When building or renovating a horse stable, one thing to consider is flooring. There are factors to consider when picking a type of flooring, including how safe and durable each material is, maintenance required, and if it will impact your horse's health.
Floor material will impact horses' hooves, legs, and joints, so it is an important choice to make when building or renovating your stable or barn.
Here are some other common problems you may come across if the wrong kind of flooring is chosen:
- Uneven surfaces and other damage can be highly harmful to horses' legs as this can damage their tendons and ligaments. Additionally, when tending to your horses, an uneven and damaged surface can be a hazard.
- If choosing sand-based flooring, you need to think about your housekeeping and management style carefully. If not maintained and monitored well, sand shifting may result in your horses ingesting it. Ingesting sand can lead to equine sand colic, which causes horses to suffer from abdominal pain, irritation, and even complete blockage.
- Slippery floors can result in injury to both you and your horse. Consider investing in a non-slip flooring option.
- Cracks, rotten and uneven floors are some of the common problems you may come across. Some of the ways to avoid these are by treating and maintaining the floor regularly. This once again depends on your management styles, for instance, how often you are willing celan and fix damages to the surfaces. The durability of your flooring option is the key thing to consider here.
Features of a Good Stable Flooring
There are several stable flooring options to choose from. Some of the most common options are rubber mats, natural soil and clay, and concrete. But how do you know which is the best option? Top things to think about a few things before choosing between all the options carefully: your management style, subfloor construction, and the drainage feature. Suitable stable flooring should have the following features:
1. Easy to stand on and comfortable: Floors needs to be comfortable and provide cushioning support for your horses to stand, walk and rest on. A hard, cold, and damp surface can be harmful to a horse’s legs and overall wellbeing.
2. Dry and non-slip: A correct floor needs to be dry and non-slippery to avoid any injuries to yourself and your horses. A damp surface can also attract flies, insects, and bacteria, causing an unhygienic environment for your horses to live in.
3. Durable: The floor material must be durable enough to withstand pawing by horses and must not be damaged easily.
4. Easy to maintain and clean: The flooring needs to be easy to clean and must drain well. Inability to clean the stable properly can lead to unpleasant and unhealthy living conditions for your horses.
5. Doesn’t retain odours: Horse’s manure and urine can cause your stable to be smelly. If not cleaned or drained properly, this can cause a respiratory problem. The stable floor must not only be easy to clean, but they must also be non-odour retentive. Alternatively, if possible, an odour control solution can be used.
Stable Management and Housekeeping
As your horses will be producing manure and urine daily, keep regular housekeeping rules so that the stable floors are kept clean and safe. We recommend having a scheduled time for everything, including feeding, watering, barn cleaning, and maintaining. This way, you and your horse will maintain a habitual routine that will help you look after your horses and the stables properly.
Another good tip is to invest in a good cleaning tool. Use brooms and outdoor vacuum cleaner to remove dust, cobwebs, dirt, and debris, and invest in a leaf blower to clean the gutters, alleys, and doorways. Other essential tools to invest in are pitchfork, shovels, wheelbarrow, disinfectant, and an odour control solution for occasional deep cleaning.
What kind of stable flooring you get will depend on several things. Key questions to ask are these: Is this a safe option for your horses? Will this be easy to clean and maintain? What are the initial cost and future maintenance cost? Does it fit your management style?
If you are conflicted and have further questions about stable floorings, our team here at Jon William Stable would be more than happy to help! Simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our contact us page.