Not every little girl wants a pony. As one who did, I know that caring for a horse is a lot more difficult than Bonnie Bryant’s beloved children’s book series The Saddle Club would have you believe. My parents, who grudgingly allowed me to enroll in horseback riding lessons when I turned ten, drew the line at keeping a horse in our suburban—but spacious!—backyard.
Now, I am older and much wiser. After over ten years of equestrian lessons, mucking stalls and teaching horseback riding summer camp, I know a thing or two about safety. Keeping your horse happy and healthy is not just a matter of weekly baths, fresh carrots, or scooping poop. Taking preventative measures such as buying the right horse stall mats is also a great way to ensure that your horse stays healthy and avoids sickness.
Placing heavy-duty rubber mats or flooring in your horse’s stall will provide comfort, prevent injury, and keep harmful moisture at a minimum. Though they may be most commonly used in warehouses or other industrial areas, heavy-duty rubber floor mats can also make great horse stall mats. These rubber mats are often made with synthetic or recycled rubber materials, both of which are water-resistant and slip-resistant—perfect qualities for equine applications!
One of the most common issues horses face in all climates is wet bedding, which can lead to thrush, fungal growth and other health problems. Thrush is caused by “anaerobic bacteria that, when trapped in moisture, can create a fungal infection that slowly eats away at the horse's hoof tissue, particularly the frog area.” Because horses spend so much of their time in their stalls, it is not uncommon for standing liquid and wet bedding to cause dangerous fungal infections.
Luckily, a hard floor mat made from durable rubber material can be great a preventative measure. Place heavy-duty rubber mats in your horse’s stall to improve drainage and prevent thrush more easily. Rather than allowing water, urine, and other liquids to pool in stalls and outdoor paddocks, rubber mats repel water and allow for greater liquid run-off, preventing the growth of mold and fungus. Covering your stall area with a protective rubber barrier is a great way to ensure that your horse stays dry and healthy year round.
Rubber floor mats can also protect horses from joint pain and stress injuries. Because rubber is a naturally elastic material with a fair amount of give and flexibility, and because horses and livestock are generally very heavy animals, heavy-duty rubber mats offer exceptional joint protection.
Instead of letting your equine pal stand on packed dirt, try a hard floor mat. By providing your horse with a comfortable anti-fatigue surface, you can prevent injuries from developing or building up over time. The health of a horse’s legs is incredibly important to their overall wellbeing, so it is imperative that you protect those legs from harm. Rubber floor mats are an easy and affordable way to get the job done.
So whether you’re a dressage champion or a first-time horse owner, keeping your horse happy and healthy is always at the top of your list. Don’t be fooled by the name: a heavy-duty mat is one of the most versatile tools in your arsenal. No matter who or where you are, rubber matting can be an invaluable equine resource.