and smaller timbers for roof purlins and floor joists. Major joints are traditionally dovetails and mortise and tenon, often hand cut and secured with wooden pins, like fine furniture construction on a larger scale. Craftsmen using traditional timber frame methods don’t use nails or other metal fasteners unless they are required by local codes. Timber frame barns are sometimes built in or near the builder’s shop and shipped to the site to be erected by the builder, a local contractor or the owner. Timber-frame kits that use metal connectors to secure joints are available

Modular barns generally consist of a steel framework with steel-framed panels fitted in between. The panels are typically comprised of a plywood or OSB (oriented strand board) core with sheet steel laminated to the inside surface and steel, wood or other siding material laminated to the outside surface. An advantage of this framing is that damaged panels can be replaced relatively easily. Some modular barns have a “warehouse” appearance, but many manufacturers offer a variety of styles, siding and roofing materials. If you don’t see a plan you like, most manufacturers will modify an existing plan to suit your needs. Modular barns generally go up quicker and with less expense than custom barns. They are especially fire resistant because of the steel framing and steel-skinned wall panels.

STYLES

shed-rowA shed row barn is the most common type of modular (or prefabricated) barn.  It is a good choice for warm climates as they maximize air flow and ventilation.  They can vary in the size of the overhand and can be configured in a straight line, an “L” shape or a “U” shape, depending on the number of horses and your work flow.  Shed rows is also an option for colder climates, but consider enclosing the overhand area and adding insulation to the walls and roofing. Shed row barns have a shed or pitched flat roof. The shed roof is all one plane and is often used for three-sided shelters or small stables. It is also commonly attached to the eaves of an existing gable roof or to the wall of a barn.

monitor-or-raised-aisle-barnOne pole barn (or post-frame) style is called the Full Monitor or Raised Center Aisle barn.  It has a high center raised roof that lets hot air rise above the stalls and horses.  The design also allows skylights and windows to be installed on each side of the center roofline, letting in more light and additional fresh air. The monitor has essentially two shed roofs with a gable in the middle. This is good for long rows of stalls.

gambrel-styleAnother popular pole barn style is called the Gambrel.  It offers the benefit of a large loft located above the stalls for added storage. The Gambrel has a double-pitched roof popular on two-story barns having a second floor because of the increased headroom and useable floor space it allows. Gambrel trusses eliminate the need for interior post and beam supports, which allows you to create any floor plan you wish.

Take some times to fully consider what type of barn best suits how you intend to care for your horses.  They each have pros and cons – in the end, it will be up to you.

 

Photo credits:
Horizon Structures
The Carriage Shed
Harvest Moon Timber

The Word On Wood For Your Barn

wood-barn-integrityThinking of remodeling or building a new barn this spring?  One of your big decisions (and biggest expense) could be the type of wood you use for your project. There are many types of wood out there and it can be daunting to figure out which one to use.  The general answer?  It depends on what’s most available in your area as well as your area’s weather condition.  Heavy snows may require one type of wood while areas with insect issues might be best with another.  Whatever you choose, if you’re building your walls with wood, use pressure treated wood whenever it’s in contact with earth or steel.  However, pressure-treated wood should never be placed where horses can get to it.

There are many horse owners who like the traditional look of a wood when designing their barn.  And if you are interested in “going green,” often wood barns provide a much smaller environmental footprint than those made with other materials.  Wood is also a natural insulator so is an excellent choice for areas where summer heat and winter cold temperatures are extreme.

When researching the best wood for your barn, look for lumber that has a high-bending strength, good nail holding power, moderate shrinkage, decay resistance, withstands splitting, good painting and weathering qualities, freedom from warping and is easy to work with.

Classic Equine Equipment keep in stock premium imported hardwood and Southern Yellow Pine.  Both types are milled to their exacting specifications – including a tongue and groove as well as a v-notch on the face of each board. Additional types of wood are also available upon request.  Wood is sold separately.

Tongue and groove wood material for your stall lining is one of your best options because it’s flush and there are no ledges.  Some horses find chewing on wood an amusing pastime.  But there’s a possibility of splintering and chemical ingestion. Keep your barn looking good and your horse safe by eliminating opportunities to chew.

brazilian-hardwoodTheir Brazilian hardwood is 1” this and comes in 12” increments.  A true hardwood, it is very dense and durable.  Although no wood can be considered “horse proof”, the strength of this wood is exceptional.southern-yellow-pine

The Southern Yellow Pine comes in 2”x 8”x 12’ lengths.  It is #1 or better premium wood – no warping, stains, stamps or discolorations.  Although not as dense as the hardwood, this is the strongest of the “softwoods” and is a very popular choice for horse stalls.

wood-alternative-hdpeHDPE (High Density Polyethylene) uses primarily recycled post-consumer plastic with a positive environmental impact to create a long-lasting, no maintenance and weather resistant material.  HDPE is UV resistant, easy to maintain and does not require staining.  It comes in a variety of lengths and colors.

Many barn builders use high-grade 90% Spruce J-Grade logs.  The lumber is uniformly seasoned in dry kilns which improves strength and stiffness.  It also enhances its appearance and increases its resistance to decay and insect attack. It can be used for all aspects of barn building, including a log siding. 

Red cedar is another option for your barn.  However, the oils in cedar that help protect it are extremely enticing to horses.  They love to chew on cedar wood so confine your use of cedar to the outside of the barn.  While beautiful, it is not as structurally strong as other types of wood.

Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth, with reported growth rates of 39 inches in 24 hours.  Bamboo is best used as flooring in the tack room, your office or in the barn club house.

Be as picky with your choice of lumber as you are with the rest of your barn design.  Low grade wood may look just fine when you put it in, but five years later you can have problems.  Like most everything else, you get what you pay for.

aisle 7

 

 

7 Do-It-Yourself Upgrades To Your Barn

These seven upgrades (all available through Classic Equine Equipment) are functional, cost effective and can enhance your property value. These projects can be accomplished by most do-it-yourself-ers and the results will be appreciated by both the two- and four-legged users!

CEE doors

  1. Metal exterior barn end doors

Consider purchasing new metal barn end doors.  To prevent rusting, look for doors made from pre-galvanized steel, and ask about the availability of a rust-inhibiting primer and powder coating.  If you have a large opening, consider investing in aluminum doors, which won’t rust and are much lighter and easier to handle than either their steel or wood counter parts.  Don’t forget to update the track system, too.

  1. Dutch doors

Look for steel doors built with fully formed outer jambs, much like a regular door frame.  These are made to fit an existing opening.  If you do not have openings for Dutch doors, cut them in to your barn wall and then build a simple jamb.  The doors are a great safety addition and add much needed ventilation.

  1. Windows and window grills

Stall windows add light and airflow.  If you add glass-paned windows, be sure to include protective grills.  Bar spacing on grillwork should be three inches or less for safety.

  1. Stall fronts

It is possible to just replace the stall doors and tracks.  Grillwork for the front of the stalls can be added or replaced – just be sure the spacing is three inches or less.   For a more complete renovation, a one-piece fully framed stall door can be purchased.  Be sure to consider yoke and feed door options, too

  1. Stall mats

Consider selecting high-quality interlocking stall mats that stay in place.  Look for mats that have a lifetime warranty against rolling, buckling and curling.

  1. Aisle flooring

Often the existing floor must be dug out to accommodate the thickness of the flooring.  Individual dog-bone-style pavers provide less waste than larger matting, the finished look is elegant, and the surface is non-slip.

  1. Tack room organizers

Like closet organizer systems, tack room organizers have component pieces that allow endless combinations of racks, baskets and hooks to be mounted on the tack room walls.

If you handle one upgrade per weekend, by the end of summer you can have a great barn!

 

10 Ideas To Keep Your Horse Fly-Free

Summer is a great time to own a horse and spend time riding – except when you’re swarmed with flies.  In addition to just being annoying, flies can also spread disease, including  Pigeon Fever and Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA).  Here are some ways to help keep the fly population away from your horse and barn.horse in fly sheet and mask

FOR YOUR HORSE

  1.  Fly masks – there are many different styles.  The key is finding one that fits your horse.  Be sure that it’s large enough so that your horse’s eye isn’t rubbing against the mesh. Get the ones with ears to help keep flies out of your horse’s ears.

Or consider using a fly bonnet – the ones that are crocheted with fringed ends help keep flies out of your horse’s eyes and ears while riding.

2.  Fly sheet – again, many different styles, including some that cover the neck and belly as well as the rest of his body.  A sheet can also protect your horse’s coat from sunburn.

3.  Fly protection legs – the horse’s sensitive legs are a popular place for flies to land. When fly spray isn’t enough, try fly boots or wraps to add an extra layer of fly protection.

4.  Fly spray – repellents provide a basic layer of fly protection for your horse.  There are many different types made of a variety of ingredients.  The two most common ones in commercial fly sprays  are Pyrethrins (made from a type of chrysanthemum flower) and Permethrin (synthetically produced). Both are relatively non-toxic to mammals (including humans) and both break down fairly easily.

Still, if you are not a fan of processed products, there are many options for homemade or “natural” fly sprays.  Most contain citronella and/or apple cider vinegar.

FOR YOUR BARN

5.  Manure pickup – many flies breed in manure.  Get rid of their breeding medium, i.e. pick up manure regularly in stalls, paddocks and turn-out areas, to help reduce the fly population.

6.  Feed-through fly control – products like SimpliFly are ingested by the horse, then passed through in their manure.  The product prevents house & stable fly egg development.

barn fan7.  Fans – fans in your horse’s stall or in the barn helps keep air circulating, making it harder for flies to land  on your horse.

8.  Fly spray – you can get an automatic fly spray dispenser for just your horse’s stall.  They dispense a spray at regular intervals to keep flies away.  For a large number of stalls, you might consider a fly suppression system that dispenses an insecticide in a fine mist at specific intervals through special spray nozzles.

9.  Birds – while sometimes considered pests themselves, birds are actually a great asset in fly control by  feeding on bugs after catching them  in midair .

10.  Predators –  tiny non-stinging wasps both lay eggs in the fly pupa as well as feed on fly larvae while it is in the manure around your farm. By eating the larvae fly predators break the fly life cycle. In addition, the eggs the predators laid hatch and naturally increase their predator population on your farm.

For best results, build an integrated pest control system to beat flies both in your barn and on  your horse.

Photos from HorseTackReview.com and Classic Equine Equipment

 

 

 

14 Ways To Use Stall Mats To Solve Common Barn Problems

a horse for elinor run in shed.jpgWhile stall mats are great to use as the base layer in your horse’s stall for comfort, stall mats can also be used in several “non-traditional” ways to make your barn safer, cleaner and more user-friendly.  Consider these alternate uses in and around the barn as well as other areas where you can use Classic Equine Equipment’s versatile and durable stall mats:

  1. Stall mats can help eliminate mud around gates, doorways and paddocks. They are especially useful in and in front of run-in sheds..
  2. Stall mats in paddocks are easier on your horse’s legs and easier to clean up manure.
  3. Stall mats in the hay room make it easier to sweep and keep clean and helps keep your hay dry.
  4. Stall mats in indoor wash racks are non-slip and easy to clean. In outdoor stall mats, they do the same thing, but also prevent mud from hose runoff.
  5. Stall mats in the shoeing area are easier on your horse’s legs when being shod – and on your farrier’s too!
  6. Stall mats on the tack room floor are easier to clean than carpeting and are softer and warmer on your feet than concrete.
  7. Stall mats in the grain room make it easier to sweep up any spills. They also provide a deterrent to mice burrowing up into the feed room.
  8. Stall mats make great walkways in a variety of areas – down the aisle over concrete to keep horses from slipping or as a pathway to the barn in rainy weather.
  9. Stall mats attached to back walls of stalls can help save your walls and the legs of a horse with a habit of kicking.
  10. Stall mats in the bed of your truck make it easier to sweep out hay carrying hay or gravel.
  11. Stall mats provide excellent padding on the floor and sides of trailers and make floors easier to clean.
  12. Stall mats are great to bring to a show. They provide a soft and safe place for your horse to stand and a clean place for you to groom or tack up.
  13. Stall mats can be used under your compost bins to prevent nutrients from seeping into the ground. They also make it easier to scoop out the finished compost.
  14. Stall mats can be used around the house. Cut into smaller pieces when necessary:
    1. Use in front of your sink to keep your feet warmer and prevent leg strain from long periods of standing.
    2. Use as a mulch in the garden or around trees
    3. Use as a welcome mat
    4. Use a place to store muddy boots.
    5. Use in the garage or workshop to insulate the floor and cushion feet while working.
    6. Use in the back of your station wagon or SUV to keep it clean when hauling wet or muddy dogs.
Mighty Lite stall mat

 

Mighty Lite mat

 

Classic Equine Equipment mats come in the traditional 4′ x 6′ style as well as our lightweight and portable Mighty Lite mats.

There are probably many more uses for the“jack of all trade” stall mat – what others can you think of?

Photo credit:  Classic Equine Equipment; ahorseforelinor.com

 

Barn Flooring Options

horse stall with matsThere are typically three parts to what’s under your barn – the foundation, the footings and the flooring.  Foundation and footings are what hold your barn up, keep it from shifting in cold and heat, and provide the stability to keep it from moving in high winds.  Those decisions are best left to the professionals.  An Extension Service engineer can take a look at your proposed building, the site and the soils and advise you on the proper footing depth and wall sizes.  You may want to hire a professional to pour the concrete walls or floors, especially when working with floors with drains or plumbing.

But flooring is what you and your horse will be standing and walking on.  The easiest and least expensive is just leaving everything dirt.  However, horses in stalls can start pawing the dirt and can eventually make quite a substantial hole.  In addition, if you have a high water table, a prolonged rain or melting snow can cause your stall and aisleways to become a muddy mess.

A better option is installing several inches of gravel, sometimes called screenings or 5/8 minus.  You want small, irregularly shaped gravel – the roundness of pea gravel can cause it to shift too much and large stones can bruise a horse’s hoof. Once the gravel is installed, compact it down.  You can rent a compacting machine, but if you just have a few stalls, you can also just spray the gravel with water, and then use a hand compactor to pound.  Repeat a couple of times, letting it settle a few hours between compacting.

Another common flooring option is concrete.  It is expensive, but easy to clean and disinfect.  It can also be hard and cold on the horses that are standing on it.  Many barn builders use concrete in feed and tack rooms to help prevent rodents from burrowing in.  Concrete is also common in aisleways and washracks where it is easy to keep dry and clean.  However, concrete can be slippery so many people opt to “score” the concrete with lines to make it less so.

The addition of stall mats (like those by Classic Equine Equipment) can help keep horses from pawing dirt floors and can add additional cushioning with gravel or concrete floors.  Classic Equine Equipment also offers Tru-Step® Pavers for a safe, comfortable and nonslip surface in horse stalls, aisles and wash racks.

Your flooring is a critical part of your barn, and one that is difficult to change once it’s done.  Be sure to install electric and water lines BEFORE putting down the flooring

Photo credit:  Classic Equine Equipment