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Surfacing inside Run-In

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    Surfacing inside Run-In

    I'm going to be bringing my redheaded mare home this summer and am starting to plan out my facilities. Our "barn" will actually be a suped up run in shed: two open stalls with the capability to be closed with gates if necessary, a small, attached feed/tack room, and a covered grooming/wash stall.

    Any suggestions as to what footing would be best in the open stalls? Leave it grass? Gravel-sand-mat system? Just mats? Thanks!

    I have 2 16X16 stalls inside an open run in, and I left the grass/sand. Grass dies quickly inside the stalls. I did not put anything else down as we have good drainage and sand. Once in a while (hurricane) rain will blow in but otherwise it's fine.
    I put mats in all my barn stalls but didn't think it necessary for the run-in. Your drainage and slope of floor will have some bearing on what you need.
    "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


      I put mats in my run in and really like it. So easy to clean.


        Probably the most important thing is that it be higher than the surrounding ground so that water does not run into it from the sides or onto it from a roof. Gravel under mats is nice if you want a solid surface and can afford it; sand is nice if you want the horses to have a nice place to roll. If it is under a roof, I would mat the whole thing if I could.
        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


          Agree with poltrroon x 100. My run-in is a couple feet higher then the surrounding area. I also put a gutter on it (it is built into the fence line). The footing/base is just dirt mixed with gravel (to level it enough) with 4x6 heavy-duty stall mats on top. I laid a 12x12 area (it is 16' deep). No bedding. Very low maintenance.
          DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette:


            I just redid my run in last summer. I did mats, BUT I also put in a subfloor under the mats. Probably overkill but I was really, really really tired of the previous mats shifting all over the place, and of the horses moving them around, and of the dips and valleys that pee would puddle in. So here are some pics to inspire (ha!) you:

            The original shed floor was this heavy gravel (class two?) with mats loose on top. The gravel was not something that compacted, so I removed a whole bunch and installed this wood grid.

            Then I added screenings--stonedust--and compacted with a vibrating plate tamper:

            Then the mats started going in....

            And finished up:

            The first row of mats (not counting those three loose ones in front to the right) are actually SCREWED DOWN and are holding in the mats behind them. I'd originally planned on screwing them ALL down but realized I didn't need to go quite that far overboard once I had some space and time away from cleaning that shed with the mats all over the place.

            The extra rock I pulled out created the little slope to the right...the floor of the shed was very, very sloped there prior.

            There's also a 2" drop from back to front to allow pee to run downhill.

            Overall, very happy with it! Highly recommend this crazy level of overbuilding if you are so inclined


              Simkie We're starting to think about building run-ins this coming spring, and your's has me DROOLING! The floor is so perfect. Ugh, #goals.


                Simkie what a nice floor. How did you attach your wood beams together at the intersections?
                Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                  I just moved so have a ton of cardboard boxes. I used a box cutter to cut them up and threw a ton into the outdoor run in shed yesterday. The next heavy rain/thaw I am going to put Bella in there to keep the pasture from getting destroyed and so she can till the cardboard into the gross clay we have for soil. I'll so that the rest of winter and move the run in shed in the spring and use the old spot as our manure/compost pile. Eventually I can use that as a great garden plot

                  When I move the run in come spring my dream is something like what Simkie has!


                    Ha, thanks guys! That project was a bit of a bear to work through--I did it 100% by myself--but it turned out well, right?

                    Here are some more details:
                    • The beams touching the shed walls and along the front are 4x6 pressure treated for ground contact, oriented vertically (4" side is up)
                    • The interior beams are 4x4 pressure treated for ground contact
                    • Beams are jointed at intersection with steel angle and Spax 2" x 8x construction screws (I think that link is the right one.)
                    • Beams attach to the shed wall with ... 6" Spax screws, I think? Bigguns.
                    • Mats attach to the beams with ... 4" Spax screws? About that length, anyway. Like these. There's a wide washer between the screw and the mat.
                    • The shed is 10' deep, so mats go horizontally in the back and middle and vertically in the front, which gave me a flap of mats that extended past the front edge of the shed to juuuuust past the drip line of the roof. Eventually we'll get a gutter on there, but matting the drip line has been very nice to reduce erosion right in front of the shed.
                    • Lowes has much better, straighter wood than Home Depot! At least around here

                    Recommendation if you'd like to do the same thing: make sure your SHED is square. Because it really sucks when you get through everything with the beams and the rocks and the screenings and that stupid tamper and drag the mats in and you find out that the shed ISN'T SQUARE. And all those beams you installed and aligned with the shed are also NOT SQUARE. I don't know why I was surprised.....nothing around here is square. Grumble.


                      There's a wide washer between the screw and the mat.
                      technical name is Fender Washer

                      excellent project you did


                        Original Poster

                        Simkie That is a work of art!

                        Thabk you everyone for your input! We're going to raise the floor elevation some for good drainage. I may just leave it bare dirt to start and go from there. It's just going to be my big mare and her pony friend, so hopefully they don't dig holes.


                          Be careful off mats if rain is going to blow into the run-in because those rubber mats get so slippery when wet even urine is a issue.Mats work well in barns because the horses are not running in and out of the stalls.
                          I built a run-in 10 years ago and later added a 12 foot overhang which has been great addition.
                          Before we built the shed we brought in several tons of Chapel Hill grit( a thick sand) to build up the elevation and its been perfect. It drains well, cleans easily and when we added the overhang we again used the C.H. grit and then added some more to the shed. Ten yrs. later its still as good as day we built it. I do add shavings in the winter .


                            Originally posted by Ms Red Britches View Post
                            Simkie That is a work of art!

                            Thabk you everyone for your input! We're going to raise the floor elevation some for good drainage. I may just leave it bare dirt to start and go from there. It's just going to be my big mare and her pony friend, so hopefully they don't dig holes.
                            Peeing is going to cause more problems than digging! Maybe your girls are better behaved than mine and will pee outside? But if they make it a habit to go inside, you're going to wind up with a wet, smelly, hole. Yick. That's really where mats shine, imo. You don't get pee holes.

                            I have one mare who loooooves to pee on bare mats--no, I really don't understand it, either--and she's really probably the reason my shed looks the way it does now. The class two that WAS under the mats before just shifts non stop (it doesn't compact at all) so there were all these dips everywhere. She'd pee and I'd have PUDDLES. Gag.