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Stall mats in run-in?

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  • Stall mats in run-in?

    We are turning one bay of an old barn into a run-in. The floor is concrete, so I am planning on putting stall mats down. I don't want to leave it bare, because I imagine standing on the concrete for any length of time would not be great for the horses. I don't want to put shavings down as it is a very large space and I don't want to be mucking a lot of shavings out every day.

    Will the mats hold up? Are they the best option?

    I don't want to get rid of the concrete either -- I'm planning on setting it up so the run-in can be divided into two large stalls for use in blizzards. I guess that's another question -- would a pipe gate do the trick? (The two horses stabled that way would be good buddies). Thanks for any advice you could offer!
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  • #2
    I have stall mats in my run-ins -over 10 years now and they're still holding up well. One run-in is "sectioned" with just a couple boards nailed up between the "stalls" and yes, I have pipe gates.
    In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?


    • #3
      I put my worn out old stall matts in my run ins. The ones that, after 13 years, have been pawed through in one spot by a habitual pawer. They do a good job in the run in as they sit on top of the gravel and keep the horses' feet dry. My matts are 3/4 inch thick and most of them are still good after 13 years- I have seen them still in use at 20 years old at boarding stables.

      If you are putting them on concrete and will house horses there for long periods ( like stalls in a blizzard), get the thick heavier matts- it does make a difference standing on concrete- 1/4 or 1/2 inch matts are not enough- get the 3/4 or 1 inch kind. And the pipe gate should be good enough- I ahve subdivided my large paddocks with sections of pipe fence from my old round pen and they work well. Make sure it is properly secured so the horses cannot shift the divider.
      "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


      • Original Poster

        Thanks, you guys!
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        • #5
          You might end up needing to put some shavings in to keep it from getting too slick--even with the mats.
          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

          Might be a reason, never an excuse...


          • #6
            I have rubber mats, the thick ones, under the shed, about half of it, because I feed there and the ground is dirt and sand.
            They have held up well, altough the horses go to the sandier spots to lay down to rest, not on the mats.


            • #7
              Ours have been in several years and are holding up beautifully. They'll go in and lay down if its muddy, otherwise they prefer out to lay down. I love the ease of cleaning.
              Epona Farm
              Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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              • #8
                Agree that mats over the concrete are your best bet. The only thing I would consider, in your situation, is to make a sort of frame for each stall's mats, so they won't shift. Either with wood, or with bricking/pavers, but measure so that a brick/paver/wood frame will contain six mats (standard to cover a 12 x 12 space), and then sink them into the frame. My husband did this for the two stalls he added to our last barn; dug down about 6 inches, filled in with about 4" of tamped down crushed limestone, watered and pounded to a concrete consistency, then put the mats down over the limestone. Mats never moved, drained beautifully, and came up easily when we sold the farm and moved. I highly recommend it.
                In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                A life lived by example, done too soon.


                • #9
                  Our matts are also laid over several feet of compacted sand and the horses prefer to lay down on them rather than outside. They are like giant bean bag chairs for the horses when done that way, the mats stay put and drain nicely even after years and years.

                  Yes, and hence how my buddy found out that if it ain't nailed or glued down, it might not be there after you buy the house. He bought a 20 stall barn and indoor. When he took possession, all the stall matts had been removed. And most of the turnout paddocks were pipe corral sections and they were all gone too. About $20,000 he wasn't counting on spending to replace that. He was most surprised to see the fabric building, machine shed was gone, but he got that back as it was in the original listing.
                  "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                  • #10
                    Another one with mats in the run-in for several years. I echo the previous poster who recommended some sort of fram to keep them from shifting. Our shed is one of the kinds that comes from the Amish on skids, so it had something of a threshold to begin with. We filled it in almost to the top with leveled and tamped bluestone, and the mats haven't moved in seven years.

                    They occasionally get slick if a horse pees in there. Rain doesn't seem to be as much of a problem, unless it's typhoon-style.
                    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks for all the advice. The barn was originally built in 1790, so no measurements are standard (from memory, it is 27 feet 7 inches long for example). I have the world's greatest handyman, and he's going to cut the stall mats to fit, so they (hopefully) will fit perfectly and that will prevent them from shifting. He has a special saw he uses (couldn't tell you the name).

                      Glad to hear about the wet . . . only one horse likes to pee inside, so with any luck that won't be an issue, but I will monitor. Also good advice to get the thickest mats, I'll make sure they are 1" thick.

                      Thanks so much for all the replies.
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                      • #12
                        Keep an eye out in the winter. I'm in Indiana and snowy hooves on rubber mats are like ice skates. Better than concrete obviously, but I'd put something over the rubber in the winter personally.


                        • #13
                          you might consider putting some coarse sand over the mats. But if you do then feed hay etc from racks not from the ground.


                          • #14
                            some of the mats are available with a textured side and a smooth side. For snowy/wet conditions, put the textured side up.
                            "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF