Christmas was a very quiet affair here, there wasn't any family coming up and we didn't have anything we had to get done so we cooked a (rather large) ham and it was just another day. It was made wonderful, however, by spending the day with my boarder and her family. She was feeding Christmas morning despite my repeated offers to feed on Christmas so she could spend it with her family. Her response was being away from them was her present to herself. Ha!
She came over and had fed the horses by the time I ran out and asked if she would like some breakfast. She accepted and SO, the boarder and I chatted about nothing and everything for about 4 hours. It was really nice to just relax and chat, it has been so long since we have had a true lull in activities around here. About 2p we went back outside and finished cleaning stalls. It was finally time, however, and I stripped the TWH's stall of the last of the newspaper bedding and, while I was at it decided to cut his stall mats down. Since the previous owners of this place created stalls that are not the same size, none of the mats fit correctly. For a year I have been dealing with overlapping mats and decided I was fixing them. When I put the pellets in the App's stall I cut down his mats and decided to take the opportunity of time to do it to the TWH's stall as well.
It took a bit over an hour to cut the mats down as we had 3 cuts to make and they are thick mats. All we had was a utility knife, rubber gloves and determination but despite nauseating under-mat urine smell and 30 degree temps we got it done. I am happy to announce that all of my stalls are now actually level! No more overlapping stall mats that require being rolled back and cleaned under on a weekly basis. I now also have a bunch of 4 to 8 foot strips of rubber matting to use where ever I see fit. Not a bad end result IMO. I also no longer have any newspaper bedding and I am glad to see it go.
I put 7 bags of pellets in TWH's stall and expanded it in the stall instead of the wheelbarrow. Unfortunately with the colder temperature it was really hard to expand the pellets and they didn't expand very well at all. Two days later there are still about 25% of the pellets that are compressed that I have to sift through but I am working through it. After a couple of days, however, the stall does look really nice. 7 bags is a bit much for his stall but I am going to try to maintain this level. I am going to compare how the TWH's stall maintains with a large amount of bedding versus the App's stall with a "normal" to skimpy amount of bedding.
In cleaning the TWH's stall, his wet spot is SO much smaller with this new bedding and it takes so much less time to clean. I was spending 20-30 minutes cleaning the TWH's or App's stall with the newspaper bedding. Today I cleaned the the App's stall in 8 minutes and the TWH's stall in 7 minutes. 7 MINUTES! I started cleaning stalls at 7:10a this morning and cleaned all 4 stalls by 7:35a. It only took me 25 minutes to clean stalls, it is almost dreamlike it is so awesome. I am very, very happy with this bedding. I do cringe every time I have to open a bag of pellets but the time saving looks like it is going to be a great compromise. I am going to put yet another bag of pellets in the App's stall to get it to a level I like, the App is being very "wet" and is ends up with a huge wet spot every morning. I hope that with enough bedding maybe I won't go through as much? We will see, overall however I am giving this pelleted bedding two huge thumbs up!