From The Ground Up: Stall Flooring and Mats

Whether you’re building new stalls or retrofitting existing ones, there’s a variety of floor surfaces to choose from.

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Your horse is on his feet most of the day and night. He prefers to feel dry, with his feet at room temperature. He wants to stand on a surface that’s resilient and doesn’t smell bad. Listen to your horse, and you will want to promote his health from the ground up. Confining the animal in a stall 23 hours a day puts him in constant contact with the stall floor. The more the stall floor meets equine preferences, the better your horse will feel.


Floor mats provide a resilient, comfortable surface.

Consider the negative effects that a floor can create. A urine-soaked surface can lead to thrush, or to respiratory problems from breathing ammonia vapors. A cold floor conducts heat away from the limbs. If the horse lies down on a cold floor, he’s likely to lose even more body heat. A hard, unyielding surface can worsen arthritic joints and cause scrapes on your horse’s limbs when he lies down or gets up. Bedding can offset some of the unhealthy aspects of the surface of a stall floor, but it is the floor itself that oftentimes needs to be addressed as the culprit. (For details on bedding choices, consult the Equinomics in the October 1996 issue

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Written by:

Award-winning writer Charlene Strickland lives in Bosque Farms, N.M. She has published 8 books and over 600 magazine articles, and is a member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists.

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