If you have a dirt floor in your horse stable, you know that it has its drawbacks. 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 bedding of straw or wood chips. So the question is. What are the alternatives to a dirt floor in horse stables?

When considering the alternatives, there are a number of issues to consider. Cost, ease of cleaning, benefits to the horse, and benefits to you are some of the things to think about when considering making changes to your horse’s barn.

One of the best and most cost effective alternatives is rubber matting. More and more horse owners are turning to this alternative. The main drawback is the initial outlay for the rubber mat. Although it seems like a lot of money to pay, it will pay itself back!

Rubber matting lasts a long time, if you take care of it and keep it free of ammonia from horse urine it can last for years. If you add up how much you would spend on straw or wood shavings in that time, you can see that it can be financially viable in the long run.

The benefits for your horse are multiple. Rubber matting is great if your horse has allergies or respiratory issues, as it is dust free and can be used on its own, with no need to add dusty bedding. This makes it much more comfortable and healthy for your horse, and means you’ll be able to ride more often as your horses’ health improves, not to mention the savings you’ll reap on vet bills.

It’s also ideal if your horse is the type to eat anything, including bedding. Many horses get sick from eating their straw or even wood shavings. This can lead to health and weight problems, neither of which are good for you or your horse.

The 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 chills and make their horses even more comfortable in the winter.

Possibly the biggest advantage of having rubber floors is the ease of cleaning. Gone are the days of getting up 2 hours early on a freezing winter morning to go clean out your horses’ dirty stable with a pitchfork and wheelbarrow. No more cold hands and sore backs that go hand in hand with deep bedding in stables that need cleaning!

All you need to clean your rubber mat is a hose. Sweep up any bedding you may have placed on the rubber mat, and then clean the mat with water and a mild cleaning agent to ensure the mat is not damaged by urine that settles on it. Be sure to rinse off the cleaning agent well to avoid adverse effects to your horse.

Although a dirt floor and bedding of straw or wood shavings is perfectly adequate and comfortable for your horse, there are certainly advantages to having rubber matting that you may want to consider.

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