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Why is my horses stall always wet?

Hello everyone,

I am a freshman at college and moved my horse out about a month ago because my parents do not have the time to properly care for her while I am away. She is now living basically inside a 16’x7’ (approximately, I haven’t measured it yet) stall. I have a friend at the barn who is turning her out for me while I am in my classes so she isn’t cooped up in there every day, and while I initially thought that would end my “wet stall” problem, it has done nothing.

So, I’ll explain the problem to you.
Every morning and every night when I feed, I clean Faith’s stall. I am always doing my best to keep it dry and neat for her. However, I feel like ever since I’ve moved her in, this stall has been soaking wet. Faith has a tendency to urinate in one area, and poo in the other. While her poo is perfectly easy to clean, the pee is another issue entirely. I cannot possibly see her drinking so much water that it requires her to urinate this much, and so every time I go to clean her stall, no matter how deep I shovel or try to cover it up, it is ALWAYS wet.
It is a sand/dirt floor, but I cannot possibly afford some rubber mats or anything like that. None of the other stalls seem to ever have this sort of problem.
For example, we experienced several four days of rain this past weekend. The stall is half covered, and half uncovered, so that the horse is able to move around. However, that was three days ago, and we have had nothing but sun and warmth here, so most of the stall of nice and dry again. Except for mine. Faith is up to her pasterns in mud/dirt/manure/urine, and because she has stomped it around so much I cannot tell what is what and can’t possibly clean it when the entire stall is this filthy. For the time being, I have moved her to the next box over in the hopes that hers can dry up and I will have something reasonable to work with when cleaning up after her!

Help please!!!

16 x 7 is narrow…, really no were for wet to go except middle & then if she walks back & forth, she is working it up… The other thought is there is a water leak or when it rains, the rain drains into the stall . It stopped raining here on Sunday morning & I am still wet in my paddocks with cool mornings & afternoon 75 temps,… Find another setup for her… Pellet shavings might be an option, but standing in mud is not good…

Sorry for your problem…

Can you get some bedding pellets? They help A LOT with wet spots … I have my first “wet” horse ever … he is a Cob and he drinks twice as much water as a normal horse and he eliminates twice as much also and he is shorter (and wider) than anyhitng I’ve ever had before (TBs and WBs) … it is difficult to keep things dry without putting bedding pellets in his main “spot”. They soak up a HUGE amount of it. Makes it cheaper in the long run.

Checking for leaks is a good idea.

When I’ve seen this it has been things like -

  • automatic waterer leaking
  • water pooling against outside of barn in that location and leaking inside
  • barn slopes down toward that stall so everything is running down to there and pooling
  • water actually coming up from the ground through dirt stall floor

If there are other empty stalls, can you just ask to move her to a different one and see if that solves the problem?

try a different stall and see if its her, or the stall.

You can’t really be surprised - it sounds like she’s living in a partially covered run-in with a dirt floor, and it’s nearly November. Not sure where you live, but our “dry weather” is over for the year - the sun does not get high enough, and there isn’t enough of it to fully dry the ground anymore.

Wood pellets might help; mats certainly would help…the two together would make a big difference.

Or, stop using shavings (if the ground is sandy, not muddy) and treat it like a run-in. But, that would probably mean that you would want her turned out nearly 24/7 so she could find a better/dry place to lie down if she wanted.

Maybe you should consider other boarding options if there isn’t a dry stall to be found at this one.

Edit: sorry, just re-reading and other similar stalls are dry…so it could also be related to ground run-off and the path of the sun; possibly your stall never gets as much sun as the others.

If it’s her, and not the stall, you really need to go the mat route. I’m sorry, but it’s the only way with the big pee-ers.

You don’t need to mat her whole stall, just the pee spot. One new mat will usually cost you about $50, but used ones sometimes show up on Facebook for a low as $20. It’s worth it.

If that doesn’t work, then I agree with the pelleted bedding for her pee spot(s). But the mat(s) alone might solve your problem.

With a stall of that width she is going to make a huge mess and yes, she can urinate enough to make it an awful mess every single day.
Is there a larger more normal sized stall you can get her into? She may still have a large pee hole, but it should be easier to manage.

Some horses are just gross in their stalls…I have a few that I have to fully strip, every single day. Doesn’t matter how much shavings we put in, they just mush it all into disgusting oblivion. I’m amazed these horses actually come out of their stalls looking clean, I’m not sure how they manage it LOL

Wait…she’s up to her PASTERNS in wet muck? There’s got to be something else going on here besides urine.

Excess Protein?

Do a quick check of her diet. If a horse is fed more protein than their body needs, they will pee out the excess protein

How long is your horse standing in the stall? I’m trying to visualize the setup. So it’s 16x7 but only a roof over part of it? Is there a better option for you? I know you are a student and on a budget but standing around in a tiny moist area isn’t great. What about pasture board somewhere? Anyways, good luck!

I’m guessing a leak, or that your particular stall has poor drainage for some reason. When/if it dries out, pull out all the bedding and look at how the floor is constructed. A snallow channel down the middle of a 7 foot wide space would cause the sort of problems you are seeing.

That said, my mare pees. A lot. She has a gigantic bladder, it seems, and stores it up because she normally will not pee anywhere except on shavings. She always has, since I bought her almost 8 years ago as a 9 year old, and yes BOs have complained about how much bedding she uses.

Stall mats are not that expensive. (under $100 for one stall). If you are boarding her, you cannot say that you “can’t possibly” afford it.

However, I agree with others that there is something else going on: poor draining, a leak, or water coming up from below, if she’s standing in mud.

totally skipped the size of the stall…is this 16 x 7 feet or metres?

i cannot envisage keeping a horse in a half covered 16 x 7 foot area and it ever being dry and clean.

my stables are fully covered, fully matted, with huge thick shavings beds on top. My horses are only inside 3pm-6.30am and the stables are 14 x 16 foot.

my stallion still churns his to an absolute pit of doom every night. stuck inside half that space open to the elements, i dread to think…