Horse bedding can be straw, sawdust, wood shavings, shredded paper, rubber mats or a combination. These are just some of the bedding materials horse owners and stable managers use to help horses stay dry and comfortable. Comfort without dryness can breed disease and odor, while dryness without comfort results in an unhappy horse.
The problem with horse bedding for both dryness and comfort is dealing with excess amounts, specifically removing and disposing of it, as well as hauling out the mats, cleaning and re-leveling the stall base, and re-installing the mats.
Using a mat system with a waterproof top cover helps reduce the amount of horse bedding and odor, while also reducing disposal costs. A wall-to-wall top cover creates a “moisture tray” that allows for waste to be trapped on the stall surface and easily removed with the horse bedding. Overall, a waterproof cover can help to reduce the amount of additional horse bedding materials, labor to muck out the stalls, and disposal costs.
Recycled memory foam mats like SmartStall™ by IGK Equestrian, include a waterproof top cover constructed of tough, woven fabric that can custom sized to fit everything from a standard 12’ x 12’ box stall to a 12’ x 24’ foaling stall. They really help to keep “stall stench” down to a minimum.
One caveat: a customer has brought to my attention that she is reluctant to install SmartStall™ because it would ruin her “social life!” She and her friends make it a point to periodically get together and work on re-leveling their stalls. The women have even designated this time as their ladies “wine night” and actually look forward to completing this task with one another. However, with the addition of SmartStall™ there is no re-leveling, and mucking is much less than with other bedding techniques.
Let IGK Equestrian know what strategies you use for reducing the amount of bedding in your stalls?