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OK, convince me to do stall mats

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  • #21
    Thank you, that is an interesting way to floor a barn.


    • #22
      Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
      OK, so I'm still confused.

      Does the urine "drain" through the spaces in between rubber mats (as indicated in the first quotes) or does it not drain at all (as indicated in the 3rd quote)??? Because if it drained between the mats, it will still be lingering in the stone dust base underneath...
      Either way, the odor isn't a huge issue in my barn because all of the walls are open (I live in the deep south). The walls in this stall will only be 7' high all around, so excellent air flow. But I do get the odor point of dirt/clay floors.

      Also, I have a horse that lays down a lot because of an old injury. I would not be doing his stall with the mats (he's one of the dirt floors that would be redone at a later time), but just in case... When I have boarded at places that have the stall mats, he got wicked rug burn from getting up and down all the time. I would have to put 8 bags of shavings in his stall. The dirt floor, not so much. Was it specific to that one barn's stall mats?? Do any of you mat-lovers have horses that spend a lot of time getting up/down? I realize it's probably a stretch.
      Sorry, I was trying to multitask when I posted - did not mean to confuse you. The odor I mentioned was when I had a clay/stone dust floors with no mats - I had a horse who only used one spot and it became a deep, perma-wet area even with a good amount of bedding.

      With the mats, there is some drainage, and it is easier to get all of the wet bedding out so there is no odor. I have one horse who was on stall rest for almost a year and will only pee in his stall and only in one spot - we call it Lake Kelso. If I didn't have mats I would have a real mess on my hands.


      • #23
        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
        Thank you, that is an interesting way to floor a barn.
        We are in the city so the barn was built similar to your large loafing sheds in the the frame is drill stem then the trusses are clear span the stalls are free standing so they are not apart of the structure.

        We did this for two reasons: the barn could easily be converted into a garage or a shop. The stalls are consider furniture since they are not attached to the building so if we were to move we can take the stalls with us.

        Pavestone has a plant about ten miles from us so the haul charge was not great. The pavestone flooring added 15% to the value of the building over concrete and in our case was cheaper to install. We did place the floor before we installed the exterior walls which allowed us free access to most areas. The barn is not large ,24 by 36, but the floor base, sand and pavestone weigh about 150,000 pounds

        An advanage to the floor is water will drain directly through the joints in the paver into the sand base


        • #24
          soft stalls are the way to go - less bedding, easier to clean - contains the urine from going underneather and softer for the horse. I would never go any other route.


          • #25
            Stall mats back east, non interlocking and yes, the urine does get in between the mats no matter how close they are. They are over concrete and it is fairly easy to pull those matts back (I use a hay hook) and sweep out the urine soaked shavings and violia! no smell! TSC did not have any interlocking when I need them so just got what I could but i'd go that way if I had it to do again. I greatly prefer these to no mats (as I have out here) mostly because a) the urine can saturate and b) if I'm not careful I can lose a lot of bedding. Just have not gotten to it here but I am a converted mat fan.I will say a stiff broom really really helps for cleaning.


            • #26
              I have a question for the OP if she doesn't use mats... How do you get up the pee spot everyday without making a crater in the stall? I have never been able to do it, but I can always learn something new

              Maybe it's just because I have geldings that pee right in the middle of the stall, but there is no way that I could clean the stalls without digging up the dirt in the middle a little bit everyday. That is the only reason I use mats.

              My boys aren't pacers or pawers, but mats are the only way to prevent me digging to China to clean up that wet area of pee pee everyday. Oooooh and that smell without mats, no way... Can't do it.
              "The Prince" aka Front Row
              Cavalier Manor


              • #27
                My mare was in a 12x24 pipe stall with a decomposed granite base with shavings over it and always had hock sores no matter how deeply it was bedded. Her urine would soak down into the DG and the base would get churned up. I now have her in a 12x16 box stall that is open on all sides, fully matted with pelleted bedding. Her hock sores are almost gone, and she lays down a few times a day/night. With the pellets they absorb the urine and it is no longer mixed into the base. She is Miss Messy Mare and stays pretty clean with this set up. she has a few handfuls of the pellets added every two or three days.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by LoveJubal View Post
                  I have a question for the OP if she doesn't use mats... How do you get up the pee spot everyday without making a crater in the stall? I have never been able to do it, but I can always learn something new
                  I only dig down to the dirt once a week when I "strip" the stall (defined as a thorough cleaning, not removing everything). The rest of the week I leave a thin layer of pee shavings to prevent creating a crater. To get down to the dirt, what I have found works for me is to "rake" that last layer of shavings and it saves me from digging up the dirt/clay base. If I try to scoop like normal, the prongs dig up the dirt. I also pour pelleted shavings into that area only (then a layer of flake shavings over it). Now, over time, that would obviously create a crater, but it's been 6 months and nothing even remotely resembling a crater yet.
                  It also helps that I have geldings and they pee in the center and rarely step there, so they don't create divots with the weight of their hoof.
                  It's not an ideal flooring by any means, but as I said, I'm wondering if the cons of dirt are equal to or slightly more than the cons of mats. And I also have completely open-air stalls. The smell is a complete non-issue, unless you have your face in it. My gelding who is temporarily boarded in an enclosed barn with clay floors, yes, the smell is an issue!


                  • #29
                    I didn't read through the replies so my apologies if I am repeating, but I would suggest doing pelleted bedding. Much less waste than shavings, IMO, and breaks down faster. With three ponies, I don't even fill one muck tub, and I remove the wet(not correct according to the packaging, they say mix it in with the dry)


                    • #30
                      In my vast experience, whenever they hear about a horse barn with a dirt floor, all the world's homeless little ammonia molecules make immediate plans to emigrate thither.
                      Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


                      • #31
                        I did this exact project last spring.

                        8 stalls, 12x12. We use FAR less shavings than we did previously, and stall cleaning is much faster. The urine drains very easily through the cracks despite very exact cuts and tiny gaps between the mats. We hauled in several tons of crushed washed limestone, leveled everything, and tamped the rock before putting the mats in.

                        It's one of the best projects I've done --but it was time consuming.

                        Biggest tip i have to offer --- get a metal straight edge that is at least as long as the longest side of your stall mats. Where you have to trim the mats -- lay one over top, mark the edge to cut, and use the metal straight edge and the utility knife to score the mat over and over again until you cut through. This will leave you with very exact cuts and a nice "finished" look.


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by bdj View Post
                          For those that prefer mats, do you find that they get slippery in the wet spots? I've contemplated mats in the run-in, but worried that if they got wet, they could be slick, especially if you didn't have any bedding on top, or if the bedding got pushed aside.
                          I think that depends on the mats. I have mates at the wash bay and it is not slippery, but the mates (different from the ones at wash bay) I have at the stalls will get somehow slippery if very wet and without bedding. Those mats sold at TSC are very slippery when wet.

                          Also, we have had injured horses, heavily pregnant broodmares, and horses of all ages in our matted stalls over concrete. None ever had any sores. We bed very minimum (2"~3" in the center of the stalls only). This is pure speculation but I'm thinking the mats have less to do with sores than the lumps and bumps and holes of the stall floors.
                          Last edited by Gloria; Apr. 8, 2013, 04:03 PM.


                          • #33
                            I have mats, and I use bedding pellets. They soak up the urine. A little may drain down between the mats, but not much. That is why the stall is so odor free. I never come back into the house smelling like a barn, because my barn doesn't smell. My horse has access to his stall/turnour 24/7. He usually chooses to lie down in his stall and nap because it is comfortable. He is 21. I use 1.5 to 2 bags of pellets per week.


                            • #34
                              Slippery Mats

                              I've not had an issue with the stall mats being slippery. I used the same mats in my stalls that are in my wash rack, and have no problem with them being slippery when wet. I think they are a brand called RB? From our local farm store.

                              But I also have some mats that were in my crosstie area that I bought used off craigslist. They were from a doggy daycare going out of business and are really good quality, perfect shape, but I found they are slicker than snot when wet! I'm glad I did not buy them to use in a wash rack. They are now in an area that has little to no horse traffic and won't get wet and work fine there.