Stall Mats and bedding
TSC is going to have their 4x6 mats on sale for $29 ea, and I planned to buy them for our stalls IF I would really see a savings on bedding all around. Is this going to be the case?
Also, what is the most economical bedding you've found for stalls? Just straw?
I'm curious about this too. The stall that CoCo is in is dirt floor and very uneven. I've been putting down four large wheelbarrows of sawdust but I feel like the dirt underneath just makes it difficult to clean up completely KWIM??
I think stall mats are indispensable. Shavings are meant to absorb pee and poop only.. you don't need a ton of shavings.
We service a lot of horse barns! It never ceases to amaze me at the different styles of floors in stalls. Dirt floors with shavings or sawdust are generally the worst. A good % of those customers will tell you the horrors of having their horse stand on concrete or pavement, etc, but then you look at the stall and it is 2-3 ft lower than the barn aisle and shaped like a bowl. Or there are potholes all over the floor. they can expain the virtues of a dirt floor, but they can't ever get the maintence done to keep the floor level. These are my prefrences.
1. Concrete sloped 1" in 12' to back drain with 2-4 inches of bedding
2. Concrete with drain - rubber pad on top with bedding
3. pavement with 6" straw
4. wood floor on top of french drain bedded with sawdust/shavings
5. gravel covered with mats covered with sawdust/shavings
6. dirt covered with mats with sawdust/shavings
7. dirt with sawdust/shavings
One of the nice things about solid floors ie. concrete, they can be cleaned, powerwashed, and sanitized - very hard to completly clean dirt floor. And your horse is never standing in a bowl!
i personally dont like our concrete floor at the barn, they dont have a train and they've got some low spots, i guess from all the years of pouring different levels. we usually put a bale of straw in each stall and clean it once a week or so, and rebed. we use the stalls as shelters the horses can come and go as they please. the person we rent from didnt clean the stalls all winter, then he goats were in them. there were about 3-4inches of solid waste at the bottom. pretty gross. i pitchfork full was almost unliftable. i scraped everything out and let it dry for a week.
You still need the sawdust or shavings. If you won't half of pee will stay on mats, half will go under and smell won't be all that nice. I have mats in stalls and run-in shed and I put sawdust in stalls (and everyone I know does either that or shavings). The barn I used to keep my horses didn't have stall mats, but REALLY hard ground and the owner just put sawdust on top of that. However I personally wasn't very impressed, because part of pee still went to the ground making it "soft" and stayed there. With the mats you have far better chance everything will go to the bedding.
We started using the pelleted bedding last year and LOVE it! We have our mats on top of a 4-6" layer of crusher fines and then top the mat with a layer of pelleted bedding.
BTW, do you know when that sale is set to kick in? I need to pick up some more mats and might as well get them on sale, lol.....and always good to have another excuse to make a trip to TSC.
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