Temporary flooring for field shelter? - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By Foxhunter
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-29-2020, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Question Temporary flooring for field shelter?

I'm brand new here and just created an account so first of all, hello everyone!

I'm soon purchasing a mobile field shelter that in the design of 2 stable stalls. Originally I was going to not include any mats or temporary flooring however, after further thought, I've decided to potentially use temporary flooring. My issue is I'm not entirely sure what to use; I found a website earlier that listed a few examples with some including wood chippings (apparently they settle into the earth and create a hard base overtime which you can then put straw or whatever on top of) and grass mats or stable mats etc. The issue is, I read that wood chippings would absorb a lot of moisture and cause a wet bed and I'm worrying that in winter stable mats would slide around as my field tends to get very wet. Is it even necessary to have temporary flooring? I know most field shelters don't, but mine will essentially be stables and I don't want my ponies ending up with mud fever or anything over winter from being stuck in a muddy stall.
If anyone has any experience or information regarding this, all advice is welcome!
Thank you
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-29-2020, 03:22 PM
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Anything natural, wood chips, shavings, straw will rot down and tread into the ground.

As your stalls are moveable I would say heavy rubber mats. They are unlikely to slide and although they might sink onto the ground a bit, they will not disappear even if you are on wet ground.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-29-2020, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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That was my worry, I don't want to use anything natural that will become embedded into the floor in case it rots or goes gross, which it probably would
I will have a look at investing in rubber mats once I get the shelter here so I know for definite on sizing etc. Thank you for your advice!
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-29-2020, 03:37 PM
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I wouldn't use wood chips. Not only does it rot, it also gets quite slippery when wet. And the edges could poke into their feet.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-29-2020, 05:35 PM
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Invest in mats...they go where you go and are portable and long-lasting a barrier between ground and hooves.
Choose as high a ground as possible to set your "barn/shelter" on will reduce some of your worries.
And...
Your shelter has walls that will help to anchor those mats in place.
If you are leaving the front completely open use a 2x6 up to a 6x6 in dimension sunk partially into the ground to stop your worries of shifting mats and to keep your bedding inside the shelter not tracked outside...
Your horses will learn to pick up their feet upon entry/exit in 1-day....
...
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-29-2020, 11:25 PM
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We have old buffalo wallers in our pastures and it can get pretty wet and sloppy. Whenever I add anything to the pasture, shelter, feeder, whatever, I put some gravel down, then some road fines on top of that water it in and tamp everything down (raises the 'floor' about 6 inches) and then I put mats over that and use pelleted bedding to soak up any urine and give them a comfy place to lay. They also make ground anchors that will hold the mats in place or you can do what we do which is to drill holes (3 or 4) down each side of the mats, then lace them together with zip ties and cut off the excess. The whole thing "sewn" together like that is not going to slide, it's way too heavy.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-30-2020, 12:14 AM
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If you plan on leaving the shelters in one spot I would prepare the site by removing some of the topsoil, adding a layer of gravel for drainage and then topdressing it with lime screenings/crushed lime/ag lime (seems like every gravel pit has a different name for it). As you clean you will remove some and need to replace put we keep a pile in the barn lot so we can add as needed. We even make an apron at the doorways and even though it's exposed to weather it creates a mud free zone. It may take several times of adding gravel and then the crushed limestone to build up a solid base but it will eventually.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-30-2020, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your replies they are all super helpful
I really like the idea of the 'sewing' stable mats together as I'm looking for something long term but also, temporary. (We live in a rented house and so the field is rented too, if we were to move sooner than I anticipate this option would be easier)
I've been looking at the types of mats that I can get and there are obviously the standard heavy duty rubber type ones but it has also been recommended to use grass mats. My thoughts are that grass mats will definitely drain much better and keep the stalls dry but wouldn't these be uncomfortable for the horse to lie on due to the holes and the unlevel feeling? Maybe I'm overworrying! Lol
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-30-2020, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arora View Post
. My thoughts are that grass mats will definitely drain much better and keep the stalls dry but wouldn't these be uncomfortable for the horse to lie on due to the holes and the unlevel feeling? Maybe I'm overworrying! Lol

Not overthinking, just wanting to do the best for your horses as you can...


My thought though is grass mats that "drain easily" would also allow moisture to seep upward and make wet a stall...
Unless you create a suspended floor, expensive and labor intensive, what goes down also comes up.
....
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-30-2020, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Smart thinking...
Heavy duty stable mats it is! Thanks all for your help :)
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