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Hey guys I’m new to this forum! So I’m finally getting my own stalls built at my house next week! I’m super stoked! I’m trying to find the best way to maintain my stalls! I’ll only have 1 horse for now but either way I want to have the best and least maintenance and budget mindful possible stalls! Is mats the way to go? What do you guys recommend! Help 😆 my stalls will have a run they are 12x12 and will have a 10x10 opening out to the back of it what would you guys recommend for me to do the flooring obviously the run will just be dirt where I’m hoping! My horse will go poop and pee! Help 🙂
 

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I would do rubber mats with shavings. Shavings make good bedding, and are easy to clean out. You could use straw, it makes good bedding, but is harder to clean up.
 

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I would do rubber mats with shavings. Shavings make good bedding, and are easy to clean out. You could use straw, it makes good bedding, but is harder to clean up.
what about under the mats? And how can I make sure the mats don’t move around is there anything I can put on the mats to tie them together or seal the cracks?
 

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You shouldn't need anything under the mats, because that is what is protecting the floor. If you get mats with grooves on the bottom, they shouldn't move around too much, but you can always just throw some screws, or nail in the corners to help hold it down. I would just cut the mats so that they fit the space, and if they are wedged in tight enough, They should stay together. Another option would be to just pour the whole floor in concrete, but that gets expensive. In the long run though it is cheaper, because you don't have to pay for mats, or new boards when they rot. Bad thing about concrete is that horses have been known to slip on it when it is wet, so you would have to make sure that they always have clean shavings in their stalls.
 

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You shouldn't need anything under the mats, because that is what is protecting the floor. If you get mats with grooves on the bottom, they shouldn't move around too much, but you can always just throw some screws, or nail in the corners to help hold it down. I would just cut the mats so that they fit the space, and if they are wedged in tight enough, They should stay together. Another option would be to just pour the whole floor in concrete, but that gets expensive. In the long run though it is cheaper, because you don't have to pay for mats, or new boards when they rot. Bad thing about concrete is that horses have been known to slip on it when it is wet, so you would have to make sure that they always have clean shavings in their stalls.
awesome! Thank you sooo much for your input I appreciate it :) is there certain mats that are softer than others and not tooo expensive ?
 

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rymarRubber has some great mats. They are specifically designed for equines, and they are having a sale right now, so, that helps! It doesn't really matter about the softness of the mats, because they are used to standing on the hard ground all day, so it doesn't matter too much. CanadaMats also has some, but they are more expensive.
 

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I just use rubber mats for my little barn. If you have the means, I would recommend a drainage layer of crushed stone before putting the mats down to prevent erosion from the urine which can cause dips to form under the mats.

As for having them tied together there is no reason to do so. These mats are HEAVY so I would just butt them up against one another and then throw your bedding of choice over the top.
 

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frippet is on track for lasting stall care.
You need drainage ability of something porous and drains well, not easily moved around as some sand can be till it is packed, hence some kind of crushed stone, limestone or such put down a few inches thick.
If you decide to do mats, they must fit as tight as possible, no gaps or they will move and "walk" constantly from a 800 -1000 pound of force wiggling them around every step.
Mats can be purchased in many places, I bought mine on sale at Tractor Supply and no I did not buy the thicker mats cause I can't handle the weight...but still make them form fit the inside of a stall and they don't move.
Some use interlocking mats...
Invest in 2 vice-grip pliers as they make moving mats much easier to grab/hold onto something you can really close your hand around to pull, push and prod those mats.

I would still bed the entire stall floor not a small section as many do...shavings absorb seepage, and thinking your horse will not use the stall for potty....
So you clean out wet shavings or poopy shavings is far easier than digging out your stall base periodically to replace stinking urine infused base material...gross is one word.
🐴 ...
 

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It depends on your area of the country.....
My barn was finished out by an Amish group. He invited me (and we took the guys that came from Texas to build the frame—long story...) To come see his barn. He had wood floors in his stalls, and one of the box stalls had 3 or 4 pigs in it. I could not even smell the pigs!
So, I said, put the wood down. It is installed over a good bit (maybe 2 feet) of a large gravel. The boards are 8 quarter hardwood, milled in that Amish community. This WILL NOT WORK WITH COMMERCIAL LUMBER, even treated.
It has been close to 10 YEARS....I still LOVE the wood. I had one board curl up just last fall, and I pulled it out of the stall. It has ZERO rot or insect damage. (My deck behind the house, OTOH, has completely rotted, with no ground contact, soooo)
I use the pelletized bedding in them, and they are easy to keep clean. I can dump the dregs out of the water bucket right there in the stall, and it drains away.
I also have the same wood in 9 standing stalls. These are a God send for an old person like me. Most of the urine drains out, and I just go along and pick up poop from the aisle PRN.
 

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Stall floors need to be properly done before mats are put down. If not done with crushed lime stone ,at least 3 to 4 inches thick. Packed down really well. My stalls were done this way then mats put down,no shifting of mats and mats stay level. I only put enough bedding to just cover mats. Only back half of stall has bedding. Front half is bare mats.

I've been in barns where mats were just put down on ground. And mats were not level kept shifting. And barn absolutely stunk of urine. Pull mats up and ground was just squishy wet ,with pee that wasn't draining away .

If not done right to begin with you'll just end up paying more ,later on to fix it. Easer to do it right first time around.
 

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I've got mats over crushed rock in two stalls and over concrete in the other one. The crushed rock does get some settling because some large rodent makes burrows that cave in, and I have to pull the mats and level the gravel agrain about once a year. The concrete one is interior, no run, and frankly I think it makes a more unforgiving surface even witht the mats and shavings over that. This doesn't matter in my situation because I just put my goats in that one.


In your shoes I would #1 ensure the drainage is perfect -- before you build! Then #2 level the dirt, tamp it, and get at least two inches of crushed rock in the stall. Then mats. Then shavings. I pick stalls twice a day even though my horses are never confined in them, they have a generous sacrifice pen outside the stalls and access to pasture most of the year. I bed well with shavings and they stay nice and dry.

Never just lay mats on dirt.
 

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I have rubber mats and I'm not in love with them. I mean - they are ok but they are on a dirt floor which means I have to pull them up on occasion and lay lime. I think we should have put something like a gravel or blue stone base underneath the mats. If you do mats, I would suggest putting some millings or gravel down before hand and then I would also suggest drilling a few drainage holes in the mats because with mine - the only place for pee to drain is at the seems where they connect. I don't recall the exact size of my mats but I think we have about 4 to a stall and they begin to separate.

I have mats in 3 stalls and then dirt in three stalls. The dirts stalls I just have to add dirt to the pee spot about once a year and of course I add lime fairly often.

I'm thinking about leveling them and putting millings down then sawdust over but haven't decided yet. Right now I'm preferring the dirt flooring. I use sawdust or pine shavings over it but its easy to clean.
 
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Hey guys I’m new to this forum! So I’m finally getting my own stalls built at my house next week! I’m super stoked! I’m trying to find the best way to maintain my stalls! I’ll only have 1 horse for now but either way I want to have the best and least maintenance and budget mindful possible stalls! Is mats the way to go? What do you guys recommend! Help 😆 my stalls will have a run they are 12x12 and will have a 10x10 opening out to the back of it what would you guys recommend for me to do the flooring obviously the run will just be dirt where I’m hoping! My horse will go poop and pee! Help 🙂
Unless I missed it when skimming, no one asked you if you are doing dirt floors or concrete floors in your stalls.
So, what are you doing?

If you are doing concrete, you should be putting in some sort of drain (for urine) and make sure the floors are sloped appropriately for the drain you select.

If you are doing dirt, you still have to be mindful of drainage and the appropriate grade. You don't want years of urine (or even rain or ground water from outside) turning your stalls into muck holes.

If you are going to do mats, you need to have appropriate things under them (based on whether you have concrete or dirt). Urine still drains through the cracks in the mats and it needs to drain properly under them.

If you do mats, I would also suggest still using shavings because it absorbs some of the urine before it seeps down.

I have a friend who chose to put sand in her stalls (no mats - no shavings). It does make cleaning very easy but one thing I didn't like about it is the dust.

I myself will be building a barn in a few years. I'm building it "forever" so I think I may invest in something like StallSavers for ease of use long-term. My horses aren't usually stalled but if I do, I want the least amount of work as possible! I want to spend more time riding and less time with upkeep.
 
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Are you doing concrete, dirt or rock for the flooring? I have mats and put crushed rock on top of the dirt floor in the stalls, then mats over the crushed rock. My horses must be extra talented because there's NO WAY those mats stayed put without some extra help. We drilled holes in the corners and about every 2 feet on the sides of the mats, took zip ties and "sewed" them in place. You just have to make sure you don't yank them up with the apple picker when you're cleaning stalls.

We use pelleted bedding, find it to be overall less expensive, more absorbent and less smell than with shavings or straw (we only use straw for foaling, it's a colossal pain to clean daily). Just throw the bags of pelleted bedding in the stall, add water and let it soak it all up and it will break down into soft, absorbent bedding on top of the mats.

Here's a video to help you picture what I'm saying. Stall Mats & Zip Ties
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey guys thanks so much for all the input! 🙂 I’m glad I joined this forum! As for the ground floor it will be a hard compacted sand and I willl be using like a sort of crushed rock/sand mixture about 3inch deep with a slight elevation slope towards the door for the back stall run.
 

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A different type of mat to consider is grid mats. I am probably the only strong proponent of them but I’ve been using them for 15 years.

Tractor Supply’s grid mats are 1/2” thick and 3’ X 3’. I plastic tie them together. I had them in four stalls and the run-in stall took a royal beating.

Two years ago I replaced three of the four stalls with 3/4” thick restaurant grid mat. They are a lot heavier than the TSC mats and at my age, will still be in the barn when the horses and I have gone on to meet our ancestors.

Even if the grid holes fill with shavings, they still drain thus eliminating splashing urine.

Depending which end of the barn, I have 3” to 14” of limestone crush in 12 X 14 stalls. I always have shavings on top of the mats.

You are wise to build the stall floor up, rather than leave it dirt. Most importantly so the stall doesn’t gradually sink and you end up with flooding when it rains. Plus dirt stalls stink and I don’t relish lifting those heavy, solid mats up to let the stall dry and sprinkle lime:)

Flooding segways into have you put gutters and downspouts on your barn. If not, I highly recommend you spend the money. We have had rain for as long as five days at a time, maybe a few days break followed by a few more days of rain.

My barn is 17 years old and has never taken on water. A big part of the reason is the gutters and downspouts:)

Hope this helps and welcome to the forum:)
 

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Since my stall mats are just a bunch of random stall mats that have been cut, I either put a tarp under the mats, or feed bags, to keep the mostire from seeping through and rotting the wood.
 
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