With winter arriving we all start to trying to think of ways to safe time (and bedding) for those long nights inside the stable. Having never had the opportunity to purchase mats I was interested in learning more about which type of matting would be suitable for my needs, especially as a couple of our horses are rather keen on vigorous rolling once they get into their stable!! Take a look at the quick guide below…
If you already have a row of stables fitted out with matting then you know your horses are enjoying the warmth and comfort equivalence of a memory foam topped mattress. Lucky them! However, if you are still considering the options for this investment then here is some food for thought before your purchase.
There are a variety of different types of matting available, from the traditional 100% rubber matting to the more light weight version which is rubber topped but no less soft and protective for your horse.
Lightweight Stable Matting – EVA Stable Mats
This matting is not fixed to the floor of the stable and usually comes in interlocking sections that you fit like a jigsaw into your stable. The mats are made from a foam and composite material and are ideal for one person to move around, fit and be able to clean easily. They usually have a variety of textures on the top, so you can choose from ‘easy sweep’ or ‘extra grip’. They are a cost effective way of getting matting into your stable.
Traditional Heavy Weight Stable Matting – Solid Rubber Mats
If you choose this type of matting ensure you are getting ones that are made from 100% quality rubber. These mats will give you years of use, they are very durable and hard wearing. Once they are laid down they will stay put without the need to bond them to the floor. They are a good choice for rough surfaced floors, for example bricks and cobbles or even earth floors.
Hardwearing but Lightweight – Rubber Topped EVA Stable Mats
This can be a great compromise between the lightweight and heavyweight mats described above. These mats are rubber topped EVA mats. They benefit from the hardwearing characteristics provided by the rubber but are still easy to use, install and maintain.
Maintenance and Cleaning
A daily skip out and brush will usually suffice to keep your stables clean and tidy. Having stable mats will greatly reduce the time it takes for you to keep your stables clean.
These days most stable mats are designed to drain well so urine should run off and not fester in the stable. However for loose fitted stable mats you will still need the occasional clean to avoid urine odours. With the lightweight mats this is relatively easy for one person but if you have the solid rubber mats you will need more than one person to help move them due to the sheer weight of these mats.
Avoiding Injuries in the Stable
Keeping our horses safe and sound sometimes feels like a full time job. If you are the owner of a horse who enjoys rolling even in the confines of the stable, it can be a bit disconcerting when you hear them bashing against the sides of the stable. One recommendation to help avoid injuries is to use stable mats on the floor AND on the stable walls.
Mats that need NO periodic cleaning!
Our favourite option for stable matting is the fully bonded mats that fit on the floor and are also bonded to the stable wall. Like a padded box, this will protect your precious stead from the worst knocks and bruises they could sustain in the stable. These mats stop any urine seeping under them so no odorous smells will fester and cleaning is limited to the daily skip out and brush.
How much bedding should I use with my stable mats?
Stable mats can be used on their own, but we would still recommend creating a bank of bedding around the edge of the stable for extra comfort and safety. A small amount of bedding on the floor will also stop urine spraying around. Total bedding used can still be reduced dramatically and in the long term stable matting will become a cost effective investment thanks to the reduction in the day to day stable bedding costs.
If you would like any more information about stable mats please visit the stable matting page at EquinePlus by clicking here. Or pick up the phone and call the team on 0800 756 9670 who would be very happy to help you with your query.