Just got our new four stall barn built. I use wood shavings in them.
My horses do not stay stalled for long periods of time; only when it is rainy or soggy.
No matter how many bags of shavings I lay down the middle of two of the stalls always seems to become muddy after a few hours of them staying in it.
(There is dirt floor under the shavings.)
I don't think I can afford stall mats at the moment as they seem to be rather pricey. (I will probably go with this option a few months down the road though)
Any advice or input would be appreciated.
Put in a french drain?
A little cheaper method you could use is buy bags of Kitty litter and spread the litter on the bottom of the stall underneath the shavings. This isn't a cure for flooding though, you'll need a drainage system for that.
How packed is the dirt? At my barn we have a dirt floor, but it is packed really well. No dust or anything. Might have to do with the age of the barn though. Otherwise, it might be cheaper in the long run to do rubber matting.
Our dirt is pretty packed too. But a faucet broke about a week ago and wet those two stalls pretty good and I just can't seem to get them to properly dry out.
It isn't rain drainage or anything so if the faucet does not break again this should not happen again.
It is just difficult for me to get them dry again.
I do like the kitty litter idea!
And also, I do intend to eventually go with mats. It is just not an option for me at this very moment. I don't want them to have wet stalls in the mean time.
We have a dirt floor in our stalls too! We put down heavy duty rubber floor mats over the dirt floor, and then shaving on top of that. In the spring we take the mats out and let the stalls dry REALLY good!
So, you are saying that the stalls are wet from a broken faucet and they are just not dry yet?
Put straw, in flakes, under your bagged shavings bedding. It will keep the horses feet from sinking in the mud.
You can also pull all the bedding out of the way when they are not in the stalls, and point a box fan on the wet spot to help it dry quicker.
If it isn't all from the faucet, you need to check to be sure it isn't water seeping up from the ground. Even if you can't see it running in somewhere, it could be coming up from underneath.
I just took everything out of both stalls. Stripped them both down to dirt. (phew big job)
I am going to let them sit for a few days and them build them back up.
I am looking at sometime in mid-October for nice rubber stall mats.
Thanks everyone for all the replies so far!
Check craigslist for used stall mats. When I built my barn, I was able to get enough to do over one full stall for very cheap off of craigslist. Of course, I had to clean them which was a dirty job, but if you're on a limited budget it is certainly the way to go. Some factories will also give you their old large rubber conveyer belts for cheap or free-- I know someone who used these for a 20 stall barn. They are thinner though, but for only a few hours use per day, they should be more than fine.
Before I built my barn, my horses were at a barn with dirt floors, and installing the mats was a first priority for me before they came home-- sooooooo much cleaner and nicer!
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