If you have a dirt floor in your horses stall you’ll know that it has it’s disadvantages. Cold and easily waterlogged in wet and cold weather and high maintenance when it comes to keeping it clean, especially when used in conjunction with a deep straw or wood shavings bed. So the question is. What are the alternatives to a dirt floor in horse stalls?
When considering alternatives there are a number of issues you need to bear in mind. Cost, ease of cleaning, benefits to the horse and benefits to you are some things you need to think about when you are considering making any changes to your horses stall.
One of the most cost effective and best alternatives is rubber matting. An increasing number of horse owners are switching to this alternative. The main drawback is the initial outlay for the rubber matting. Although it may seem like a lot of money to pay out, it will pay itself back!
Rubber matting lasts for a long time, if you look after it and keep it free of the ammonia from horses urine then it can last for years. If you add up how much you would spend on straw or wood shavings in that time then you can see that in the long run it can be economically viable.
The benefits to your horse are multiple. Rubber matting is great if your horse has allergies or respiratory problems as it is dust free and can be used alone, with no need to add any dust filled bedding. This makes it far more comfortable and healthy for your horse, and means that you will be able to ride more often as your horses health improves, not to mention the savings you will make on veterinary bills.
It is also ideal if your horse is the kind that will eat anything, including it’s bedding. Many horses become ill because they eat their straw or even wood shavings. This can lead to ill health and weight problems, neither of which are good for you or your horse.
Rubber flooring is also comfortable for your horse to lie on and surprisingly warm in the winter. Some people add a thin layer of wood shavings, straw or shredded paper to eliminate any chills and make their horses even more comfortable in the winter.
Possibly the biggest advantage to having rubber flooring is the ease of cleaning. Gone are the days of getting up 2 hours early on a freezing cold winters morning to go and clean out your horses filthy stable with a pitch fork and a wheel barrow. Gone are the cold hands and sore backs that go hand in hand with deep beds in stalls that need cleaning out!
All you need to clean your rubber matting is a hose pipe. You sweep out any bedding that you have put on the rubber matting and then clean the matting with water and a mild cleaning agent to ensure your matting does not get damaged by urine laying on it. Make sure you rinse the cleaning agent thoroughly to avoid adverse effects for your horse.
Although a dirt floor and straw or wood shavings bed is perfectly adequate and comfortable for your horse there are certainly advantages to having rubber matting which you might want to think about looking into.