I love to redo stall mats! **Siiggggghhhhh** It’s just so fun and inexpensive!
Unfortunately, rematting stalls has been unavoidable in my barn. Maybe you’ve encountered the same problems? Lumpy mats, corners sticking up, and huge pee holes… Sound familiar?
We’re currently working through all 17 of our stalls in our south barn–checking for flooring issues and addressing problems in each stall. This week we tackled our second to last stall. Yay! Almost there!
We My husband has become lightening-fast at this whole process. I try to shovel screenings into the wheel barrow and appear to be helping, but the truth is, he’s just so wicked strong I can’t keep up.
Here’s how we do it at Rocking E:
First we assess what needs to be done. This particular stall needed four of the six mats completely replaced. Over time, urine started to degrade the rubber mats and they were basically rotten. Thus, four stall mats went to the trash.All our stalls had a preexisting foundation laid underneath the mats when we moved in seven years ago. They have a base of sand, then screenings, and then mats. For the most part, we’ve found this to be an effective and long-lasting foundation. Over time, however, this floor has evolved to a lumpy, uneven dirt mess. That doesn’t make for easy clean-up…
The back two mats were still intact, so we decided to keep them. Oh, look! A pink helper! 🙂
we Brad brought in three loads of screenings. Dang, those wheel barrow loads are heavy. I got sweaty just watching. Screenings are essentially really small gravel. This is an important step, and one I’d advise against skipping. The screenings will help with drainage underneath the mats and also provide some wiggle-room for the the mats to settle. Laying the mats directly on top of dirt just isn’t as effective, especially if most of your dirt is comprised of Oklahoma red clay.
When we first started this whole barn rematting process, we ordered a dump truck of screenings and we’ve just been slowly working our way through it. They have lasted a long time! In a pinch, you can also use screenings to fill pot-holes or gopher holes in your pasture. So, if you end up with extra it does have other uses.
Once the screenings were dumped into the stall,
we Brad pushed them around until they were as level as possible. When we built our north barn, we would measure the height and get really technical with the screenings, but we just eye-ball it now. Because we’re pros.
We use really complicated tools, like upside-down broom handles.
Once the screenings are the correct level, they get tamped down. Talk about an arm workout! Phew! In the past, we have tamped them down, sprayed the screenings with a light coating of water, and tamped again. This helps them “set up,” especially if you leave it overnight to dry and harden before adding your mats. We were in a time crunch yesterday, so we went ahead and laid the mats down. Sometimes Brad has to cut the mats to size, using a jig saw. We just measure and mark the mat, and the saw will cut through the mat like buttah. Lastly, we lay the mats out and check to make sure they’re level with the walls and the existing mats. And voila! A brand new stall!
I know all barns have their own preference for flooring–I’ve seen many styles! This way seems to work best for us. We’re a busy boarding barn, and this is a relatively easy way to replace flooring without breaking the bank. I have found, though, that after you have replaced mats you have to take great care of your stall. Urine and manure will continue to seep underneath mats if it’s not cleaned daily. All my Rocking E boarders can attest that I’m a stickler about stall cleaning! It’s also important to use an adequate amount of shavings or bedding pellets to absorb moisture.
I’m so glad to have this stall done! We’re super close to having a goal met with all our stalls having new or improved flooring. What kind of flooring does your barn have??