Model: Rubber horse-stall mats
Maker: Tractor Supply Company.
Why buy: Grooved bottom provides comfort and support, and tight seal makes for easier bedding management and less waste.
Cool features: Top layer is skid-resistant and available in different patterns.
More info: (877) 718-6750; tractorsupply.com.
Price: Varies by size; 4-by-6-foot mat for $39.99.
Model: Straight Edge horse-stall mats.
Maker: Coco Mats ’N More.
Why buy: Eco-friendly mats are made from 100-percent recycled rubber. The polymer bonding is non-toxic, soft, and provides traction.
Cool feature: The ¾-inch thick mats include a 15-year warranty.
More info: (866) 561-1921; cocomatsnmore.com.
Price: $79.99 base price for ¾-inch-thick, natural 4-by-6-foot piece
Model: Gen II stable flooring.
Maker: ComfortStall® Stable Supply Company.
Why buy: Three-component flooring system consists of six layers: five-layers of vulcanized sheeting and medical-grade, anti-fatigue foam bottom-layer.
Cool feature: Anchor strips securely attach and seal to stall walls.
More info: (888) 307-0855; smartfarmhq.com.
Price: Stall kits measuring 12 by 12 feet begin at $1,150.
Model: Stall Skins.
Maker: Southwest Animal Products, Inc.
Why buy: Variably sized ¼-inch polypropylene skins are woven, so liquid and urine drain through without any tearing, which saves stall bedding. A sub-layer leach pit keeps your horse from contacting moisture or dirt below.
Cool feature: Thin, manageable fabric is easy to transport and install.
More info: (800) 400-3165; stallskins.com.
Price: $165 for 12-by-10-foot mat
Stall flooring can be a costly investment, especially if you make a purchase before doing your homework. Consider these factors before you order.
A do-it-yourselfer might prefer interlocking mats because they can self-install; others might prefer to hire someone to measure, cut, and lay down a single mat.
If a goal is to cut back on bedding volume and cost, look for options that accommodate seepage. Tightly sealed mats allow pooling, which relies on bedding for absorption.
Urine, water, or other moisture that finds its way into the stall needs a place to go. Whether you opt to build a leach pit for material to seep through the flooring or prefer bedding to soak it up, choose what’s appropriate for your situation.
All about that base.
Concrete flooring may necessitate thicker mats to provide more cushion, but dirt, or other more forgiving bases, may not require such heavy mats. Shredded tire material (commonly used in playgrounds) may also act as a sublayer; it provides cushion and can help with moisture by acting as a leach pit.
Use and abuse.
Most manufacturers provide a warranty, but it’s wise to consider the amount of wear and tear mats will experience once they’re installed. For example, horses with box stalls only will spend greater amounts of time on the mat.