Itchin’ Post Installation Instructions
Using these steps will improve the reception your animals give the new Itchin’ Post in your barns, stalls and pastures.
Introducing Itchin’ Post pads to your animals
Introducing your animals to the Itchin’ Post pad could be necessary to let them know it’s for them to use. Let them see it and give positive reinforcement so they get the sense they can be comfortable around it. Rub the pad on your animal to get their scent on it. Put Itchin’ Post pads in places where your animals already hang out.
Choosing a place to install Itchin Post
Many of our customers ask where they should mount Itchin’ Post. Our response usually has many answers depending on the type of facility you have. Small homeowner ranches may have more places than a commercial type facility, but both are surely candidates for some good rubbing surfaces for our friends.
Where do your animals rub? Walk around your pasture, barn and stalls to look for signs of wear on wood, trees, fences, gates, posts and metal siding. Do you see dents in the siding or light/dark spots on wood that don’t match the other wood? Do you see hair sticking out of pieces of splintered wood here and there? Are there any metal edges, exposed nails or screws near the spots your animals hang out? Metal corrals, feeders, well pumps and other manmade structures are usually ideal spots for them.
Mount Itchin’ Post anywhere your animals rub or scratch in pastures, barns, and corals. The flexible pad can be wrapped around corners, square or round posts, on fence rails and secured using the pre drilled holes with twine, zip ties or string to most anything. You can also place several together flat against stall walls.
Most Important: Whatever you do, make sure to mount Itchin’ Post on something sturdy enough to stand the pressure your animal can create when pushing. We’ve had Itchin’ Post mounted to 4×4 posts on the corner of run in shelters and free standing 4×4 posts for “Jake” (a 2200 pound English Shire Horse) to rub on since 2007. He’s never caused any damage to the posts. Seeing what your horse is already using will help you understand what is necessary.
Installing a new post?
The number one reason we install new posts is to STOP an animal from getting to something unsafe or something they can damage. For instance, one horse found a water well pump handle to rub his rump on. It actually broke off and required repairs. After that, a 4×4 post was mounted to block off access, and then a couple Itchin’ Post pads were mounted to it to provide a safe spot for him to rub on.
Our M.O. for mounting a post:
Purchase an 8 foot long 4×4 or 6×6 and some concrete mix. Dig your hole two to three feet deep, mix concrete, insert post, and then fill the hole. Use a post level tool (or a friend’s eye) to ensure your post is straight. Round posts work, but they’re hard to find at the local hardware store these days and not milled very consistently. That means the post is usually larger in some spots than in others and you won’t get the tight fit all the way around.
Do you need to mount Itchin’ Post so it fits tight?
No, but you don’t want it too loose either. Our definition of loose is: the screws aren’t tight enough to hold the pad in place. The idea behind a loose mount or a “loop mount” is as follows. When you wrap the Itchin’ Post pad around the surface you’re mounting too and it doesn’t fit tightly, it sticks out an inch or two that’s ok, it creates a “loop” . One example of such a mounting situation is a 4×4 post that’s up against a wall. We have them in the middle of our run in shelters on the back wall. Only three sides of the post are able to be screwed to. When performing an install on one of these, we butt the ends up where the 4×4 meets the back wall and screw right into the 4×4. The pad sticks out a few inches so when the animal pushes on that spot, the amount of massage pressure can change giving the animal a lighter massage or heaver one.
Deciding what fasteners to use?
DON’T USE NAILS – EVER!
Holes – we pre-manufactured a bunch of holes in the Itchin’ Post pads to use in different mounting configurations or when using zip ties or twine. Normal installs typically only need 8 to 10 screws for a sturdy end result. Though it depends on the type of install you’re doing, you should always use your best judgment.
Screws with washers are our first choice for mounting Itchin’ Posts to wood, metal and concrete surfaces such as block walls. For most wood installs, use a rounded head, Philips #10 size screw – as long as is needed for your installation – about three quarters to an inch long works for most installs. However, when mounting to a plywood surface, use a screw long enough to go through the plywood and into the frame of the structure to ensure pressure is put on the framework, not the plywood.
This also depends on the size of your animals. I’ve used screws into plywood without backing for goats with no problems at all.
Don’t over tighten the screws. Snug tight enough so that the Santoprene is being dug into a little by the washer.
Zip Ties can be used to mount Itchin’ Post pads to chain link fences and other spots where you’re able to position the edgy part outside of the animal’s reach. The extra of a zip tie is usually clipped off and leaves a sharp edge that can be just as bad as what you’re covering up.
Twine can be used to mount Itchin’ Post pads to a variety of spots such as trees. Using twine prevents screws from causing damage to the tree and the Itchin’ Post prevents the animals from rubbing the bark off, which will eventually kill the tree also.
Bailing wire is not a great choice since the ends are sharp and it rusts after awhile. If you don’t have any other alternative, please make sure that you position the cut ends outside of the animal’s reach to prevent injury.
Length or Lengthwise means that we’re referring to the long sides of the Itchin Post pad. When mounting a pad you turn the label so it’s read up and down.
Width or Widthwise means that we’re referring to the short sides of the Itchin Post pad. When mounting a pad you turn the label so it’s read from left to right.