View Full Version : Stall flooring
21st Apr 2002, 07:19 PM
What is a good natural material you can use for stalls? My friend doesn't want to use mats nor does she want to use cement. I suggested lime rock with clay but is there anything else? She is going to put shavings on top.
We're located in Florida.
22nd Apr 2002, 01:32 AM
We use peat moss as a foundation, and a few times a week, a layer of shavings goes on top.
Pros- Soft for footing, low in dust, absorbant, easy to pick out feces balls (:p), as long as they aren't trodden on and smushed in!
Cons- It's annoying to pick out the urine spots
22nd Apr 2002, 05:42 AM
In my opinion go for a cement floor.
Cleaning the urine spots is the most frustrating this about natural porus flooring like clay and lime rock mix. Unfortunately anything porus retains the amonia smell, and it becomes very tricky to get rid of. A porus or natural flooring also becomes an easy target for destruction, from a horse that paws or is heavy footed. It takes a great deal more maintenance to keep it in good condition.
My stables were built by the previous property owner, and have a clay/dolomite mix and I have to spend hours and dollars every few months to straighten it out and fix the holes. It is frustrating because each time I clean the urine areas of the floor, some of the flooring has to be dug away in order to remove all the wet area. It is also frustrating because, even with a huge amount of bedding, as the horse moves around his stable he ends up walking parts of the flooring into his bedding.
However this type of flooring is more natural for the horse, and not as hard on their legs and joints.
Cement flooring, whilst harder on the horse, is actually alot easier to keep clean as it can be hosed down and scrubbed easily. Also it is tricky for the horse to destroy. By making sure that your topping is generous, eg, shavings, paper, straw, the stresses on the horse will be minimised and the stresses on the person cleaning it become non existant. Another bonus to cement flooring, is that if maintained properly the stables are far less dusty that natural floor stables, and can be easily vacuumed when needed.
I realise your friend is not interested in cement flooring, but in all honesty, if I ever have the opportunity to change from the floor I have to cement, I would do so in an instant.
22nd Apr 2002, 09:42 AM
concrete,rubber matting and a good layer of shavings has to be the very best combination in my opinion! i have a pony with laminitis at the moent and seems very comfortable on this combination,expensive but worth it!
22nd Apr 2002, 10:03 AM
I think we had lime type floor many years ago. Its good in that it neutralises the urine. But you will need to check it every so often to make sure it stays level with all your mucking out ! (And we still had straw/shavings on top).
I saw one earth floor stable when I was looking at livery where the floor was like a bowl it was so worn !
22nd Apr 2002, 11:10 AM
Concrete floors are pretty much standard in the UK. I have seen stables with natural floors and they are the pits to keep clean and smelling pleasant. Ammonia is really bad for the horses lungs and if you don't remove the pee thoroughly that's what you get. I have rubber matting with shavings on top of the mats. Previously had just concrete but the mats really do reduce mucking out time. I have mats with little 'feet' underneath so thay drain really well and have a lot more 'give' than some of the other mats. The amount of bedding I use per week has also gone down dramatically and they are likely to pay for themselves within a year at the current rate.
22nd Apr 2002, 12:52 PM
We are also great fans of concrete floors with rubber mats on top and then the bedding of your choice, straw, shavings paper, we actually use flax which we find fantastically absorbant, non- smelling and also will rot down quickly which enables us to get rid of our muck heap efficiently as most of the people round our way, farmers included will not spread shavings on their land as it takes too long to rot.
However, I note you are in Florida, would you not keep your horses out 24/7? with good field shelets provided to protect them from winds and the heat of the day?
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