How many inches of shavings would you put in a stall that has concrete floors?
You need a base as dreamcatcher mentioned of something to "cushion" their legs.
That said... I did stalls in a show barn where the entire stall was turned daily to fully clean and fluff. Our stalls were bedded deep in pine shavings, 10" on the floor and deeper sides...stalls were 14'x14' boxes when bedded down probably made a 12'x12' box of usable space.
We never had issues of leg problems or horses sliding getting up. No soreness, pain or anything else. These were top competition show horses.
I think the secret was stalls large enough for the animal to freely move around and more than enough bedding to give cushioning to the animal.
I never had a horse "walk" a bare spot to the floor either....
Drives me nuts to see matted stalls with a 1"-2" of bedding in them...why bother.
Doesn't truly absorb the pee so the horse if they lie down is lying in sopping shavings, rub marks on the animals coat from bones/fur making hard contact with a hard surface...and no soft place to lay the weary head...
Ever sit on a stall mat...hard as can be and can be slick underfoot too.
With all of that they then can also smell really foul because of the urine seepage under the mats left to fester...gross.
Give me thick bedded stalls of shavings on top of any surface, ....mats, concrete, dirt...whatever just give me the shavings to use.
Once established those bedded stalls also use less than the thin covered stall needing a near total stripping everyday.
jmo, sorry...off the soapbox.:oops:
In answer to your question though...over concrete nothing less than 5" thick across the entire stall floor...
I've got rubber mats over gravel in my stalls.....and use about the same...
A well known farrier stated that his problem with shavings is that the horse winds up standing with the toes downward as the shavings pack under the heels. Once I read this I realized it was something I had observed but didn't think anything of it at the time. Wheat straw doesn't do this.
I'm actually asking because I work at a barn (they train barrel horses) and recently the owners have told me to use less shavings. They are concrete floors and they said instead of using 8-12 inches of bedding that we only need to use 4-6". I'm not questioning their intelligence on the matter but that just seems kind of skimpy when you look at it.
horselovingguy, I used to get SO mad when they would inadequately bed my horse's stall at our first barn. I was a new horsey mom at the time but I feel like it's pretty obvious when your horse is getting bedsores in a 12'x14' stall... And he wasn't the only one! Fortunately we got that fixed fairly promptly but I would think that even mounds of shavings wouldn't be enough on straight concrete when the horse is shifting getting up or something. It can be quite hard on their legs over time too so I definitely recommend the gravel+mats+shavings method as well. :-)
[QUOTE=2BigReds;4421569 It can be quite hard on their legs over time too so I definitely recommend the gravel+mats+shavings method as well. :-)[/QUOTE]
Agreed, this sounds really nice with the ability of drainage yet mats so not on the gravel and adequate shavings to soften those hard mat surfaces.
I never saw or encountered any problems with any horses in my care or on my own horse either. I though was a stickler for meticulous clean stalls, heavy bedding due to the concrete and ever watchful vigilance for problems arising.
I prefer the gravel too. Concrete is nicer for the barn owner, because you can pull the mats and hose everything down, especially if there's a drain under the mats for the pee to run down too. I think it's too hard on the horse's legs and if I showed up and they didn't have mats and I only found 4-6 inches in my horses stall I'd have a fit. Actually, I'd probably move.
I've also got a huge pile of dirty shavings just waiting on the ground to firm up some so I can spread them...
So IMO, cost does matter, and I'd love to use less shavings...but 4 to 6 inches is good for me....and, it cuts the barn owners shaving cost in half and reduces the amount of waste they have to deal with as well. Now if money grew on trees and whiskey flowed from streams........then I'd have 6 stalls and rotate the horses.....
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