What is the best type of stall flooring?
This question usually arises after
a barnowner has lived with dirt floors for years, and can no
longer stand it. Dirt or gravel eventually leads to intolerable
dust in dry weather, and constant maintenance is necessary to fix
holes and low spots that appear when a horse gets bored and starts
digging. There are many options out there that claim to provide a
safe, easy to maintain floor for your horse to live upon. While
the perfect floor may exist, there are countless stories of
barnowners who have tried the latest and greatest new product,
only to eventually replace it with 3/4 inch rubber mats.
There is a good reason that rubber
mats are the most popular stall flooring - safety. They may
eventually wear out, but they will never get more slippery than
when you first applied them. The surface will not wear smooth like
some new products that have been around for a year or two. By
using the highest quality mats available (pure rubber, not glued
together chunks of rubber and whatever else happens to be in
there), you will have a stall floor that will provide you with
many years of dependable service. 3/4 inch must be used, because
1/2 inch mats will just end up flying around the stall whenever a
horse walks over them. The temptation to use 1/2 inch may be high
when looking at the cost difference, but compare that to the cost
of getting rid of them and applying 3/4 inch (as has happened
many, many times).
While rubber mats may not be as
inexpensive as dirt or gravel, they are less expensive than almost
all of the new technology stall flooring systems, with a proven
track record of safety, reliability and cost effectiveness. They
have their drawbacks, but dollar for dollar they outlast and
outperform any other widely available product.