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putting mats in my run in

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  • putting mats in my run in

    Run in is attached to the barn/barn aisle with a dutch door. Its 12 ft. deep/24 ft. wide. Interlocking mats are ordered and on their way. Yay!!!

    My reasons for it: property is very sandy, and bluestone is base of run in, and I want to feed hay in there, and don't want them eating off the sand/stone. Also, I figured on: bedding one half side just for their ease/comfort to rest, if not stalled.....haying on the opposite side without the bedding.

    my question to those who have mats in run ins: Do you think? if I bed slightly on that one side, that horses will use the area more for peeing than outside? Would you partially bed? or just leave the area in mats?
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

  • #2
    I only have bare, plain TSC 3/4", 4'x8' mats against the back of the 28' deep shed, where I feed, a 14' deep line of mats.
    In the front part 14', it is clay with a bit of sand and they love to take naps there.
    Your depth may not be enough to do that.

    Some report mats get slick when wet, but I have not seen that, as ours are on 1" of sand and give a bit with the horse's weight, they seem to have good traction on every hoof and not any more apt to slip and fall when playing around in there than on the dirt part.


    • #3
      I have mats under my overhangs. Some horses do urinate there instead of the paddocks and some will find a spot in the paddock.

      I just keep a bag of wood pellets and sprinkle some on the urine spots. It takes very little of the pellets to absorb all the urine. Wait maybe 5 minutes for it to take full effect. Clean up is much easier and it doesn't have the urine soaked smell.


      • #4
        My overhang is between the stalls and paddock so the horses can come and go from the stalls to overhang to gravel paddocks at all times. The overhang is matted with just regular straight-edge stall mats. We built a box in the ground using pressure treated wood attached to the posts of the overhang so the mats are held in place by that, which solved the problem we had in the past with the mats migrating a bit. I do not put bedding on the overhang mats as they have the stalls available, and the mats there in the overhang are kind of a buffer between stalls/bedding and paddock/gravel -- I'd rather not have them track the bedding into the gravel as it creates muck.

        The matted overhang works well for feeding so they don't eat off the gravel paddocks, and I can lock them out of the stalls if I want to (rarely do). I did have an extra horse for a while and just put some bedding down on the overhang mats and he would lay down there, plus decided it was a good pee spot (I was not crazy about that -- I'd rather they go in the gravel!). What was funny is when we got back down to the just two horses and two stalls, he still would lay down on the overhang mats rather than go into the open stall. But he's not the brightest...


        • #5
          Try leaving it bedding free for a short time...if the horses pee on a bare rubber mat it'll splash everywhere. It might cue them that it's not a good pee spot.
          Can't guarantee anything.
          We all know if you bed it, they will pee!
          You jump in the saddle,
          Hold onto the bridle!
          Jump in the line!


          • #6
            I love having mats in my run-in. So much easier to clean in there, it keeps the mud down, and the poop doesn't freeze to the floor like it did when it was just dirt.

            My current mares don't like to urinate in the run-in at all, though they poop in there quite a bit in the summer. But when I had Pody, any amount of "bedding" (I use that term lightly - a few leftover scraps of hay would do) was an invitation to use the run-in as a toilet.

            Anyhow, if you have your mats over basically a dirt/sand base as opposed to concrete, and you don't want them to pee in the run-in, I personlly wouldn't bother bedding in there at all.
            "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
            -Edward Hoagland


            • #7
              I have mats in my run ins. I don't bed them because it seems to encourage them to use it as a toilet!


              • #8
                If it has a roof, they will use it as a bathroom, mats or no mats, bedding or no bedding. It's like they are housebroken, only backwards.

                Damrock Farm


                • Original Poster


                  thanks, and pretty much? what I expected? I really WANTED to bed the 12 x 12 side, so pony out there (attached to sacrifice) could lay down if not stalled, but.....when I got to thinking on it, I agree (!!) to leave it non bedded and see how it goes! I can always use that area for an extra 'stall' if necessary down the road, and use 12 ft. panel/gate that would fold back when not needed...and THEN if thats the case could bed it!
                  "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                  --Jimmy Buffett


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Damrock Farm View Post
                    If it has a roof, they will use it as a bathroom, mats or no mats, bedding or no bedding. It's like they are housebroken, only backwards.
                    Pretty much. I bed the big ones but don't bed the little one, and they all get used as bathrooms. I've considered caving in and bedding all the run-ins just because the bare mats can get slick--especially in winter when some rocket scientist pees all over a bare mat and it freezes.


                    • #11
                      I bed my run in, my one gelding loves a big snuggly deep bed when the ground is wet or hard/cold. Its fun to see him covered in shavings from poll to tail in the morning.

                      But, when the weather is poor, or when my geriatric is just feeling snotty, they do use the bedded area as a toilet, and it costs a lot of money and time as they run in and out of it 24/7. Shavings get tracked everywhere and manure gets mashed into a million pieces.

                      If I provide beds in the paddocks (raked together piles of leaves or straw) they will sleep there too, but it invites ticks I find.
                      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                        I have mats under my overhangs. Some horses do urinate there instead of the paddocks and some will find a spot in the paddock.
                        This is my experience too. I do not bed there but one of my horses obviously does not mind the splash and she loves to urinate on the mats under the overhang.


                        • Original Poster

                          sigh. well, this will be a learning experience! I want the mats, as mentioned for sand free haying....and for the opportunity to add a stall if needed on one side down the road....but (!) will be sure to report back on how the 'are they peeing on bare mats' goes! (sheeesh.....horses!)
                          "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                          --Jimmy Buffett


                          • #14
                            There are times our horses also urinate on the mats, but we have a soft spot outside close by they really prefer to go, when they remember to.

                            Now, for horse apples, they do have a designated bathroom and use it most of the time, except like this morning, we have a blue northern blowing by, with sustained 40 m/h winds and no one is stepping out there for anything, they tell me and left me one pile under the shed, the lazy bums.
                            First one I had to clean there in weeks, maybe months.

                            When we have a blizzard and snow drifts all over, then they do go under the shed, but otherwise, they are very clean in their "home".


                            • #15
                              My mare is in a stall with attached paddock. The stall has mats with no bedding. The paddock has granite fines with wood chips over the top, a nice deep layer. A local tree trimming company drops their chips off at the ranch so those are free. It seems to be working very well. Pony pees outside in the wood chips and poops mostly inside on the mats. This makes it super easy to clean.

                              Only down side is that since its a small paddock (12x24) attached to the stall the chips are breaking down. I'll get the BF out to help me shovel out the portion closest to the stall (the most broken down) and then with fluff things up and add more chips. It's looking like I need to do this every 4 months or so.

                              Still much easier than keeping miss piggy bedded in the stall. She still gets to lie down, but outside in the sun. When I've had the stall bedded in the past it was awful. She is such a heifer. I used the wood pellets and she would walk it into a huge mess. Maybe would have worked if it were cleaned twice a day but that's not an available option.