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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are building a horse barn for our daughter. We know very little about horses. She is somewhat learning disabled and will be with us probably as long as we are around. She loves her horse, but now that she is done with school, and she is working, she needs "someone" to come home too!
As a dentist I would rather over-engineer something, rather than have to do it again. Doing something over again is expensive, a waste of time, and very aggravating!
My wife and I have poured over threads here about flooring options. We were at a horse expo at the Farmshow Building in Harrisburg, Pa yesterday. I hear lots of conflicting opinions. This is what I have sort of come up with: heavy plastic covering the pit, french drains (draining to the outside of the barn, #2b limestone (driveway variety), ground limestone dust tamped down with the thing that looks like jackhammers with a flat base, a stall grid, more ground limestone dust, then covered with a 3/4" rubber mat.
This may seem like overkill, but if I am paying 90 grand on a barn, what the heck and spend maybe 2 grand more and be done with it!
Or is this way overkill. Part of me agrees with the people who put rubber mats on cement, and like it just fine (what I heard mostly at the Horseshow yesterday)! This philosophy seems to follow the KISS principle very well!
But are there some unseen problems with the complex design that I came up with in order to addresses everybody's concerns I read in these threads?
Thanks to all!
 

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In my stalls I have clay, then chat, then mats. Very happy with that. I would suggest the largest mats you can get. I used to have 4 x6' mats and they moved all the time, had to rearrange them all the time. Now we have 6 X 12" mats and I love them. Mats custom to your stall would even be better.
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We have mats over concrete where I board and do all the stall cleaning.

Stalls that aren't completely matted or the mats are able to move a bit get stinky/disgusting fast. I'm forever pulling up/cleaning the mats and SCRAPING the concrete as whatever gets under the mat becomes as hard as concrete. My horse's stall where I cut the mats a tad too big and then pounded them in with a rubber mallet is perfect. As long as I keep a good base of shavings to absorb the pee, there is no smell, no mat slippage and while the mats still need to be pulled up and everything clean yearly.... yearly is a heckuva lot better than doing it monthly like I do for other stalls.

Where I used to board had mats over packed dirt. Absolute WORST set up possible. Was either incredibly muddy, stinky and disgusting or the dirt dried hard as a rock and very unevenly so the horses were literally tripping over the mat edges.
 

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Our stalls have six 1ft diameter x 6th deep holes filled with pea gravel, followed by another 2in layer of pea gravel. Then we placed Equi-terr grid system with some gravel and tamped in with sand. This system worked amazing for the first 3 years, then the ground began to get saturated and the urine didn't drain as well. Regardless of drainage, having a level floor that cannot be ruined by hooves or pee-holes is a major major plus.

Over this last summer, our town experienced record flooding, we were not able to really clean the stall floors and the water table had changed so much that we had serious doubts about continued drainage. I wanted Mayo mats, but no one at the company would return my messages. I ended up buying rubber mats from TSC. Enough to cover the stalls wall to wall. This way they won't shift.

If I had it to do over again, I would have made my alley wider. It's 11.5 feet, but 15-20ft would have been better. I would still do the Equi-terr, but would dig one very very large pit per stall (6-8ft diameter and 6-8ft deep), fill it with larger gravel then do the pea gravel and remainder of the system.
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I have clay floors. I plan to blue stone them soon. I have one stall that is rubber matted (it's my "sick stall"). Eventually I want to blue stone and then rubber mat everything including the aisleway...
 

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I like the rubber bricks for isle ways...

But as for stalls, overkill is better, make sure your mats are cut to fit snugly in your stalls. We have rubber mats on cement and it seems to be okay but we have to bed down the stalls heavily to prevent hock rubs on the bigger horses and with 12x16 stalls that is a lot of bedding!

I'd suggest maybe talking to some of the other nicer-end farms in the area to see what they did and why because there might be some geographical reasons to do something or not so something when it comes to stall bases.

Depending upon the mat though you might be able to do different things like if you were going to splurge on stable comfort flooring you could probably get away with a cement floor beneath it. But if you're going to go for just a plain rubber mat you might want to do what your thinking about or what I suggested above. I hope this helps.
 

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StableComfort - StableComfort?

We are currently running under previous owners mats. Which is free belting from a limestone quarry over fines. While it is pretty level the problem we have come into is over time the seams have been filled in with bedding and started to come up. Digging those out is a PITA.

I used to run a stable that had solid once piece mats in each stall DO IT! no seams in the stall and make sure it fits snugly.


see link above
 

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I wouldn't put mats over concrete, just to hard on their legs.
If you noticed I suggested a particular brand of mat, that is more of a mattress that is designed to simulate the ground, there would be no need to use a layering system if you're putting a system like StableComfort in. Please read into what I was suggesting before you diss it and read all of what I sad. Plain mats need a different base, but the fancy mats probably don't. Might be a good idea to go research the link above to find out what StableComfort is all about before you negate my suggestion. Thank you.
 

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I like the rubber bricks for isle ways...

We have rubber mats on cement and it seems to be okay but we have to bed down the stalls heavily to prevent hock rubs on the bigger horses and with 12x16 stalls that is a lot of bedding!


Depending upon the mat though you might be able to do different things like if you were going to splurge on stable comfort flooring you could probably get away with a cement floor beneath it. But if you're going to go for just a plain rubber mat you might want to do what your thinking about or what I suggested above. I hope this helps.

I did read your poast again and I stand by what I said.

Concrete doesn't sound to great to me, It doesn't sound to great by you either.
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In my stalls I have clay, then chat, then mats. Very happy with that. I would suggest the largest mats you can get. I used to have 4 x6' mats and they moved all the time, had to rearrange them all the time. Now we have 6 X 12" mats and I love them. Mats custom to your stall would even be better.
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Sorry but you do not know much!

In the UK there are very few stables that are not concreted and the horses do not suffer from any more leg problems that horses in the USA.
To my mind, horses standing on a dirt floor that is often very uneven is more detrimental the their joints than concrete.

Add to the fact that most people in the UK bed far deeper than in the States means that when the horses are inside they are more likely to lie down.

Personally I dislike rubber mats. I find that the horses are far dirtier on them
Given a splash area they will then lie on the shavings and get soaked in urine and poop. Nearly all bedding has to be thrown out every day. Give me a good deep straw or shavings bed any day. You throw out far less and it takes half the time to muck out than to get all the mess off the horse and muck out a rubber matted stable.
 

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Sorry but you do not know much!

In the UK there are very few stables that are not concreted and the horses do not suffer from any more leg problems that horses in the USA.
To my mind, horses standing on a dirt floor that is often very uneven is more detrimental the their joints than concrete.

Add to the fact that most people in the UK bed far deeper than in the States means that when the horses are inside they are more likely to lie down.

Personally I dislike rubber mats. I find that the horses are far dirtier on them
Given a splash area they will then lie on the shavings and get soaked in urine and poop. Nearly all bedding has to be thrown out every day. Give me a good deep straw or shavings bed any day. You throw out far less and it takes half the time to muck out than to get all the mess off the horse and muck out a rubber matted stable.
Take a chill pill will you. How the heck can this be an argument?

Sorry but you do not know much! I never said I knew too much. I was giving my opinion, just like you.

Personally I dislike rubber mats. Your opinion equal in validity to mine.

horses do not suffer from any more leg problems that horses in the USA. I had no idea you have done a study!!!


What is the matter with you? You just don't get how this works. The Op asked for suggestions or recommendations for stall flooring, I gave my suggestion, you gave yours. If my suggestion bothers you that much, you need to go join a debate team.
 

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The thing about the stable comfort is that doing a base underneath would be pretty much pointless, no need for the drainage, the mats are completely water proof and wall to wall and are actually (what looks like to me) turned up and under a metal piece so that any moisture would be collected and not allowed to leak under. And their "mattress" type matting beneath the rubber mat is used to simulate the comfort a horse would get from standing on more natural ground without warping or becoming uneven like a dirt base. So the extra "padding" of the base that he's talking about would be a bit superfluous. It also makes the stall easy to strip and hose down (which we do between horses) without the fear of moisture leaking underneath the mat.

But, WITHOUT the stable comfort type system he will need a base and not concrete in the stalls because it will cause things like hip and hock rubs.

I do like the convenience of concrete because we do hose down the stalls between horses so my choice would be the stable comfort because it would allow for this option and still provide everything you need in a stall mat/base without having to dig and layer as deep. Just throw down concrete and do the StableComfort system and your horse is covered.
 

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My wife and I are building a horse barn for our daughter. We know very little about horses. She is somewhat learning disabled and will be with us probably as long as we are around. She loves her horse, but now that she is done with school, and she is working, she needs "someone" to come home too!
As a dentist I would rather over-engineer something, rather than have to do it again. Doing something over again is expensive, a waste of time, and very aggravating!
My wife and I have poured over threads here about flooring options. We were at a horse expo at the Farmshow Building in Harrisburg, Pa yesterday. I hear lots of conflicting opinions. This is what I have sort of come up with: heavy plastic covering the pit, french drains (draining to the outside of the barn, #2b limestone (driveway variety), ground limestone dust tamped down with the thing that looks like jackhammers with a flat base, a stall grid, more ground limestone dust, then covered with a 3/4" rubber mat.
This may seem like overkill, but if I am paying 90 grand on a barn, what the heck and spend maybe 2 grand more and be done with it!
Or is this way overkill. Part of me agrees with the people who put rubber mats on cement, and like it just fine (what I heard mostly at the Horseshow yesterday)! This philosophy seems to follow the KISS principle very well!
But are there some unseen problems with the complex design that I came up with in order to addresses everybody's concerns I read in these threads?
Thanks to all!
I have a cement aisle, tack room wash area. We have road mix on the stall floor with rubber mats over it which is what the barn was built on and it is raised quite a bit so if there is heavy rain the barn does not flood and this is very important and a good builder will point this out to you. Have had the mats down for about 5 years we clean the stalls everyday have plenty of shavings/sawdust down and my barn does not smell like urine.
My center aisle is wide enough to drive a truck and trailer through if we want to. We did not put slide doors we put overhead garage insulated doors on and I love them. Another idea for you is to put in a french drain and stick a water heater in the tack room with a washer and dryer to wash up blankets and clean halters etc. Don't put windows in your tack room or in the doors to the tack room just a way for a their to get in easier. If you have a bid enough tack room you can put in grain storage bins there on on the aisle as long as you can lock the lid so if you have an escapee they cannot get into the grain which is very bad.
Also put insulated waterers in the stalls it is worth it. What you don't need is fancy lights in the barn regular light bulb bases with screw on waterproof light fixtures is more than enough.
Hope this helps you out. Have fun and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks to all!

After reading all the comments and visiting barns in the area, I have decided on going with 2b limestone (driveway sized stone), cracker dust, stall grids, covered with 3/4 inch interlocking rubber mats.

This may be overkill, but I will be selling at some point in time (or my estate will), and I have been told that if someone is looking at a piece of property with a horse facility, they will be looking at the horse facility first and foremost! This way I have all my bases covered!
 

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After reading all the comments and visiting barns in the area, I have decided on going with 2b limestone (driveway sized stone), cracker dust, stall grids, covered with 3/4 inch interlocking rubber mats.

This may be overkill, but I will be selling at some point in time (or my estate will), and I have been told that if someone is looking at a piece of property with a horse facility, they will be looking at the horse facility first and foremost! This way I have all my bases covered!
The only problem I see with this is the 2b limestone and its sharp edges a rounder stone might be better as the cracker dust settles between the stones it will disappear to a point leaving the sharp edges of the 2b exposed against the rubber mat. The 2b does not pack as well as the 2a limestone but would still allow moisture to seep through. With the bedding down in the stall absorbing most of the moisture.
 
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