Stall floors and storing wood shavings
So, I'm moving back in with my parents soon. I don't plan on moving my horse back into their barn, because I hate it, but if I have no other choice, then I will. So here's my set of issues and questions.
First, my issue is that the barn sits on top of a hill, in the woods, and despite all that, has poor drainage. The floors of the stalls are dirt, and it's really hard to get trucks or trailers up there to bring in a new load of dirt to fill in the holes. This means that the floor of the main stall (aka, the only stall big enough to keep a horse in) is very uneven. I plan on leveling it out, but I don't know what to do next. I thought about laying a cement floor in it, with a layer of sand to soften it up some, and putting rubber matting over it, so that cleaning would be easier, but would there be any complications with urine leaking between the mats to the cement?
I also thought about laying pea gravel and sand, with something like a StallSkin or regular rubber matting, but then, the drain off would go right back down to the dirt under it all and create a deep laying mess. Which is the more viable solution?
Second, I prefer to use wood shavings in my stall. I know that buying in bulk is cheaper, but I don't know where to store them all! We have a lean-to by the barn, but it's open on three sides, the only closed side being placed against the barn. This makes it not a good solution. We have no big containers. What do you store yours in? How viable would an old dumpster be?
While I'm on the question kick, my horse has a destructive habit when it comes to eating. I've bought several heavy-duty plastic buckets from Tractor Supply, that hook over a ledge, and then you screw them down. When he eats, he sticks his nose in and practically slams his nose left to right, getting as much in his mouth as possible. The plastic buckets then break. I've tried the rubber bowls, and because of how he flings his head around, the grain goes flying and then he gets nothing. *sigh* So what I'm considering is buying an extra water bucket, and getting an old tire, like a car or tractor tire, just the rubber, and line the inside with rocks to weight it down, and then set the grain in the bucket, and the bucket down inside the tire. That way he couldn't fling it all over the place.... unless he grabs it and picks it up in his teeth. Gah. I have such a silly horse.