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Concrete vs Dirt stall floors

This is a discussion on Concrete vs Dirt stall floors within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Can i use lime on a concrete stall floor
  • Concrete vs dirt floor for horse barn

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    06-25-2012, 02:02 PM
  #21
Foal
I like concrete, no mats and deep bedding. I detest mats because I can't clean under them regularly, dirt soaks up too much of the liquids, gets uneven, a pawing horse can create craters, dirtier barn, much harder to pressure wash a barn with dirt floors, bedding gets mixed up in the dirt.
     
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    06-25-2012, 02:04 PM
  #22
Trained
Hey Foxhunter, how many Victorian type stable yards are there still around, with concrete and brick in tie stalls, loose boxes and yards, that are still going good?


Concrete does need to be looked after a bit better maybe, we always used to have day beds, clean out in the morning and bank all the clean stuff up around the walls, sweep out the middle and leave to dry when the horses where out, then before they come in, put up the night beds.

I've also deep littered on concrete and it never hurts, of course you want to put down a good grade of concrete first
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    06-26-2012, 12:45 AM
  #23
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
Hey Foxhunter, how many Victorian type stable yards are there still around, with concrete and brick in tie stalls, loose boxes and yards, that are still going good?


Concrete does need to be looked after a bit better maybe, we always used to have day beds, clean out in the morning and bank all the clean stuff up around the walls, sweep out the middle and leave to dry when the horses where out, then before they come in, put up the night beds.

I've also deep littered on concrete and it never hurts, of course you want to put down a good grade of concrete first
I would not have a clue as to how many stables there are with the old brick floors, there would be a lot!
I do know that all the Royal Mews at Windsor Castle are all stable bricked and the yards are cobbled. (Think of sweeping that and keeping it immaculate!)

I would agree - how many who prefer dirt floors have ever had horses kept on concrete?

For those that say it is bad for their legs my question is, having a horse stand on very uneven ground is bad for their backs.
     
    06-26-2012, 02:13 PM
  #24
Trained
IMO, you should visit barns with both and talk to a lot of local horse owners in order to make an educated decision IF you're not sure which to use. In IL, though we're going through a drought, we are usually a swamp. Therefore, concrete prevents a river of mud when it's really wet. However, in OK (like the OP) and dry places, the dirt might be better. I prefer concrete with thick matting. PM me if you don't know how to move the mats! =b
     
    06-26-2012, 02:19 PM
  #25
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBFoley    
I like concrete, no mats and deep bedding. I detest mats because I can't clean under them regularly, dirt soaks up too much of the liquids, gets uneven, a pawing horse can create craters, dirtier barn, much harder to pressure wash a barn with dirt floors, bedding gets mixed up in the dirt.
No offense - but I guess it boils down to how much upkeep one is willing to do.

It's not healthy for a horse to spend extended periods of time standing on concrete - much less laying on it. No matter how deep the bedding, a horse can get down to bare nothing and mark up a leg while they are laying down. Concrete has tiny pores which retain odor.

We do everything as needed - add fill, shift mats, use lime, add shavings, etc. It's not hard - it's for the horses.
     
    06-26-2012, 11:30 PM
  #26
Weanling
I prefer not to use concrete in stalls, even if they are matted because no matter what, dirt and a mat will be softer than concrete.
Anyway, I like to use compacted dirt, it absorbs what slips under the mats, and mats, adds extra cush and prevents mud from pee when it isn't absorbed by shavings, and shavings on top.
     
    06-26-2012, 11:39 PM
  #27
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by mls    
No offense - but I guess it boils down to how much upkeep one is willing to do.

It's not healthy for a horse to spend extended periods of time standing on concrete - much less laying on it. No matter how deep the bedding, a horse can get down to bare nothing and mark up a leg while they are laying down. Concrete has tiny pores which retain odor.

We do everything as needed - add fill, shift mats, use lime, add shavings, etc. It's not hard - it's for the horses.
Thanks for implying that you care more and are more willing to work harder, the dig was appreciated.
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    06-27-2012, 01:02 AM
  #28
Foal
GH, we've had both dirt and concrete. I like both, but for our place, we just couldn't get a concrete hauler to come out to do the flooring. We live in the middle of nowhere and no one willing to make the drive, so we have dirt.

I should also add that our horses are not stalled unless in isolation for illness or due to injury. They do however have full use of the main area of the barn to come and go as they wish and the flooring there is dirt as well.
     
    06-27-2012, 05:34 AM
  #29
Started
I had dirt, my horse dug a hole to China while he ate. Ended up standing on a downhill slope. And it was damp for ages in winter, caused all sorts of problems rotting the shavings underneath and giving him thrush in his dodgy hoof. I'd consider dirt with matting, though.
     
    06-27-2012, 10:49 AM
  #30
Foal
I have never owned a barn and have no experience with upkeep for either. However, FWIW I will not board my horse at a stable with concrete stalls even if they are turned out during the day. I just don't want to put the strain on my horse's legs.

The only comparison I have is that I used to ride at a barn with concrete stalls and most of the horses were lame and arthritic by the time they were 20. When I moved barns to one that had a dirt/lime base, the horses were ridden well into their 30's. Before I switched barns, I didn't even know you COULD ride a horse into their 30's. Obviously, many factors go into this as there were other major differences between the two barns, but I do believe that concrete has a negative impact on the horses' soundness long-term. JMO.
     

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