When you are kitting out your new stable or refurbishing an old one, you might consider placing a stable mat inside. There are various kinds benefits a stable mat can bring to your horse’s home, from improving health and well-being to simply adding a little luxury to equine life.
If you have chosen not to equip your stable with a mat in the past, one of the key decision-making factors is usually the cost. However, for your horse a stable mat comes with an array of positive advantages which make the cost of purchase and fitting seem much less onerous. If you want the best for your steed, a stable mat provides a variety of benefits. Here are eight of the most important.
1. Leg Health
Just consider the length of time a horse spends just standing in a stable. Hard concrete can be very uncomfortable. Standing almost constantly on a rock-solid floor creates unnecessary pressure on a horse’s legs, which can cause and exacerbate leg and joint problems such as laminitis and arthritis. Standing on a cushioned stable mat means your horse will remain healthier for longer, allowing you to prolong your relationship.
2. Less Bedding Needed
You might think that the cost of bedding is just a necessary by-product of horse ownership. But did you know that a quality stable mat can reduce the amount you have to spend on your horse’s bedding? It is not a negligible amount either because stable mats allow you to reduce the amount of bedding your horse requires by around 80 per cent. You simply need enough bedding spread over the horse’s mats to absorb waste. This means that you can easily recoup the initial outlay of the stable mats in just a matter of months.
3. Respiratory Fitness
You are probably aware of the problem of dust when it comes to horses. In the stable, dust can cause dangerous respiratory diseases, which means your stables require regular mucking out to maintain the health of your horse. Due to the considerable reduction in the amount of bedding needed after investing in a stable mat, you also decrease the amount of dust in the stable environment. This means you will have a healthier and happier horse, as well as lower vet bills.
4. Mucking Out
This is a real benefit for you, the horse owner, because no one really likes mucking out, do they? Stable mats are beneficial in two ways. Firstly, you require much less bedding, which means you spend considerably less time getting rid of the old and carting in the new. Secondly, when it comes cleaning the stable mats themselves you will find that they only need a thorough cleanse once every few months and they are relatively simple to clean. By introducing mats into your stable, you reduce the amount of time you need to spend performing these arduous tasks, which means you can spend more time doing the things you really love, such as riding.
During the winter, stable matting provides an extra layer of insulation on the stable floor, which is ideal for keeping your equine companions warmer. Just imagine how cold it is standing on a bare floor as the temperature starts to plummet. Without stable mats, you might find yourself shovelling in ever more bedding just to keep your horse cosy. But more bedding comes with its own problems, such as more cleaning and more dust. A horse mat provides the necessary floor insulation for winter and is even beneficial during summer days.
We’ve seen how stable mats reduce the amount of mucking out you need to do. Another advantage is that they also prevent the build-up of smells. Using a stable mat as opposed to hay and straw allows a horse’s urine to drain away more effectively, which means odours don’t have the chance to build up. It also means that bacteria have less of a chance to breed and cause illnesses.
7. Long Lasting
How often do you buy bedding? For many people it is a regular and fairly large outlay for the upkeep of a horse. By contrast, stable mats last for at least seven years before they start to deteriorate. This is beneficial in terms of both cost and convenience. You can tell when a stable mat requires replacing as it will start to crack.
8. Prevents Digging
If your stable hasn’t got a hard floor, you might find that your horse tends to “dig” at the ground, causing runs and furrows. These can cause pools of liquid to form and make mucking out harder. Using a stable mat allows you to prevent your horse from digging without going to the expense of re-flooring your entire stable.
This guest post was contributed by Coba Europe; One of the UK’s leading suppliers of Anti-Fatigue Matting, Entrance Matting and Rubber Flooring.