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Stall mat questions

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  • Stall mat questions

    Any tips or advice on installing stall mats? I have two stalls in my barn, 13 x 15 and 12 x 15 approx. About a third of each stall is concrete, the remainder is dirt. The concrete in one stall is cracked and buckled.

    I have purchased heavy, interlocking stall mats for one stall, hope Santa will bring me mats for the second one So, when we install the mats, I was thinking of having concrete poured over the existing concrete and dirt to make one subsurface or would lime screenings be better than concrete? Should I have the concrete slightly graded for urine run-off? What kind of bedding do you use? Would wood shaving work fine? Should I anticipate any problems with traction, there isn't a tread or pattern of any sort on the mats, they are 3/4 inch thick.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    I'd recommend crushed limestone rather than concrete. Level and compact as much as possible.

    I've got about 40 stalls of http://www.rubbermats.com/ssm.html
    with good results. Only problem is that you have to keep the seam clean, otherwise they hump up.


    • Original Poster

      Thank you--do you have to replace the lime screenings every couple of years? My mare like to treat the stall like her personal potty, every time I clean it she comes in and lifts her tail. . . I don't think she likes the smell of clean pine shavings as much as I do!


      • #4
        it gets pretty raunchy under mats no matter what you do.


        • #5
          I have packed limestone under my mats. Not interlocking. No problem with hunching or dirty seams unless there was a gap to start with. And no problem with getting nasty under the mat. The only problems I have are mice creating tunnels under mats and over 20 years the base has settled more in some areas than others and needs to be re-leveled.
          "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."


          • #6
            Our stalls are DG, so I have mats over that and use shavings over the mat. As long as the DG is level when the mats go down they dont move around too much.


            • Original Poster

              Thank you for your responses--can I ask, what is DG? Noob here LOL


              • Original Poster

                Is anyone pro-concrete? Covered by the mats, of course


                • #9
                  DG is decomposed granite. It is popular stall base around here.


                  • Original Poster

                    Ah, thank you!


                    • #11
                      Unless the concrete is in the front third of the stall, I would get rid of it. Leave it dirt or do DG or bluestone under the mats. Make sure the stall is totally level, no need to slope for urine as your shavings will soak it all up. Measure twice and cut once on the mats. Check out Cherry Hill's books and website, "horsekeeping.coml". Good luck!



                      • #12
                        Also check out yesterdays post "dirt floors in the barn".



                        • #13
                          With mats... Now less bedding required? Someone mentioned to me, that their stalls were designed, mats over crushed stone, so they could use less bedding. Hype, fact, or being frugal with bedding?
                          The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.


                          • #14
                            I consider mats to be another type of floor, not a reason to bed lightly.
                            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by katiehorse View Post
                              Is anyone pro-concrete? Covered by the mats, of course
                              Not me I don't like mats over concrete...urine pools underneath........and in one of your posts you said the concrete is buckling.....this would create an uneven surface........when you need a dead level hard compacted surface to lay rubber mats properly.

                              I would rip the concrete out and just use a small size gravel...level and compact servals times with a compactor.



                              • Original Poster

                                Thank you for the advice! Yes, the concrete is buckled on one side but I would have concrete poured over it to make the whole stall level. I wondered about urine getting under the mats and causing a stink if I went with concrete. Seems the crushed stone would allow for drainage.

                                The existing concrete is actually on the back 1/3 of the stall. I don't know why someone would do this? Something needs to give soon because trying to keep up with the mess created on the dirt floor part is exhausting!


                                • #17
                                  Because we compost and use all our stall cleanings, we are on a "minimal bedding" system. This means we have at least 2 feet of sand, compacted and graded to drain to the back of the stall, then covered with fitted rubber matts. They are 3/4 inch smooth surfaced black rubber cut to fit. The seam do not bunch up or get bedding under them if they are properly fitted and butted into the walls, and we've only removed them once to grade the base again after 12 years of continuous use. They are not slippery. They are warm and dry to the touch and we've not had a problem with getting any ickiness underneath them.

                                  The minimal bedding comes because with the "bean bag chair" type of sand base, the horses lie down comfortabley with only enough bedding to soak up any urine or manure, and only in the half of the stall where the potty spot is. That means about one wheelbarrow of shavings to start, and about 1-2 wheelbarrows added weekly.

                                  This is economical, but cannot be done if your matts are over concrete or compacted stone, as the surface is too unforgiving then and some horses will get capped hocks or elbows from laying down on a hard surface. If you don't have sand under the matts, you must bed normally.

                                  I tried doing the minimal bedding approach with pellets and it doesn't work- you waste more pellets and get a big pee spot if you don't bed adequately and end up taking a lot out.
                                  Last edited by CatOnLap; Jul. 26, 2010, 10:40 AM. Reason: spelling
                                  "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