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Need advice on fixing stall floor...

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  • Need advice on fixing stall floor...

    I would really appreciate your advice on a DIY "renovation" of my mare's stall.

    She is boarded at a self-service barn on a very old farm, including all the problems that come with that. I don't expect any help from the owner (but I will have help) and will pay everything myself, hence I need to make sure I'm not throwing money away as I have no experience with barn/stall floors.

    The floors of all stalls (12x12) and the aisle are packed earth, fairly badly eroded because doors on either end are open most of the time. My stall has many "peaks and valleys" and I just can't stand it anymore. It is getting worse and I worry that my horse can't rest as there's no even ground whatsoever... (She only comes in for the nights.)

    My plan is to rip out the "stall mats" (these are not true stall mats, just wide rubber strips coming up off the ground and then nailed into the walls) level everything, dump a material to gain elevation again (the whole stall has "sunk down") and pack it down with one of those very loud machines you can rent. Then put real stall mats on top.

    My questions:
    1) What material would you use? Decomposed granite? Road base? Something else entirely?
    2) Could there be an underlying problem I would need to fix first, like ground water issues, or simply rain water running underneath from the runout? In other words, will my "renovation" last?
    3) Do you have experience with the interlocking stall mats? Are they worth the hefty price tag?

    Thanks so much. And if you have any other suggestions, please let me know. (Can't pour concrete though
    Last edited by Lieselotte; Dec. 22, 2010, 01:13 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lieselotte View Post
    . . . My questions:
    1) What material would you use? Decomposed granite? Road base? Something else entirely? road base/gravel
    2) Could there be an underlying problem I would need to fix first, like ground water issues, or simply rain water running underneath from the runout? In other words, will my "renovation" last? No way to tell until you tear it up
    3) Do you have experience with the interlocking stall mats? Are they worth the hefty price tag? No, actually I don't.

    Thanks so much. And if you have any other suggestions, please let me know. (Can't pour concrete though
    OK, this is not your farm, so I'd go a little cheap with the gravel and try to re-use those strips. I'm thinking that you could put in the best base and the interlocking mats and they could sell the farm tomorrow. If you are wondering about drainage issues then investigate now but you may not be able to see anything till the skins come out. Is there not enough bedding to even out the floor over the skins?
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible

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    • #3
      I would use a rock that will pack but still allow drainage -- so not tiny stuff like screenings (or whatever it is called in your area) that would pack and not drain, but something angular and bigger, like 5/8" minus (or, again, whatever it is called in your area). Make sure you dig out any soft spots in the dirt first, and it is a good idea to use the packer thing if you can (what is that called? we rented one when we redid our overhang mats this year and I can't remember).

      For mats, I hate those strips like you are talking about -- thin so they curl and shift, and slippery has been my experience. I would go ahead and buy good mats if you can do that, and just make sure you and the BO agree that you can remove them and take them with you if you leave. Not a big deal - -I have done that at a couple of barns. But don't want the BO saying later that they belong there and you can't take them!

      No experience personally with interlocking mats, but I do know folks that love them.

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