Stable Matting – A Buyers Guide
Have you been considering investing in some stable mats for your horse but not yet taken the plunge? You may be fed up with the time it takes to muck out, you may be using too much expensive bedding or your horse may have suffered an injury in the stable. Below we describe the pros and cons of the different types of stable mats available, so you can make the smartest choice and look forward to financial savings in the long run and time saving advantages from day one.
Solid Rubber Stable Mats
Traditional stable mats that have been around for a while are made of solid rubber. These heavy duty mats can be laid on many varieties of floor including earth, concrete, compressed sand and bricks or cobbles and once put down stay put and drain well. The downside to these mats is their sheer weight. For moving around or cleaning expect to need two people, they weigh around 45kg for a 6’ by 4’ mat.
When purchasing these types of mats be wary of the cheaper variety made of low quality composite material. These mats do not have the long durability of high quality solid rubber mats, often only lasting a year or two, compared to the quality ones which should last you around 15 years for normal equestrian use.
EVA Stable Mats
These mats are made from a foam and rubber composite. This material is ideal for stable mats as it provides superior comfort and insulation than the more traditional mats. They drain well and do not harden or compress in the long run. Being more lightweight allows fitting and cleaning to be easily performed by one person on their own.
Rubber Top EVA Stable Mats
These mats are a good half way meeting point between the first two described. They benefit from the hard wearing rubber top, but also the ease of use and comfort.
Bonded and Sealed Mats
All the mats above will need cleaning occasionally to avoid odorous smells that occur when urine gets trapped. Whilst they are all designed to drain efficiently there will always be a small build up or urine which will need the occasional clean. If you wish to avoid this cleaning your alternative is to choose a mat that can be bonded and sealed. No liquid will be able to penetrate into or under the mats. This can only be done with solid rubber mats and to receive full warrantee for this type of product it is best to use a professional installer.
Non-Slip and Easy Sweep
All mats have a variety of textures on the top that allow for different performance. Whilst they are all non-slip, some give greater grip, such as the bubble top, and others will allow for easier sweeping.
How Thick Should the Mat Be?
Mats can vary in thickness and this is usually reflected in the price. The thinner ones are more cost effective and suitable if you intend to use them with more bedding and for horses up to 15hh. As you would imagine larger horses will need thicker mats. Top of the range thick matting goes up to 44mm - superb luxury for your special horse. If you have just invested in a top of the range mattress for yourself, maybe it is also time to treat your faithful four legged friend to the same!
Do I Still Need to Use Bedding With Mats?
We still recommend using some bedding in conjunction with the mats. The thicker the mats the less bedding you will need for comfort. Ideally use around 25% of your normal bedding usage to help soak up any wetness.
Not Just for the Stable
Don’t stop at the stable, different types of mats are available for all around the yard and your field. For example any area needing non slip safety, such as trailer ramp or a steep concrete area in the yard. And don’t forget the tack room, a warm hard wearing floor, so much nicer than a cold concrete floor. Mats can also be very useful in gateways or areas of heavy use to avoid that quagmire of winter mud.
EquinePlus are the leading supplier of stable mats in the UK with over 7 years in the business. They pride themselves in helping you choose the right stable mats to suit you, your horse and your budget. Please pick up the phone for a free consultation on 0800 756 9670 or visit their website to view their extensive range of stable mats at http://equineplus.co.uk/horse-stable-mats.html