Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stall Floor Design - For Laura

In the comment section of my last post, Laura asked a question about how we designed our stall floors in the barn at our new farm. Given my background, it ought to come as no surprise that I absolutely detest poorly designed animal facilities of all types and my biggest bugaboos are poor drainage and inadequate ventilation. (Some people call me eccentric. Just sayin' ! :)) As such, we gave this matter a lot more thought than it might seem to warrant.

Everybody has their own idea about what makes a good stall floor. From a horse's perspective on achieving maximum comfort in a stall, I believe the flooring needs to provide a surface that's clean, dry and soft. There are a whole buncha real good ways of achieving this; additonally we were looking for solutions that were more labour efficient and economical than forking out ten inches of shavings from every wet spot in every stall each day, which is more or less what we do now. Rather than detail everything in writing, I've included a schematic that (I think) is pretty easy to follow.

If anybody has any questions, please feel free to shout 'em out. Obviously, my schematic is not done to scale. The top of the tile drain is roughly 15 inches below the bedding surface in the middle of the stall. The bedding is 6 inches deep all across the stall with the 3/4 stone making up the difference. If I had to guess, I'd say there is roughly 2 inches of 3/4 stone at the walls and (obviously) roughly 9 inches in the middle of the stall.
So far, these stalls have only been used intermittently but I can say with certainty that they drain like nobody's business ! :)
Hope this helps !


Kate said...

Nice! Wish you could build us one up here!

Laura said...

Excellent! Thanks for posting this...

So, you don't use rubber mats at all? I could understand why - they are heavy and messy to use...

I would wager my last dollar that my barn (boarding) has neither gravel nor a drain. It's just soaked, packed dirt with a rubber mat. Gross.

Another question (I have - if you were renovating a barn/stalls, would a few inches of gravel minus the drain help? Or is that useless without the drain?

Jason said...


No we don't use mats at all.

Mostly they are used to make a hard surface (like concrete) softer, or to reduce the amount of bedding (and the mess a horse can make when pawing it all up) in a stall.

The idea behind the use of gravel is to wick moisture away from the bedding quickly. This saves on having to remove wet bedding AND helps keeps the horse dry. The drain is additional (and probably unnecessary) overkill on my part !

Laura said...

Thanks for the info. I'm all out of questions (for now)... lol

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Laura's boarding barn would allow her to modify her horse's stall. I was able to do so once (a long long time ago) and dug out a lot of old....material, shall we say, and replaced it with gravel and a tremendous amount of shavings. They did insist I clean the stall myself, as their stall cleaner hated the deeper than deep shavings, and also that I remove the gravel when I moved. No problem, especially as this transformed a horse made useless with low-grade laminitis, WLD, and thrush (35 years later I realize she probably had EMS) into a decent hunter show horse.