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Concrete Stall floor...what kind of mats?

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  • Concrete Stall floor...what kind of mats?

    So I'm house shopping at the moment and the place that seems to be the nicest and most in budget has a work garage that I would like to convert into a barn. It has concrete floors, so I am wondering what type of mats would be best in that situation. I see that a lot of mats are designed to "drain" but I'm thinking that is better for dirt floored stalls. I don't think I want urine "draining" down and pooling on the cement under the mats. I'm looking for something cushy, although I plan on making in and outs, so the horses will most likely only really be standing inside on bad weather days. However, I still want to protect their legs and I also know that I will need to bed those suckers down well. Are there any particiular brand of mats that would best work in that situation?

  • #2
    Here you will get all kinds of responses, many horrified that you even think of stabling on concrete, the horror.

    Then, practically ever barn in continental Europe I saw the stalls were concrete and no horses were harmed from it.

    We didn't have mats in those days and we did bed heavily, mostly with straw, but other where available.

    I think that mats are very nice and I too would use them, the 3/4 solid rubber ones, that the 4x8 go for around $60+ around here, like at TSC.
    Those mats fit together very tight over concrete, unlike over materials that give, so if bedded and cleaned properly, any leakage under the mats should be minimal.

    We happen to have clay floors with 1/2 of sand on top.
    This was not supposed to be a permanent barn.
    Those mats there eventually get pulled apart enough for urine to seep under much quicker than they would on concrete.

    I agree with you that the mats that drain are not made for stalls, especially not for those on a concrete base.
    I think those are for driveways and outside washracks and maybe washrooms, but I think they would be very hard to keep clean, would need to be washed with a pressure washer regularly and you would not want to do that if in stalls.

    Comment


    • #3
      The mattress stall mats are really nice, but $$$$$. I have one of the chopped up rubber types, stable comfort I think. All my others are the 4x8 TSC mats. You definately don't want the draining type mat. It would be a pain, pitchfork getting stuck in holes, urine would probably damage concrete over time.

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      • #4
        My last barn was exactly what you are talking about - a 2-stall garage with a concrete floor that was always used as a barn. We laid down pressure treated 2x4's on the 4" side then rough hewn boards about 2" thick perpendicular to them, then covered with mats. It gave "spring' to the floor and allowed drainage through to the floor beneath. My situation allowed any fluid to drain to the outside. It was easy to completely disassemble once or twice a year for a thorough cleaning out. It was a great system!

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        • #5
          I have rubber mats on concrete. I got them about 10 years ago from Summit (?) but I think they're the same as the mats sold at TSC. If the fit is tight, very little urine gets under the mat. I usually roll mine up once a year and use a stiff broom to swish some water and pine sol around on the concrete, then shop vac it up. Usually there isn't much to clean up...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pferdfeathers View Post
            My last barn was exactly what you are talking about - a 2-stall garage with a concrete floor that was always used as a barn. We laid down pressure treated 2x4's on the 4" side then rough hewn boards about 2" thick perpendicular to them, then covered with mats. It gave "spring' to the floor and allowed drainage through to the floor beneath. My situation allowed any fluid to drain to the outside. It was easy to completely disassemble once or twice a year for a thorough cleaning out. It was a great system!
            Wouldn't the wood break down because of the urine? I can see how the wood would give some spring to the floor.

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            • #7
              Some horses can handle mats on concrete; none of my older guys could. I'd go with a Comfort stall type system. Added benefit: no urine gets through and you can use less bedding (the mattress is the cushion), just enough to absorb urine.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                Some horses can handle mats on concrete; none of my older guys could. I'd go with a Comfort stall type system. Added benefit: no urine gets through and you can use less bedding (the mattress is the cushion), just enough to absorb urine.
                This^

                Dalemma

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                • #9
                  I just priced comfort stalls. $1200.00 per 12x12 stall before shipping. I would love to have them in all of my stalls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a converted shop 40 x 60 as my barn. Two stalls are on compacted gravel, one is on concrete. I laid down 4x6 3/4 inch rubber mats in all of them, and I bed generously with shavings/pellets in the concrete one--and only put a smaller horse or pony in that 12 x 12. If your horses aren't in 24/7/365 I think they'll be perfectly fine on regular mats over concrete with good bedding, centered under their body--as in, the thickest bedding is in the center. Honestly, horses don't stand on the sides/front of the stall, so don't bed there. Always a mystery to me why folks evenly spread out their bedding.... Your water buckets don't need it!

                    Anyway- as Bluey said, many many horses are on concrete all the time, and do very well. As for the urine, your bedding should take care of that, if you are using enough. I love wood pellets for this purpose, they act like cat litter, soaking up the pee. Use lime if the smell is an issue, but if you use good bedding (straw is a tough one for most Americans--we just don't know how to use it well), then the pee should come out with each cleaning.

                    The cool thing about mats on concrete is--they are always flat, you can pull them and scrub underneath and if necessary, I suppose you could box in the stall, add gravel and compact it, then put your mats down to create a "softer" platform for your horses.
                    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                    • #11
                      In my big wb mare's stall, I have 3/4" thick 4x6 mats on top of concrete. She originally had wood underneath, but even the pressure treated lumber was rotting. I bed with shavings and I bed thickly. No matter what the floor is, I always bed thickly. Roo is a very big, heavy girl and has been free of issues from being bedded on just mats over concrete. The remainder of the stalls still have wood over the concrete & mats on top of that. We will eventually remove the wood, as I am sure it will rot.
                      Beth

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                      • #12
                        My stalls are on concrete, with the TSC mats over top and bedded what I would consider "normally".

                        My horses are in at night, and out during the day.

                        I have not seen any issues, they don't seem any harder than a compacted screening stall, but I can't really speak for the horses.

                        My neighbors barn is the same, only hers can go in and out at will.

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=justonemore;5508164]I have rubber mats on concrete. I got them about 10 years ago from Summit (?) but I think they're the same as the mats sold at TSC. QUOTE]

                          Summit used to be White Horse Trading Co.... I do not believe the TSC mats are equal to the Summit/White Horse mats.

                          We bought the White Horse/summit mats about 24 years ago, they are over concrete paver floors with center drains... not problems.. mats are down tight

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tasia View Post
                            Wouldn't the wood break down because of the urine? I can see how the wood would give some spring to the floor.
                            We also used bedding, so there was minimal "leakage". It was just nice to have anything that reached the mats to be able to drain through to the space underneath. This system was in use for 6 or 7 years before we moved away and there was no damage or wear of any sort on any of the boards, wither the rough hewn or the pressure treated.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pferdfeathers View Post
                              We also used bedding, so there was minimal "leakage". It was just nice to have anything that reached the mats to be able to drain through to the space underneath. This system was in use for 6 or 7 years before we moved away and there was no damage or wear of any sort on any of the boards, wither the rough hewn or the pressure treated.
                              In some barns in Europe some stalls had thick wood planks on top of the concrete and we bedded on them.
                              I didn't like that, as those were the barns that smelled so strongly of ammonia, as some ammonia would go thru the straw bedding, leak between the boards and pool on the concrete.
                              With the bedding right on the concrete, it could absorb all the urine on the bottom part of the bedding and leave the fluffy upper part clean and without smell.

                              Some of those stalls with planks sloped so any wet would drain into the aisle and a little gutter right along the stall fronts and into a drain and that helped if you kept washing that gutter down, but I didn't think that was such a good idea, just proper bedding and cleaning over concrete seemed better all around.

                              Adding rubber mats to concrete make us feel better, I am not sure it makes a difference for horses, bedding right does.
                              Remember, horses are not humans.

                              When you bed with straw, straw is thick and fluffy and horses walking on it compact it.
                              That compacted straw settles to the bottom and is absorbent, what is still fluffy stays on top and gives excellent cushion.
                              When you clean stalls, you find the wet spots on the bottom, that are compacted, crumbly straw and clean that out and spread the clean compacting straw all over, add new straw on top and you are good to go.

                              Like any horse kept in stalls or pens, if you don't clean and bed properly, you may get body sore horses with possibly hock pressure sores.
                              When a horse gets to that point, something may be wrong with the management.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Summit used to be White Horse Trading Co.... I do not believe the TSC mats are equal to the Summit/White Horse mats.
                                This. I miscalulated when I ordered my Summit mats 9 years ago. I was two short. So I put down two TSC mats in one stall. THe TSC mats, though claiming to be 3/4 " thick, are not as thick as the Summits, and every time I much that part of the stall, and my fork catches on the surface of the TSC mats, I curse.

                                I chose to go with mats over concrete as I was building a small breeding farm, and I wanted to be able to easily and completely disinfect stalls after foaling.

                                I bed pretty deeply. And when my mares are in, they frequently lie down. If I notice they are not, then it's always because I've let the bedding get a little thin.
                                "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

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                                • #17
                                  One of my stalls is mats over concrete. I put two layers of rubber mats down.

                                  The horses here are rarely in (like, 2 days this past winter) and I have not noticed a problem with the horse in that stall.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                                    One of my stalls is mats over concrete. I put two layers of rubber mats down.

                                    The horses here are rarely in (like, 2 days this past winter) and I have not noticed a problem with the horse in that stall.
                                    That really would be cushy, two sets of mats, no matter what you have below.

                                    We have a sand pile and our horses love to nap on it several times a day, generally right after a meal, then they go graze out after their nap.
                                    Here, napping yesterday morning:

                                    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...g?t=1301235068

                                    Still, I have seen at times one just lay down on the grass a little ways from the sand pile too, where there is a shallow ditch and soft grass.
                                    At times also one will lay in the hard dirt in the pens, but that is rare, they do like and look for soft spots.

                                    I think that if the one managing is very observant, they can see what their horses like best and adjust for that, whatever it may be.

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