Stall flooring (Horses)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I am building a small 2 stall barn for my horse. I am planning on using blue clay for the flooring. I have heard that it takes weeks to install, what is the proper procedure for installation?
-- Lori O'Brien (EKIM3258@aol.com), May 03, 2001
Well, I've never heard of blue clay but clay is one of the better options for horse stall floors. It turns into quite the mess when wet tho, and can stink to high heaven if you're not careful about cleaning it.
Stacy in NY
-- Stacy Rohan (KincoraFarm@aol.com), May 04, 2001.
I haven't installed a clay floor, we use rotted granite around here, and cover it with mats (you'd have to truck in clay from a long distance off around here), however, I believe that you need to get this at least a foot deep, possibly more, and that it involves leveling and tamping layers as you go, I think they used to advocate using one of those big noisy tamper machines to get it compacted enough that the horses won't just gully it out in no time flat. Just pivoting in place to turn in the stall creates quite a pit very quickly.
You do know that if you put in clay you have to dig it all out again and replace it in a few years time when it gets urine soaked? The gullying is a real problem in the ones I've seen in use, and pretty soon if you don't fix them or put something over them, the horses are standing on all kinds of angles that does their legs not much good, so figure on extra bedding to compensate for the holes and pits. If you put down mats over the clay and get out the urine with the bedding, it could last you a good deal longer however.
-- julie f. (email@example.com), May 04, 2001.
Having lived with Ga. red clay for the past 20 years, I can say that it is a pain to live with as it collects urine and the smell can be awful. When I was boarding horse, after about a year of dealing with the clay which was right under the bedding, we dug our stalls down a good bit and removed the clay and put in sand on top. Not the fine, white concrete sand, but a coarser "river" sand. Then covered that with deep sawdust/shavings mix (over a foot deep). The stalls stayed dryer, we didn't have deep holes or ruts and the smell was eliminated. With ten stalls, clay was too labor intensive. The wet bedding is removed daily and not given a chance to build up and the sand allows good drainage for the water bucket splashes and urine that does get through the bedding. Stalls are periodically taken down to sand and any "wet spots" are removed and then raked level and the whole stall is rebedded. Stall mats as suggested above are great at eliminating holes in the clay flooring as the horse can't paw down past them. You might try that, but as the clay will be right underneath, use lots of bedding on top of the stall mats as you don't want to smell the urine. We use lime when we strip the stalls as it neutrilizes the urine odor. I believe you have to install the clay in layers as stated above and tamp it down using a "tamping machine" to get it level.
-- Cindy (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 05, 2001.
We maintain our clay same as Cindy: lime after stripping and lots of sawdust. When we built our barn, though, we had a layer of gravel beneath the clay to help with drainage. We don't have mats yet, but the only stalls that end up dug out are from the horses who dig. Those that don't are still flat.
-- Epona (email@example.com), May 06, 2001.
When I installed my stalls I dug down appox 12 inches and filled it with lime stone, any gravel would work, and went to the local stone quarry and bought discarded rubber belting that they used to transport stone @.02 per pound. Covered the lime stone with that.The belting was 48 inches wide and the two rolls came in 100 ft. length.It was 1/4" thick. After 5 years it still looks great and I've elimated thrush "hoof rot". Good luck
-- Herb Miller (Hwmil@Aol.com), May 06, 2001.