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Brainstorm with me: putting a stall on concrete, bedding, installing, other ideas?

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  • Brainstorm with me: putting a stall on concrete, bedding, installing, other ideas?

    So... we might be taking the (gulp) big leap to farm ownership. We looked at a farmette this weekend that we liked a lot. One of the things that we like is that the stalls have top/bottom dutch doors and open right into the main pasture. So there's no need to turn horses in and out. You can just leave the doors open and their stalls act as shelter for them and then can come and go as they please. This feature will be EXTREMELY important to me as I have a job away from the house and it's critical to me that the horses have proper shelter and a place to lay down and get out of the wind/rain all the time.

    Right now, it's set up as three stalls all in a row with these doors heading out to pasture. They are bedded on well-graded stonedust with stall matts on top. I walked on them with a normal amount of shavings and they felt quite springy/comfortable...

    http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y19...101035_621.jpg

    Here you can see the doors. The painted one opens to a stall as described. The NOT painted one opens to the part of the barn where no stall is installed...

    http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y19...103458_018.jpg

    View of the stalls from inside the barn...

    http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y19...101025_015.jpg

    And if you look behind where the hay is stacked, you can see the unpainted dutch doors...

    http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y19...101123_935.jpg

    There's on aluminum full wall separating this area from the stalls and then a huge open storage space

    Here's the problem. There is one fewer stall than we need. As you can see, the barn WAS outfitted with an additional dutch door. It, however, opens to a slight different part of the barn where the footing is poured concrete, no stonedust.

    Question #1, how does one install a permanent stall on top of concrete? Don't you need to sink the support posts in first? Can you remove concrete? Or drill a hole? I would not want to lose the rest of the concrete as the remainder of the barn area is storage and I like the idea of a concrete floor for ease of sweeping etc.

    Question #2, is bedding on concrete a long term solution. Even with stall mats and shavings on top, is it soft enough? Does it stay colder? is this comfortable?

    Question #3, is the better idea to abandon using this 4th dutch door and instead put a new building out in the pasture? I don't think one horse would want to live out there alone, but maybe a double shedrow barn with two stalls like this...

    http://www.keystonebarns.com/shedrow-barns.htm (only with 2 stalls and probably a more basic model).

    And then 2 horses could live out there, 2 in the barn, have one empty stall in the barn, ignore the dutch door behind the hay. Thoughts. Other ideas? Cost ballparks? What would I bed the new structure with?

    Total newbie here so forgive me if this is a very basic series of questions...
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

  • #2
    Well, personally I don't think that dutch doors from the barn opening into the field are really such a great idea. The horses will gnaw on and kick and rub up against your barn and play with and chew on the doors and have them worn out and looking a mess in no time. Plus, having a group of horses with access to single stalls with narrow door openings can be dangerous. Horses can pile into a stall and corner each other or try to go in/out at the same time. It's a set up for extra cuts and scrapes and kicks. Better to have the horses out in a field with a more open run in shed.

    Lastly, having horses loose beside the barn can cause erosion and mud near the side of the building. You want to protect the earth and the grading around your barn so that water drains away from your barn. But if your horses hang out beside the barn and make it a muddy mess you may end up with moisture coming in the barn or simply needing to do some expensive regrading.

    Personally, I would put in fencing to separate the horses from the barn and put in a run-in shed, and I wouldn't worry about the number of stalls so much. You will need more indoor storage space than you think, so I wouldn't consider converting that to an extra stall.

    Mats over concrete with proper bedding will work out fine if you do go in this direction.

    Comment


    • #3
      No need to take the concrete out, put up a portable stall there and you won't have to add posts of any kind.
      If you want to put posts down, use anchors you drill into the concrete and bolt the posts to them.

      Mats and ample bedding should be fine.
      Most stalls in Europe, horses living in there 24/7, had concrete floors.
      We bedded well with straw and horses didn't have any problems.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have this exact same setup and it's great. My horses always have access to their stalls 24/7 but are not locked in unless the weather is very bad or I need them in for some reason (vet, farrier, or hay deliver, etc.). My barn has a concrete "threshold" outside the stall doors that prevents erosion to that area. The rest of the paddock is stone dust over gravel w/ geotextile fabric under and over the gravel so we don't lose the stone dust into the clay.

        My stalls have poured concrete floors because they were only dirt when we bought the farm with huge 3 foot deep holes in the centers from 30 years of wear. It was so difficult to try to level them with gravel and stone dust (and we lost it immediately into the clay/mud) that we poured concrete. They have 1" galvanized rubber mats and wood pellet bedding.

        My horses seem to like them just fine, but again, they don't have to stay inside them if they don't want to. Most often they don't lay down in the stalls, but I think that has more to do with wanting to be out in the sun or just outside, period. Mine have access to my small arena so that is where I usually find them sleeping from March - November it it's not raining.

        Not sure how to anchor a stall into concrete but I'm sure it is possible.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
          No need to take the concrete out, put up a portable stall there and you won't have to add posts of any kind.
          If you want to put posts down, use anchors you drill into the concrete and bolt the posts to them.

          Mats and ample bedding should be fine.


          Most stalls in Europe, horses living in there 24/7, had concrete floors.
          We bedded well with straw and horses didn't have any problems.
          This^

          I have the same setup with a 4 stall band and 2 stalls each opening to a sacrifice paddock. I knew when I built the barn that I would probably be introducing a new horse periodically to the others and I wanted to be able to keep the new horse separate for a few days to get used his new friends which is why there are 2 separate sacrifice paddocks side by side. I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am that I did that after being here for 23 yrs and many new horses.

          You didn't show any pics of the outside of your barn but I do hope there is an overhang of at least 4' or more over the stalls to prevent snow from blowing in. I know you probably don't get the snow we get in western NY but that overhang is worth it's weight in gold as you will find out.

          Also your barn doors should open away from the prevailing winds. My stalls open to the east as the prevailing winds come from the west.

          Good luck, the barn looks great.

          The ONLY drawbacks are what BeeHoney pointed out that the horses may chew on your doors. Get some Raplast and immediately spray them before you put the horses in and do that for a few days so they get the idea they can't chew on them. I seen where some people say to just use a bar of soap instead of Raplast to prevent staining. Also, if you do have to keep them in and plan to leave the top door open, you may want to think about using a web stall guard over the top to keep them from leaning out and chewing the outside of the door frame or bottom door. Believe me, they will...

          http://www.doversaddlery.com/dover-s...d01r555uawc3ex


          Metal stall screens are an option as well but more expensive than stall guards. Don't use the single strand stall guard as they can and will get their heads through.

          http://www.countrymfg.com/door_guards.htm

          The only other disadvantage is that if you have young horses, they don't really learn how to be lead properly when you just have to open the doors and turn them loose.

          As far as them chewing on the barn itself just put up a bit of fencing beside the barn, maybe a couple feet away to keep them from getting to it. If it's a metal barn, the only concern there is that they may kick it and again, some fencing to keep them a few feet away would be a good deterrent.
          Sue

          I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

          Comment


          • #6
            You can definitely bed on top of concrete with the proper mats and bedding. I wouldn't worry much about that at all. Of course there won't be drainage on concrete, but you'll keep the stalls clean I'm sure, so not a big issue.

            If necessary or desired, you can definitely anchor posts into concrete to anchor stalls. There are drill bits specifically made for that purpose (masonary bits.) Not a big deal.

            If you are going to leave the stall doors open to the pasture, I'd invest in those metal guards that you can put on the tops of the stall doors to prevent chewing - they are channel shaped and fit right over the top of the door, very easy to install.

            The place looks great - good luck!
            **********
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
            -PaulaEdwina

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a similar set up, with two stalls on compacted gravel/mats and one on concrete. I bed the concrete stall with double mats and more bedding (it is currently unoccupied) and have had no issues, as my horses are out 14 hours a day (in at night only from Sept. to April).

              I used Priefert stall components when I built my stalls--they can be configured without dropping posts, look great, and have held up extremely well.

              I'd suggest thinking about adding an overhang to the outside of your barn where your Dutch doors are. I went without for a couple of years and the mud and wet that was dragged into the barn sucked. We built ours ourselves and it was a bit like building a run-in shed, but attached to our barn. Pretty easy for two construction dorks like Mr. CC and myself. Ours is partially matted, we feed out there during the day and it saves on bedding in our stalls, while offering shelter.

              Our horses have left our doors and such alone--even the babies I boarded left them alone (in favor of one of our overhang posts).
              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

              Comment


              • #8
                I have stalls that lead directly to paddocks that lead to private pastures. I love having stalls with paddocks attached because it gives them room when not on pasture to move around.

                Definitely look into overhangs! One of the best investments I've made!

                My pitchfork chronicles website below shows photos and explainations to my set up.
                http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ditto on the overhang over the dutch doors. I didn't have one the first year, then added a 10 foot overhang the next. Made a huge difference...no rain or snow in the stalls, and the horses hang out under it for shade while still getting the breeze in the summer.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    These ideas have been so, so helpful. Thank you. Just to respond to a few issues/ideas individually...

                    Storage should not be a problem at this property. Excluding the part of the barn with the 3 installed stalls (which has plenty of room along the other wall for shelving units, tack trunks, hanging blankets, etc. the OTHER half of the barn is essentially larger than a 3 car garage and will be totally empty (aside from the additional stall, which I think WILL be a portable stall-- thank you for that excellent suggestion). The current owners house their 2+1 trailer, a tractor, and 2 full sized carts in there (plus the hay, bagged shavings, feed and odds and ends) just to give you an idea on size. And there is ANOTHER separate building on the property which is about the size of a one and a half car garage...

                    http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y19...01206_9611.jpg

                    http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y19...01302_3921.jpg

                    And even other places to park the trailer/store stuff that can be exposed to the elements

                    http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y19...01233_7201.jpg

                    (that's behind that second shed I just described)

                    In terms of in/out-- all of my horses have previously lived with the in/out of double dutch door stall arrangement. None of them have ever tried to go into the stall with one another. There is a VERY CLEAR herd dynamic with these guys-- one VERY boss horse, one VERY willing to go last horse, and one very smart horse that spend his whole life keeping out of trouble. I don't forsee them having difficulting knowing which stall they can/can't go into once they get used to things.

                    They've also never chewed on the dutch doors nor hung out under the underhang/right by the stalls. I don't know why that is. They just never have. I don't have cribbers or any particularly mouthy horses and they are usually 100 times more interested in grazing than messing with stuff. There is PLENTY to graze on here. Also the dutch doors (the painted ones anyway) have some kind of plastic/metal (I think metal) edge (filed down, it's not sharp) and the barn is metal so I don't think they could easily chew on things? They were boarded for a while at a barn that was bigger but very very similar construction and there were never problems with any of the horse chewing or messing with the dutch doors or sides of the barn.

                    As you can see the water trough is RIGHT outside the stalls, I am not sure I COULD safely add a fence to keep them away from the barn even if I wanted to. I'm also not sure how I could add an overhang?

                    Of course, once you find one place you think you like-- suddenly you find others so I have some looking to do. But I feel much more comfortable with the options here.

                    Oddly no one liked my outside extra 2 stall shedrow barn idea, huh? Is there some obvious reason why that's a bad idea or it just seems way easier to add the stall inside the barn and utilize the existing Dutch doors?

                    Also, lots of good ideas on the thread and PM/email about bedding/matts. Thank you. I feel MUCH better about that now.

                    For better or for worse (better!) these owners thought about storage (it helps that they have had draft horses that pull carts so they're used to everything being big and taking up room).
                    ~Veronica
                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      P.S.- I do not ever plan to have babies or horses that need to learn to lead Just my older "good guys"
                      ~Veronica
                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                        Oddly no one liked my outside extra 2 stall shedrow barn idea, huh? Is there some obvious reason why that's a bad idea or it just seems way easier to add the stall inside the barn and utilize the existing Dutch doors?
                        I don't think it's a matter that no one liked the extra shedrowbarn idea, just that it really isn't necessary when you can easily put in a 3rd stall in the main barn and keep all three together.

                        Now, do keep in mind the fact that these will probably NOT be the ONLY horses you will ever have. More than likely you will be adding to the herd and perhaps, down the road, you can do your shedrow barn with a separate adjoining paddock to put a new horse so that it can become accustomed to the current herd gradually without incident. I know some people just throw a new horse in with the others and never have a problem and others try that and end up with serious fighting and one or more horses get hurt. Just a thought.
                        Sue

                        I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think you will find it easier and more convenient to have all the horses in one building.... the one time I had to deal with separate stalls it was a much bigger PITA than I had anticipated. Whatever I happened to need at that moment - from something as simple as a wheelbarrow/lead shank/grooming tote/windbreaker - it was always at the other set of stalls. Going back and forth in the rain/snow/sleet was a bummer, too.
                          **********
                          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                          -PaulaEdwina

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Overhang is essentially a free standing "run in" shed. You put in your poles (6x6 treated) for the front support, then we cut through the metal pole building siding and attached our 2 x 6s to the posts in the barn to form the "roof" frame. You then attach more 2 x 6s to the front so now you have a supported rectangle on which to put your roof. It sounds complicated but it is very easy. A contractor could do in in under 6 hours, if all material were there. Ours is 12 x 48 and cost us under $3000 to do.
                            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Calvincrowe, do you by any chance has a photo showing the overhang?
                              ~Veronica
                              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                No advice but WHEEEEEEEEEE so excited for you!
                                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I would start with all horses there and if you later want to change things, easy to do then.
                                  An overhang is easy for any handyman to add.
                                  Ask around, you may be surprised how little it may cost for the good it does.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Anchor the posts with those U channel anchors. You can find them in most Home Depot type places. THey use them on patios all the time. That's what we have in our concrete barn.

                                    I wish I had attached paddocks. Eliminates the fire fear.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                      Oddly no one liked my outside extra 2 stall shedrow barn idea, huh? Is there some obvious reason why that's a bad idea or it just seems way easier to add the stall inside the barn and utilize the existing Dutch doors?
                                      It depends. I have three stalls in my barn and a shed. None of the horses ever want to be in the shed. It's "away" from everyone else so they hate it except as a rain shelter (and they all cram in together.)

                                      In my barn I have a center aisle so I can access stalls from inside - is this the same setup for you? Because if yes, you will much rather have everyone together and accessible from inside instead of two that are somewhere else.

                                      However, if you don't have a center aisle and can't access stalls from inside anyway, having two in the barn and two in a shedrow building could be a nice option - most especially because it will give you an extra stall to store hay, equipment, use as a grooming stall....(house a small pony?)...

                                      Our trainer has several shedrow stalls like you posted - in addition to her main barn. Since she has too many to have in the main barn anyway, it's a quick and easy way to add stalls.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I would not build extra stalls as extra stalls always, at least here, have found occupants .... the extra stall just made it so easy to add another "because gee we had the room"

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