Why would I want to bank my horse’s stall walls with shavings or bedding?
There are about as many ways to bed and clean a stall as there are horses. Included in that is banking the stall walls. This is basically piling the shavings or bedding up the walls to create slopes. The middle of the stall remains flat or flat-ish.
One reason to bank the shavings in a stall would be to help save the stall walls from urine and manure. Stallions and geldings urinate underneath themselves (we hope), while mares can sometimes just hit the wall. You also have the type of horse that likes to back up to the wall to poop. For these horses, using banked shavings helps to alleviate at least some of the urine and manure that gets smeared on the walls.
Photo courtesy of CSF Groom School
Banked stall wall are good for horses that cast themselves, horses that seem likely to cast themselves, or horse that are just horses and we all know how that goes. The thinking is that they won’t flip over and get stuck if they are more in the middle of the stall. Or if they do flip, the banked walls won’t let their legs go all the way down and get wedged, they might still be able to flip back and right themselves.
Banked walls also make cleaning a bit easier. After picking manure and removing the urine spots, you can pull some shavings from the bank to refill the shavings that you removed. Also known as the deep litter bedding system, this works for some horses.
You also have less to drag from the shavings pile on a daily basis if you stash shavings on the walls. This is great for barns with limited storage! Or if you totally despise hauling fresh shavings to the stalls every day.
You can tell how tall the horse that lives here is. #poopy
For the horse that has a run or in-n-out attached to his house, you may need to make some modifications to the pen to have the same benefits. If you have fencing or pipe corral to create the run, having something on the bottom to act as a wall helps prevent his legs getting tangled. A wall on the bottom also allows you to bank up the shavings just as you would a stall.
Or you can not bank up the walls. So many options.