By Terry Thompson and Hill View Farms LLC


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INSTALLATION over well drained soil    30 second Video Clip or a  4 minute  Video Clip

----- Original Message -----
From: Debbie Williams
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 12:44 AM
Subject: Stall Skins and Misty

 Hey Cathy,  I am writing the story about Misty and the stall skins. 

 Misty's New Stall: We ordered a stall skin for one stall.  In preparation, we dug out the dirt.  David dug a pit in the center, along with shallow trenches running from the pit.  It looked like a drawing of the sun with the sunrays.  We put gravel in the pit and trenches.  Covered all of that with a layer of sand.  (Poor Misty.  Before the sand was added, when she stepped into her stall at that stage of construction, her hind-end would tremble and hunker when she felt the gravel because the ground felt unsteady.)  Last step after the sand -- Hurray! -- the actual skin.  Put the coving around to hold the skin, trimmed the skin, attached with screws with washers.  We completed the stall with fresh clean shavings. The first time Misty was in her new stall, she did not want to leave.  Normally she is turned out first because she gets antsy being left.  (I have begun leaving the horses out due to the time of year,) Well, when the stall door was opened for her to exit, she would not budge.  The evening feeding was the same.  The next morning it took putting a lead rope around her neck to get her out of her new stall!  Tell me our animals do not appreciate having plush homes!  She must finally realize that she can return to her nice stall again because she is now back in the routine of exiting when asked. Misty has pooped & peed in her stall.  It is easy to scoop out the manure, although a bit like finding Easter eggs  (I put too much bedding in – won’t do that again).  LOL.   And the stall is very dry.  And most of all, no dust!!!  Of course the long-term is yet to come but we love the concept and after what we have seen in these few days we are definitely going to do the other two stalls.


 Due to environmental issues, some installations must be made over concrete where run off is contained.  The following is how the application of Stall Skins is performed. 

I hope this following information is helpful. (dated 5/21/02) We have been using the mats for over 18 months and are very happy with them. We have 10 stalls – seven 12 X 12 stalls and three stalls that measure 12 X 16 (for foaling).
Terry Thompson, TN

Dig out the center of the stall to a depth of approximately 8 inches by 10 inches wide. If you are going to do multiple stalls you should then dig a trench to the side edge of the stall so that you can join the drainage pipe to the next stall (going under the wall and continuing on in that fashion until you have joined all of your stalls in one continuous drain pipe). Put your PVC pipe in (we used 6 inch pipe in the trenches and an 8 inch pipe going up to the surface for the drain portion. We shaped the floor of the stall so that they dropped 1 inches from the outside edges toward the center. By doing this you provides a natural slope to the center of the drain that moves urine toward the drain. In other words, the concrete was 4 inches deep around the perimeter of the stall and only 3 inches deep at the drain in the center of the stall. Before pouring we also measured and shaped where the drain plate would go over the drain – making sure when it was in place it would be recessed into the floor and the surface of the drain would be flush with the floor. We instructed the concrete people to make the surface a smooth finish as opposed to a rough or brushed finished. The reason you will want a smooth finish is that you will want to seal the concrete and a rough finish will, with time, shed the raised particles and open up microscopic surfaces that are unsealed and will be prone to absorb urine and urine odors. As your horse will not be standing directly on this surface you don’t need to worry about how slick it is – in fact the smoother, the better. We went to a local steel store and had them cut plates of steel to place over the center drain. We drilled approximately 20 1/4 inch holes into the plate and placed it into the recessed drain area. After the concrete had dried, we then rolled the concrete floor with concrete sealer to insure our stall would never absorb urine. The next step was to place mats in the stall on top of the concrete. These mats were the type you would find in wash rack areas. They were 4 X 6 foot mats with 1 inch holes over the entire surface with nubs on the bottom of the mat which not only insures they provide cushioning for horses standing on them but also allow the urine to pass under them and move to the drain. These mats can be purchased through Hill View Farms (rubber ring mats) It will take 6 of these mats to do a 12 by 12 foot stall. You can trim them for an exact fit. We next installed the Stall Skins over the top of the mats per the instructions of the manufacturer of the Stall Skins.

We only use approximately 3-5 inches of shavings as we have found that thicker amounts of shavings tend to absorb the urine before it reaches the mat. That would defeat the whole purpose of moving the urine (and odor) out of the stall. We totally strip the stall approximately every 4-5 months and use a hose to fully flush the mat and stall floor underneath. Because they drain you don’t need to do anything other than spray them down thoroughly periodically. You don’t need to remove them to do this because the same principle for removing urine also removes the flushing water. You will need to let the stall set for a couple of days without shavings in order to dry thoroughly before rebedding it. The rest of the time we simply remove the manure each day. If we find a really wet spot we simply remove it also and put dry shavings back in those areas. What we have found is that because the urine can drain out through the mat fairly quickly, our shavings only get wet in circles of approximately 6 inches across because it goes through the mat instead of spreading out across it.

If you don’t remove the wet spots daily (which I can assure you isn’t necessary) then you will find that about once a month your will have a really wet area near the center of the drain. That area is only about 1 inch in depth and isn’t in contact with the horse because it stays covered by 3-4 inches of dry shavings. I have been very happy with this system. I have had a mare foal in a stall using this system and the birthing fluids (along with the odor) simply drained away. We stripped the stall three months later and flushed it with a hose when we moved her and the baby out of the stall.

Preparing 1/4 inch thich steel plate for insertion into the center drain of the stall. We drilled 1 inch holes in this plate as illustrated in next photo

Steel plate with holes drilled into it to allow for quick drainage into drain system. THis is important when you flush the stall with a hose every few months

Picture of drain in center of stall. You can see that the sides are raised so the plate sits flush with the floor and the concrete (when poured) was shaped to slope toward the center of the drain. Concrete is about 4 inches thick around the stall edges and decreases to about 3 inches thick at the center of the stall

Finished plate installed in the center of the stall and covering the open drain hole. The top of the plate is flush with concrete floor.

Close up view of the mats. As you can see there are large nubs on the bottom so they sit well above the floor and have ample drainage. They are thick as well and provide cushioning.

Long view of what stall looks like when we start placing the mats. This picture doesn't show the drain cover over the darin yet, but the mats are placed on top of that steel plate that covers the hole.

Removing 4 x 4 wood door quard so the stall skin can be installed UNDER this piece of wood to avoid ripping the molding when horse enters/leaves the stall.

Shows the usual 4 x 4 door guard removed and ready to have mats and skin placed in the stall.

Shows Stall Skin being unrolled and preparing to place it over mats. Be careful that you follow manufacturers directions regarding "top and bottom" of the stall shins. If stall skin is upside down it will be easier to tear and won't wick moisture properly.

Mat has been laid out and is now ready to be attached to the sides of the stall per manufacturers instructions.

Finished view of stall with molding securing it to the sides of the stall

Shows 4 x 4 board covering the stall skin at the doorway to prevent horse from stepping on the dege of the molding and breaking it in the doorway.
The photo to the left is at floor level with the stall. As you can see the shavings are not higher than the 4 inch thick door guard piece of wood. We have used only 3-4 inches of shaving since using this system. Additionally we only strip stalls completely about every 4-5 months. Shallow shavings allows for rapid drainage of urine. If you have a horse that paws it will make no difference if the shavings are 4 inches or 12 inches deep. With 4 inches we never get manure down to the mat either. 4 inches is sufficient and economical. One final note: as a general rule most horses only paw when the can smell dirt. If the stall is concrete there isn't' any dirt older. Horses that pawed the stall skins when they were installed on sand stopped after we installed concrete. Also our Vets here love these stall skins especially in the birthing stalls. It is safer and more convient for both mare and foal.

INSTALLATION over well drained soil    30 second Video Clip or a  4 minute  Video Clip

Our Installation -Hill View Farms - done over concrete as well, to eliminate rodent infestation during the winter months.
(We live in true farm country where natural predators of mice are.)

Date is Spring 2002, before Stall Skins. We have three box stalls with 5-foot oak plank walls and then ˝ inch plywood above. We have a sandy clay floor and two basic types of door closures, one is on a rail and the other two are swing doors.

As an aside, we want to make clear that we personally believe horses, for the most part, should be kept outside. The equine will be a much happier and healthier animal. But there are certain conditions when a horse will need to be stalled. If you have just one NICE healthy stall for that individual – a show animal, a mare giving birth, a recovering sick or injured animal - it will be worth every cent of your money and time in preparing this place for your equine, even if it may be just one in stall in the barn.

We installed this product for several reasons: 1) We have customer's horses coming to our barn and those horses / mules paw. After about the 4th time of filling the holes they dug in our dirt floor – and you can never get it filled and re-packed the way it was – we were tired of it. (Have you ever tried to fill in that annoying hole after the horse left? Well, let me tell you, after about the 4th time of doing so you are sick of it. And you never can fill it in as well as it was before when that horse tried pawing a hole to china.) 2) Occasionally, we had a horse that required an extended period of stall rest. This "stall" horse had a favorite "potty" area. It cost about $5.00 per day for bedding, not to mention the time it took for daily stall cleaning. (plus the time it took driving weekly to town for bedding and then finding storage space for the massive amount of bagged bedding needed.) 3) When cleaning the stall some of the dirt fill was always taken out with the manure. Every spring, fill had to be hauled back in, repacked and leveled. (A horrible job.) 4) Ammonia smells built up.  We would have to totally strip the stall (but couldn’t hose it down with the dirt floor), allow the stall to dry completely to get rid of the ammonia smell, re-bed the entire stall spending  $40.00. This happened about once a month. 5) During the dry times of the year the stalls became dusty and we spent more time and money salting the stalls to keep the dust down. 6) Lastly, being located in the middle of farm country we have a rodent problem.  The mice burrow under the stall walls, make holes in everything and are just plain nasty.  The concrete took care of the mice, the ring mats provided the padding and drainage required over the concrete and the stall skins took care of the excessive bedding wasted and the storage for such, while making cleaning stalls easy, fast and fun! For all of these reasons, we chose to re-do our stalls as demonstrated in photos below:

So this is how we did our stalls and we LOVE them. You may not be able to do all your stalls, but if you can afford to do one, you will not be sorry. For you too know horses, and there will be those times when you need to have a NICE comfortable stall and without question this is the only way to go.  This is the BEST.  Period

Don dug out the fill and made wood boxes around where the drain would go.

Don then put wood shims and pipe up to get level for the concrete making sure the box was lower

Don had the cement truck come and he leveled the concrete and sloped it to the box

Don then removed the box and used a post hole digger and a spade shovel and dug out the hole 4 feet deep. Don says that this will allow for the thermal warmth of the earth to come up and keep the floor from freezing and the stalls warmer. (Don is a farmer in Minnesota and know these things)

Don then slid in a 6-inch plastic tile

Don then mixed up mortar mix and sloped it to the tile and counter sunk it for the "tender foot"

Now the drain is ready for the Tender foot that Don cut to fit.

Here is the "tender foot" level with the floor

Don had laide out and is now triming the "Ring Mats" (the stall is so cushy and nice to walk on now)

The stall skin is ready to go down.

The stall skin is positioned and stretched out. At this time the stall is SO comfortable it is like walking on plush carpeting.

Don is cutting the molding and screwing it into place. But we have OAK boards that we are screwing into and we had to pre-drill holes and then put in the mounting screws.

We have now come to a door way. We put in a 2x4 when we poured concrete. We will now mount the stall skin with the molding strip to this. You can see the rubber ring mat, under the skin in the upper center of the photo.

Here is the doorway finished. This finished flush with our alleyway.

Here is the same photo with the stall door shut.

Here is another doorway to a stall. This stall has the sliding door and a track. Don used an oak door threshold and drilled it into the metal track. It is flush with the tract and finished out nicely.

Here is the last doorway. Don has pulled back the stall skin to show you the ring mat underneath.

Don is now pre-drilling into the concrete, through the plastic molding and stall skin.

Don is using "Tapcon" concrete screw to secure the threshold to this stall

Here is the doorway finished and the extra stall skin trimmed away.

Here is the stall with the door shut. A perfect fit.

Here are the tools that Don used. A hack saw for cutting the molding. A utility knife (get extra blades, you will use them), a drill and bit for pre-drilling the hole into our oak planks, the metal threshold and the concrete. The other drill (blue) is for screwing in the screws that hold the molding, two screw drivers and a metal dish for holding the screws and "tapcon" screws.

Here is a stall with 4-6 inches of bedding. These stalls are so soft that you want to sleep in them. The floor is so cushioned and warm. We can't wait for our  mares to foal!
By the way ladies, this cost me big time for my hubby to do this. HA! And fellas, yes he scored major points! But as Don would say.... "If mamma ain't happy then nobody's happy". Besides,  as Don says, "he now has a second nice place to sleep..." The stalls are that nice! HA!

© Hill View Farms 2009