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Rubber matting for stables: The benefits

ArticleHow to - General Equine AdviceThursday 09 September 2010
Stable Matting

Many horses can benefit from the addition of rubber stable mats onto the flooring of a stable. Adding an extra layer to the floor can be a boost to a horse’s health, from adding extra warmth to the stable to aiding in the rehabilitation process from injury.

You may have heard about stable mats and some of the benefits of using them. But are stable mats a financially viable asset? Or are they a waste of money? Well, in this article we aim to answer these questions. So, read on to find out about all of the various benefits of installing stable matting. See exactly how the installation can benefit both your horse and yourself.

One of the best benefits of rubber stable matting is the positive effect it can have on the health of your horse. Remember that the solid concrete floor of a stable is not the most comfortable surface for your horse to stand on. Imagine you were on your feet all day, you would want something with a bit more give in it.

This becomes even more important when you consider the delicate bone structure of a horse’s hoof and legs. In fact, if a horse spends many years in a stable with a concrete floor and no matting, then the effects can be striking. The hoof may act as a shock absorber, but it is not immune to damage. Adding a stable mat or two to the floor will go some way to ensuring your horse stays in peak physical condition away from the intensity of training. The softer flooring will be far more forgiving.

Providing they are inserted correctly and offer the correct amount of padding, stable mats can help with issues such as torn ligament damage, tendonitis and other general wear and tear of the joints. The extra level of protection offered by stable mats can help curb the occurrence of injury significantly. Similarly, a stable mat can also have a very positive effect on horses that suffer from arthritis.

As well as the health concerns that can be aided by stable matting, it can also help benefit the horse in winter. When the weather is cold and the winds are howling outside, there is nothing more important than ensuring your horse is comfortable and not too cold.

Stable matting can add an extra layer of insulation to the stable floor and will also cut out the need for bedding which can become dirty and infected during the wetter winter months. You wouldn’t want to spend the winter walking around on cold concrete floors would you? No, thought not.

Saving you time and money
It is estimated that stable matting can cut the cost of bedding by half and the most efficient stable mats can actually cut it by almost two-thirds. The main reason for this is the fact that the use of stable mats will allow you to reduce the amount of bedding you use by 80%. By only using 20% of the bedding you would otherwise have to, you are clearing out a large amount of dust that would otherwise be inside the stable. As you will know dust causes respiratory diseases in horses so the less dust you have the healthier your horse will be. Another benefit to only using 20% of the bedding is yours, you will save loads of money because all you need is enough bedding to cover the horse mats and absorb any waste.

And now time. Stable mats can save you plenty of time as most of them are non-porous, this means that any waste is not absorbed into the floor of the stable. Instead it is collected on the mat. This makes the mucking out process a whole lot easier, and will help you to clear away dirt and bacteria far more quickly than with a conventional stable floor. When waste collects on the mat, it can easily be swept away, which makes those early morning alarm calls so much easier to bear.

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