The excavators are out and we're discussing footing. The "aisle" will definitely be stonedust for now, but we're trying to decide if concrete is in the budget under the stalls. I like the ease of it, but we could always add it later, right? If you have stonedust under your stalls with mats, do you dislike it? Love it? Would have scrounged up the extra for concrete and sacrificed elsewhere? Just stressed and looking for opinions about stonedust.
i think if your mats are not large enough to cover the entire stall floor, and you have smaller mats cut to fit- then you'll have areas where the urine will get down under it. That should help you make a decision, either way.
I have 8-10 inches of 1-2 inch rock, then a couple inches of 1/4 down, then mats that fit tightly to the walls. I would not want concrete as I find even with mats it is a harder surface that makes a noticeable different to my older arthritic horses.
A local lady built her barn with concrete stalls.
Many years later, she rented it to a fellow that convinced her to pull all the concrete out.
They did and still today that concrete chunk pile is sitting outside her barn and the stalls have never been the same.
She said that it was a big mistake, that the horses were better, cleaner and more comfortable in the well bedded concrete stalls than they are now in some with mats and some with holes all over they keep having to refill.
She also said the smell is bad now and it never was any smell with the concrete.
I think it also may be the way the renter "keeps house".
I know that I had only seen wood and concrete stalls in Europe and the horses were fine there.
I had never thought you could bed in clay stalls, until I came here.
I think that if you bed according to what each horse needs, that you have concrete, mats over whatever or well packed and maintained dirt is ok, either one of it.
At the vet clinic where I work the stalls have limestone screening base with mats over them. They work out just fine. The aisle & stock station is concrete.
Tomorrow my excavator is bringing in limestone screenings to cover our 40' by 60' barn building site, to include the 4 stalls.
I've never had a horse slip and hurt itself when walking on an aisle of packed screening. I can't count the number of injuries I've seen when a horse slipped on concrete, wet or dry. To each their own.
I haven't priced out the rubber pavers but that would be on my list for aisle material if money wasn't a problem.
I have stonedust in my aisles and stalls and aside from some minor tunneling by rodents in the stalls, no problems at all with the stonedust.
After 5 years there is no urine smell whatsoever and I have one horse who lives to pee in his stall. That stuff percolates right down through.
In the aisles it has packed down so that underfoot it feels to me like concrete and is easily swept clean. But the horses still leave very shallow imprints so I know it has some cushion for them.
The abovementioned tunneling is easily corrected by adding stonedust, and like someone else said: Ive never seen a horse slip and fall on wet stonedust - concrete cannot make the same claim.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015
I have a concrete aisle but compacted stonedust under the stalls. After about 3 years, a few stalls have a mat that has come up a bit/gotten shavings under it and some stalls have rodent tunnels so I think this fall we'll have to adjust some of the mats and add dust underneath. I had assumed since the mats were put down tightly, that they wouldn't need "fixing" in a few years, guess I was wrong.
I would never put concrete in my stalls, aisle yes, stalls no...and I would not buy a property that had concrete in the stalls.
I have stone dust, and mats over them in my stalls and aisle. Next barn, same, except aisle will be concrete with mats over that. I like the cushion. Mats in barn aisles are ok, but think I am trying the concrete this time with mats.
We did a concrete (with a rough finish) aisle and stonedust under the stalls. Have not had a problem with the stonedust at all. We leveled and compacted it VERY well before putting very good, 1" thick interlocking stall mats over it. Have not had a problem with urine seeping down and getting smelly, or shavings getting under the mats causing lumps.
The concrete is just too hard a surface for the horses to stand on IMO, unless you bed very heavily. Which I do not, I only put bedding in the back 3/4ths of the stall as they only pee poop in the back of it and their food/water/hay is put in the front 1/4th so I keep the shavings scraped off of it to keep it out of the hay. They usually are standing facing the front of the stall 80% of the time anyways, so the poop/pee ends up in the back half. Luckily I have horses who's potty habits are very predictable!
The key is getting your base well compacted and leveled, and getting good mats that are well fit.