A well-known fact about modern-day horsekeeping is that our equine friends will spend most of their time inside, in a stable. Whilst almost all horses will naturally adapt and become very happy and content indoors, keeping the environment as natural and comfortable as possible is important.
Horses are historically very much outdoor animals. Living mainly on softer surfaces such as grass, moorlands and soils, their hooves are designed for slightly softer and more giving surfaces than concrete floors. In more recent years, the improvement and addition of rubber matting to stable floors has meant that we can ensure there are no long term impacts of a horse being in his stable.
Horses spend 90% of their time on their feet and even sleep standing up too. All of the time spent standing on a hard surface undoubtedly produces similar effects as if humans were to stand on hard surfaces for any length of time. Being stabled directly on concrete not only can inflict excessive wear and tear on joints and muscle soreness, but it can also be dangerous for a horse to lie on such a surface, potentially causing bruising or injuries.
The perfect solution to hard-surface problems is stable matting. Now available in modern materials that can be lightweight, soft yet strong and are of course, easy to clean.
Hygiene is top-of-mind for many of us in a stable environment and stable mats are designed to even be more hygienic and easier to clean than a hard surface would be. The balance of the weight of the mat will allow it to be laid on the floor and stay in place with no adhesive required, providing an even surface so that dirt cannot get beneath or around the mat.
There are several types of stable mat to choose from. The varieties may include thickness, material, texture and design so it is easy to find something perfect for your needs!
Let’s jump into our recommendations for Stable Mats.
1. The Supersoft EVA Stable Floor Mats
The ArkMat Supersoft EVA Stable Floor Mats are lighter in weight than traditional rubber making them very easy to handle, manoeuvre and adjust. The mats are high quality and being ‘supersoft’ making them great for absorbing impact, vibration and optimum comfort for horses stabled for longer periods of time.
The mats come in four different thicknesses and have excellent thermal qualities, perfect for colder winters when horses are usually inside the stall the most. The rubber in the Supersoft EVA Stable Mats is weather, chemical and urine resistant – ensuring hygiene can still be top priority.
A real all-rounder mat for most uses, these lightweight, non-slip, easy to clean mats is a very easy way to provide comfort to stabled horses.
2. The Sealed Stable Mats
If you’re looking for a super hygienic, all-round solution that is designed to stay put, the Sealed Stable Mats are a perfect solution.
Individual stable mats do not connect together and are designed to be easily moved into other stables should you be planning to move your horse around. The Sealed Stable Mat is the opposite of such a design and is a sealed, very much stay-put system. The easy DIY installation includes the Stable Mats and a required sealant and applicator to allow you to achieve a high quality finish, completely secure and sealed unit.
The finish on the Sealed Stable Mat System ensures horses live in a totally clean and sterile environment, free of smells and trapped dirt. The sealed unit can be washed thoroughly out seasonally, creating a very hygienic environment.
The mats are made from a very high-quality rubber compound, are not porous and will not absorb urine. They are designed to not swell, curl or lift, ensuring long lasting thermal cushioning for stabled horses.
3. The Amoebic Rubber Mats
The Amoebic Rubber Mat is popular with horse owners due to its robust nature. Their heavyweight design makes them exceptionally hard wearing and long lasting. The density of the high quality natural rubber mats provide excellent thermal insulation too.
The design of the Amoebic Rubber Mat is double-sided. One side is a slightly textured non-slip finish and the other features grooves along its length. The grooves can go on top or bottom, depending on preference. These channels are designed to allow water and liquids to flow through them easily, out of the stable.
Providing shock-absorbent protection, the Amoebic Rubber Mats are much heavier than the Supersoft EVA Stable Mat alternative. Whilst they are more difficult to move, they are less likely to curl or move around in the stable.
The non-porous, non-absorbent nature of the rubber in the Amoebic Rubber Mats will provide years of trouble-free flooring in a stable stall. The material is dust, spore, smell and allergy free for both humans and animals making it a perfect partner for long term use.
4. The Rubber Easysweep Low Bubble Mats
These non-porous, non-absorbent, liquid-proof mats are easy to clean and disinfect. With a dual-sided design with a raised bubble side for grip and an alternative side of rubber channels, these mats have excellent properties for use in stables for horses.
The mats are long-lasting, tough and provide key insulation from cold. A real all-rounder, the mats have been designed with ease of use and horse comfort in mind. Featuring an ‘Easysweep’ rubber, keeping a stable clean and tidy is a breeze.
These mats come in two thicknesses making them great for ponies and horses too.
5. Interlocking Washdown Area Mats
Got an area on the yard that needs rubber matting more than the stable? Don’t forget about your washdown area!
Wash areas can be slippery and dangerous for horses and their owners. With floors usually in concrete, such areas can become very risky to use when they are wet. Fitting interlocking mats that are equally as easy to clean helps maintain rugged surface traction for horses and any users, helping to prevent accidents.
These perforated interlocking mats are designed to be just perfect for washdown bays. Water can flow easily through large perforations in the mats and can move underneath easily through the underside of the mat which has a large open cell construction.
The rubber used in these mats is specifically designed so it does not hold water or bacteria, perfect for keeping wash areas sanitised and risk-free. As the rubber and the design is of an industrial-grade, these are hard-wearing and very easy to fit.