A lot got done in a very short period of time this weekend, I am quite happy with our accomplishments!
The first accomplishment is the winter pasture/paddock is complete! We are now calling it a paddock because it is certainly too small to be called a respectable pasture so thus it is downgraded to a measly paddock. We were successfully able to reuse all existing fencing so that considerably cut down our expenses, it only cost apx $75 to make our new turnout. It is still a temporary paddock so we used t-posts on most of the fencing but they are all brand new, they all have safety caps and the fencing is 60" tall woven wire/no climb fencing so it is pretty safe. Today horses are enjoying the new grass and eating apples from under the apple tree. It was amusing when we first turned them out, SO opened the large gate to the arena and the App made a break for it as if yelling "FREEDOM!". He took about 5 canter strides before realizing he was in new fencing, gave up, looked around and started eating grass. Crazy horse, you shouldn't be proud of "escaping".
The second accomplishment is using the New Bedding. After I cleaned stalls on Sunday both the App and TWH needed bedding so I took that as my cue to strip the App's stall and use the new stuff. The App ended up having only about 11 cu ft of bedding left in his stall and it all went into the TWH's stall. He'll be happy for another week at least lol. I put about 30 cu ft of bedding in the App's stall and then put in 10 more just for good measure (have super awesome dual-wheeled 10cu ft wheelbarrow, so easy measuring). The new bedding is really light and fluffy, about an eighth of the weight of wood chips which is really nice. It is fairly easy to handle and really isn't dusty. A little bit of dust when you are fluffing it out of the compressed bale but that was about it.
So this AM I cleaned stalls and while it will certainly take some getting used to, I *think* I did in fact use less bedding than normal. The new bedding, since it is so fluffy, makes it very difficult to see the poo piles. The easiest solution I found was to basically toss fork fulls in the air and listen for any thuds and then scoop and shake for the poo piles. I also found shaking doesn't work nearly as well, this bedding/my fork works better with a tossing method. It is different, not necessarily bad but certainly different. For the wet spot it was pretty easy too, it didn't clump into a mass wet paper like I feared and I scraped off the top/sides like I do with the wood chips and then scooped the clumps. Much, much lighter than wood chips even with all that moisture! Overall it did take me longer than normal to clean the stall but I attribute that to "learning" how to best manage the cleaning. It is much cleaner than I expected and didn't become the mess I feared, ie tons of wet paper everywhere, sticking to everything. I will use it in the App's stall all week and then put it in the TWH's stall early next week. Keep your fingers crossed!
My last accomplishment is my lesson, but that deserves it's own post. Now that I have my camera back I will work to take pictures of things for sharing. I owe that to you at least.