by American Stalls February 07, 2021
Horses are animals that are naturally designed to be almost continually on the move. Movement helps build and maintain muscle, tendons, and ligaments. Movement also helps promote optimal digestion. Lastly, movement allows your horse to release tension through the expression of emotions and socialization.
Simply put, mother nature did not intend for the modern horse to be stall-bound. That being said, that is more and more the reality in 2021. Horses spend more time than ever in their horse stalls.
This growing reality is why it is so important to understand the flooring that goes into your horse stalls. A poorly constructed horse stall floor can lead to a litany of issues. This includes achy joints from uneven or overly tough surfaces. It includes injury from slippery surfaces and materials. Lastly, poor flooring can also mean wasted bedding and extra labor.
Our philosophy to horse stall flooring is similar to our philosophy towards horse stalls and barn door products. The right decision will allow you to have more time towards riding and spending time with your horses. The right investment will also mean that your horses will lead happier, healthier lives.
Our team has outlined the steps to consider for your horse stall floor to keep you and your horse happy. These steps are timeless whether you’re building a brand new horse barn or improving an existing horse stall.
Stone Dust vs. Dirt
Before we continue, we'd like to provide our thoughts in the popular debate between dirt and stone dust. In most use cases, we believe that stone dust makes for a better floor than dirt. We make this recommendation because stone dust tends to compact better than dirt – while still allowing ample drainage. That being said, we do recommend to add a subsurface drainage layer to further enhance drainage and flow.
In addition to stone dust and dirt, another popular flooring option is concrete. Concrete tends to be popular in projects big and small. Although concrete does allow some moisture to seep in, it is not nearly as porous as stone dust or dirt. This makes it an attractive flooring option once it is combined with products such as rubber mats, rubber pavers, and stall mattress systems. These products, combined with concrete, help reduce the risk of injury and stress from hard flooring.
Once your base is set, there are two popular products that most horse owners use to finish their horse stalls. These two products include rubber mats and stall mattress systems. Each flooring product comes with its share of pros and cons. Below are our thoughts on rubber mats and stall mattresses.
Choosing the right Horse Stall Mattress is easy with out go to guide.
Rubber mats usually come in standard sizes, thicknesses, and designs. The most common variation is a 3/4" thick rubber mat that is flat (top and bottom) and measures 4'x'6. These rubber mats usually come in both a straight edge finish and an interlocking design. When it comes to your horse stalls, we recommend interlocking rubber mats. The dovetail tabs help make sure that your mats fit snugly against each other and the barn walls.
One thing to consider is that rubber mats do not provide for a seamless flooring without crevices or seams. That is because there are seams where the mats interlock together. For this reason, moisture can seep through the seams. That is why we recommend that the mats are laid over a well-draining subsurface.
Lastly, we do recommend that your base is solid and leveled before installation of your rubber mats. This preparation is necessary in order to hold the mats in place. In our experience, interlocking rubber mats offer great functionality at a cost effective price point.
Stall Mattress Systems
Our StableComfort Stall Mattress systems require a larger upfront investment upfront, but are significantly easier on joints compared to rubber mats. These stall mattresses are a shock-absorbing stall mat system that include 3 main components. It includes a multi-celled mattress, rubber crumb fillers, and a top cover that is installed on top of the mattress.
Once installed right, our mattress systems are proven to equal about 4" to 6" wood shavings. We often recommend these mattresses because they add comfort for your horses, sharply decrease your bedding costs, and also stand the test of time if maintained correctly.
For more questions regarding horse stall flooring products, please feel free to contact our team using our Contact Form. You can also reach us at (855) 957-8255 or email us at email@example.com