If you have a dirty floor in the slat, you will know that it has its drawbacks. It is cold and easy to soak in humid and cold weather and requires high maintenance in terms of keeping clean, especially when used in conjunction with a deep bed of straw or wood shavings. So the question is. What are the alternatives to a dirty floor in horse stables?
There are a number of issues to keep in mind when considering alternatives. The cost, ease of cleaning, benefits for the horse and benefits for you are some things to keep in mind when considering any changes in the housing for your horses.
One of the most cost-effective and best alternatives is rubber mats. More and more horse owners are switching to this alternative. The main disadvantage is the initial cost of the rubber mat. While it may seem like a lot of money to pay off, it will come back on its own!
Rubber mats last a long time, if you take care of them and keep them free of ammonia from horse urine, they will last for years. If you calculate how much you would have spent on straw or wood shavings in that time, then you can see that it can be economically viable in the long run.
There are several benefits to your horse. Rubber mats are great if your horse has allergies or breathing problems because they are dust-free and can be used on their own without the need to add dust-filled bedding. This makes it much more comfortable and healthier for your horse and means you will be able to ride more often as your horses’ health improves, not to mention the savings you make on your veterinary accounts.
It is also ideal if your horse is one that will eat anything, including litter. Many horses get sick because they eat straw or even wood shavings. This can lead to poor health and weight problems, neither of which is good for you or your horse.
The rubber floor is also comfortable for your horse to lie on and is surprisingly warm in winter. Some people add a thin layer of wood shavings, straw or shredded paper to remove chills and make their horses even more comfortable in the winter.
Probably the biggest advantage of a rubber floor is easy cleaning. Gone are the days when you woke up 2 hours earlier on a frosty winter morning to clean your horses’ dirty stable with a fork and wheel. Gone are the cold hands and sore backs that go hand in hand with the deep beds in the stalls that need cleaning!
All you need to clean the rubber mat is a hose. Sweep all the bedding you have applied to the rubber mat and then clean the mat with water and a mild detergent to prevent the mat from being damaged by placing urine on it. Rinse the detergent thoroughly to avoid adverse effects on your horse.
Although a dirty floor and a bed of straw or wood shavings is quite sufficient and comfortable for your horse, rubber mats certainly have advantages that you might want to think about.