COMFORTABLE and hygienic stable floors are usually the sign of a healthy and happy horse. That’s why floor design is one of the most important decisions to get right when planning your new stables.
There are many choices when it comes to stable flooring, so let’s look at a few of the most common types.
Concrete floors are becoming less popular as the debate continues as to what effect standing on concrete for prolonged periods of time has on the horse.
Concrete is also very cold during the winter months and unless there is fall on the concrete, it does not drain well.
A popular solution is to lay rubber matting over the concrete, which can help to create a little ‘give’ for your horse’s legs.
Earthen flooring is an inexpensive flooring option which seems like a natural choice since it is similar to the footing that your horse would encounter while out in the paddock.
Earthen flooring is highly absorbent, but its drainage capability depends on the specific type of earthen flooring used.
Some soil can retain odor, making it hard to clean. Additionally, earthen flooring can be easily disturbed by the horse so will need to be levelled and packed every year. Earthen floors are fairly resistant to wear and inexpensive – especially if it exists naturally where you live.
Clay is another popular barn flooring option because it’s fairly resistant to wear and inexpensive – especially if it exists naturally where you live.
Clay creates a solid footing and is easy on your horse’s legs. However, clay will need to be leveled and packed every year, and can become damp and boggy during a wet winter.
Sand is soft and absorbent and provides good drainage. However, it doesn’t pack well and can easily mix with bedding. Horses may also be prone to sand colic if they eat from the floor.
It’s recommended to layer rubber stall mats on top of the sand to keep it from mixing with the bedding.
Asphalt is another long-lasting low-maintenance option. It is less expensive than concrete, and provides good traction. However, asphalt is also cold and hard on your horse’s legs, so you will once again need to use stall mats and generous bedding.
It all comes down to personal preference and what suits you and your horse the best.
What suits one might not suit another and here at Champion Stables we work with our clients to ensure that we can offer the complete design and fit-out service to build your dream stables.