The purpose of stall mats???
At my old stable in CA, our barns had stall mats to make the stalls more comfortable for the horses, both shock absorbent and warm in the winter.. They spent a lot of money and time getting the perfect mats for optimum leg health, etc of the horses.
At my stable here in NE, they say the mats are ONLY to protect the ground in the horse's stall against pawing, etc. I got a little confused, maybe a little agitated when the BO re-did all the stalls last fall because he replaced the stall mats with new mats. These mats are actually 4 X 4 square scrap from the manufacture of car belts (fan belt, alternator belt, etc). They are a little slick but he says hes going to put a membrane on them to make them less slippery. I asked about the padding and the effects on the horses and that's when he said that the only reason to have stall mats in a stall is to protect the ground, they have nothing to do with making a horse comfortable or protect against shock and standing.
So now I'm confused and wondering if I should be worried???
Well they will provide padding too. Lots of peops here use old sawmill conveyor belt rubber, way cheaper. I suppose the dedicated specific use mats are better padding, but those other mats will work as well. Way better than just bedding over concrete.
I have dirt floors, so I can't put shavings on the floor or it will erode the clay. I use stall mats to make the bedding easier to clean.
OH yes, we don't have cement on the ground. It's dirt but the BO put a 2 inch layer of pressed lyme (he put it in and then pressed it with a big heavy roller drum). Then put the matting over, and then we use whatever bedding we want. I use the corn cob pellet stuff (I like the smell ha ha), and Cinny uses any hay I buy that he decides in inedible.
No need to worry then Cinny. Your horse has ample padding. Even bedding on dirt floors is ok. It's a solid floor, such a cement, that poses problems with inadequate padding. A pet peeve of mine, when I go to a overnight/weekend show, and all you get is a stall with cement floors. Takes hours to bed that stall up and hours to strip afterwards.
Do you have any pictures of the corn pellet bedding? I've heard of them but haven't tried them myself.
I don't have any pictures but it looks like a lot of grain pellets do when you first lay it down. After it gets a little wetting (either you can add water or wait for your horse to naturally wet it) It then looks like dirt, only it's very absorbent. When my horse was stalled all day I only had to strip and replace it every two weeks. Now that he has an attached run I only have to add a couple bags every few weeks. You do have to give it a daily stir or "fluff" as I like to call it, but it only takes a few minutes, just rake it into a pile in the center and then level it back out...(after apple removal of course) your done.
You can find it here Horse Stall Bedding & Pellets | Corn Cob Horse Bedding | Biodegradable Retail Products | Best Cob
Yes, I believe that stall mats increase comfort for the horse.
Have you ever worked on your feet on a concrete floor?
That may not be the reason *your* BO uses them, but it is one of the benefits. Other benefits are quicker mucking, using less bedding and doing less maintenence on the stall floors.
Be careful of the corn cob pellet bedding!! Some horses think they are quite tasty! Even horses that you THINK would not eat bedding, will eat the corn cob pellets.
We usually buy pine pellets and have no problem with the horses eating them. Then we bought the corn cob pellets one day and Epona started gulping them down by the mouthful....she was on a feeding frenzy. :? We had to immediately pull her from her stall and strip it bare of the corn cob pellets.....Beau, however, did NOT eat his. So it depends on whether your horse has a taste for corn or not, I guess!!????
I have no idea why a horse like Epona who is super finicky and is NOT prone to eating non food products suddenly starting engorging on these corn cob pellets....
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