Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I need your input... please


Regarding the five stalls on the north side of the barn..

What are your thoughts about putting concrete in the stalls, then covering with heavy mats?

We are seriously considering this for a few reasons.

(1) every fall, we put in course sand. It helps to fill the urine holes that are created by the horses peeing in the same spot, the dragging hay into it, maybe some poop, then me picking it out. Then the cycle begins again.

(2) In the summer, the stalls have become mostly dirt, dried and pulverized poo and urine, and dust. The dust gets all over everything, and I have breathing problems after I have cleaned the stalls.

(3) by putting concrete, if the horses DO potty in the stall, I can pick up the poop, and hose out the urine, without creating a sewage pond in the stall.

Bear in mind that the horses, as a rule, don't "nap" in the stalls. Neither are the horses locked in... They have free access to the dry lot, which is 75 feet long.

So what are your thoughts?? Pros? Cons?

10 comments:

Denise said...

I have cement floors in my barn, covered by rubber mats in the stalls. I LOVE it. There are never any problems like you mentioned. I only have to pull up the mats once in a while because dirt will get under the corners but thats only like once every 6 months or so and not in all the stalls. I dont use shavings in stalls unless I lock horses in (storms or sickness) and most horses wont pee in their stalls, a few poop in them. Flat stall floors are super easy to clean and sweep. The cement extends outside the barn about 2 feet all along the side of the barn so I can sweep out there too.
good luck. Denise Brooks

B said...

My stalls are heavy stall mats over dirt. Well, sand technically. If I had it my way, I would love to pour some concrete and cover that with the mats. It would be so much easier to strip the stalls and hose them out. Plus, level surface area. I probably don't have to make this note, but I will anyway; take drainage into account if/when you pour. You don't want the water to flood your barn aisle.

Mindy said...

Concrete all the way!!

Anonymous said...

If you ever plan on reselling your place, do NOT put concrete in the stalls. No matter how deep you bed, or how thick your matts are...it makes horses body sore. Stalls are for THEIR comfort, not ours and a packed dirt floor (put matts over that if you must) is the best thing for legs and bodies out there....

Karen V said...

Anonymous - I added a picture to show what the stalls look like. They are totally open to the runs. Even if I do pour concrete, I wouldn't "bed" the stalls. No shavings, no pellets.

The horses do not lay down in the stalls. They lay down in the soft sand/poo/dirt out in the runs. Only very rarely, like right after I put clean sand in the stalls, do they lay down. Actually, I have only seen Roger lay down once since I put in the sand.

As a rule, yes. Stalls are for THEIR comfort. If they were locked it, yes, I would have to agree with you. But because I don't have that kind of barn, my stalls are for drinking, eating, and getting out of the rain, or the heat of the sun.

I would like to add, they all stand out in the rain and the snow. Every winter.

Nikker said...

My sister has cement in all 6 of her stalls with mats and bedding during times that her horses are in "lock down". They are easy to clean and always look neat. My two have gravel/pea gravel floors with mats on top. My stalls are lumpy and my mats are always seperating...sucks. Without the mats I have two horses that paw, then I have holes that I need to fill in...again, sucks. (Fiona will go in the stall and rearrange it just for fun...) As soon as get the time and money, I am so putting cement in my stalls! If I were you I would cement and mat, make house keeping a little easier on myself! (0: Good luck with what ever you choose! (0:

GreyDrakkon said...

I've been at barns that have done both, and one that had asphalt instead of cement. The hard surface stalls had rubber mats and bedding (either shavings or pellets) and all of the stalls were used only at night or when a horse had to be kept separate. I noticed that the dirt stalls tended to be way more lumpy, filthier no matter how often they were cleaned, and put more dust into the air which isn't good for horses. The drawbacks to the hard surface ones was that urine pools on top of the mats, but I can't really view that as a drawback since that makes it WAY harder for humans to ignore the smell, and therefore clean it up a lot faster than in a dirt stall. Also, the hard floor stalls can be sterilized with bleach if you have an ill horse. One other drawback to the rubber mats though is that you really should pull them out and clean them every now and again, and those things are HEAVY. Were easiest to move when you had a person on each corner.

Anonymous said...

I loved my old barn that used cement with nice mats in the stalls. There was a small amount of pellet bedding down to absorb urine, which I would recommend (just a thin layer to clump and scoop up, also helps with smell). My horse was there two years and was never body sore (same situation with a run attached to the stall, and daily turnout). The mats were very thick and high quality though. I loved it- miss that stable a lot!

Gooddog_baddog said...

I (and my horse) have been used to cement floors with thick rubber mats with pelleted bedding on top to just absorb urine and make a slight cushion if they want to lay down.....our horse are usually out 24/7 but in case of severe or inclement weather, we pull them in. We have never noticed our horses as being body sore, although only a few will roll or even lay down.....but then again they are OUT 24/7..


We have just opened another barn with dirt floors......we have been ther 1 week and it's a pain in the arse....I am currently trying to level my stall floor (it has this HUGE crater in the middle) and I have INTERLOCKING mats on order so once I get the stall level, I will put the mats down to try to keep it level and ease in cleaning. The horses are in now at night until they get used to the wire fencing (they used to have old split rail) and also the LUSH pastures currently at this overgrown barn....the curent dirt stalls are like cement with packed poo and urine, YUCK...being that your horses (and mine)our outside as much as possible cement and rubber matting is GREAT....I prefer interlocking mats although they are more $$ but they won't shift or overlap as much....

oregonsunshine said...

I love concrete and then mats. I have mats over dirt now, because I also share the property with a roofing company and they had been using the stalls as storage in the past. Had I my way, I'd pour concrete in a heart beat!

However, my farrier has a different opinion, not one I'd heard of living out west at all. He advises dirt stalls with 4-6" of pea gravel on top. Then you just pick the poo. The urine filters down and disperses over a larger area, causing less pitting. And if necessary, you can spray down the gravel with bleach to eliminate odor. He advises the gravel for a couple reasons. A) Initially it's a higher cost, but it saves money in the long run. B) The pea gravel massages the hooves and when horses roll, which he swears they will do eventually, it massages their whole body and just leaves them feeling good. Makes sense, but until I actually see the practicality of the system, I'm more of a cement floors and rubber mats kind of girl.