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The better floor covering for Horses
Less litter - more health

Stable mats for horses

The particularly robust double-T interlocking paving from WARCO is the preferred floor covering for the hoof beat in a horse walker. In all gaits, the H-stones offer the horses an elastic and safe surface.

Stable mats, stall mats and paddock mats can be the ideal stable floor for keeping horses in a species-appropriate environment. The rubber mats are easy on the horses' joints, easy to clean, hard-wearing, durable and save bedding and time when mucking out. You can find everything you need to know about stable mats here!

  1. The advantages at a glance
  2. Naturally better health
  3. Paddock use all year round
  4. Interlocking paving made of rubber granulate - not only in the horse walker
  5. Which makes more sense: water-permeable or non-water-permeable stable mats?
  6. The toilet area - safely bind urine in the box and on the paddock
  7. Laying and cleaning water-permeable stable mats
  8. Installing non-water-permeable stable mats
  9. Horse mats from WARCO are worthwhile

The advantages at a glance

The water-permeable, i.e. thick and insulating WARCO stable mats made of rubber granulate are the ideal stable floor in a horse box or open stable and are well accepted by the horses.
  • Stable mats from WARCO consist of PU-bonded rubber granulate and resemble a typical steppe floor in terms of its elasticity. Horses are steppe animals by nature and are adapted to a firm, dry surface. A stable floor made of WARCO stable mats is therefore wonderfully species-appropriate.
  • Stable mats insulate against cold floors and reduce impact sound.
  • Stable mats are non-slip, provide fall protection and are easy on the joints.
  • Stable mats are harmless to health and ensure a good, low-dust stable climate.
  • Stable mats are easy to clean, maintenance-free and weather-resistant.
  • Stable mats are easy to lay. Many customers lay them out themselves.

Last but not least, the durable WARCO stable mats are a particularly economical stable floor. The installation of stable mats can save up to 70% of the costs for bedding and mucking out.

Good from experience

'I installed the same mats in my horse boxes a few years ago and am very satisfied. Can only recommend them...'

Bernhard Kössler, January 3, 2020, Stable mat SD 40 mm, Delivery dn258997fs

The most popular stable mats from WARCO

Naturally better health

The open stable or pasture hut is only a weather protection for the horses; the building is always open and the horses can go in and out as they please. This is why the entire open stable or pasture hut is covered with WARCO stable mats.

Stable mats from WARCO are the ideal comfort flooring for horse boxes, open stables, playpens or pasture huts. With a construction height of 40 mm and more, they insulate well against cold and damp floors - a wonderful feel-good floor for horses. The animals benefit from a standing and lying comfort that is modeled on nature. Older horses in particular find it much easier to stand up after lying on the non-slip stable floor. Slipping on both wet and dry surfaces is effectively counteracted. This also minimizes the risk of getting stuck.

Joints, tendons, hooves and the horse's entire musculoskeletal system are protected by WARCO's lightly sprung stable mats. Stable mats from WARCO help to prevent typical illnesses such as respiratory tract irritation, chronic coughing or dust allergies. These illnesses are primarily caused by conventional bedding. WARCO mats improve the stable climate, as the concentration of fungal spores and dust in the stable air is reduced due to the greatly reduced use of bedding.

Horse beds

Many horse beds made of foamed plastics (e.g. EVA) are unsuitable for horses and can even cause permanent damage to the animal's tendons and ligaments. This is because the horse is a hard-surface runner whose anatomy is designed for a firm surface and for which the horse bed is too soft or too thick.

The hard horse hoof has a small contact surface and places a high point load on the ground. A horse bed would make sense for the moose, as the moose is adapted to soft, boggy ground and, as a cloven-hoofed animal, stands with its hooves wide apart, i.e. with a large contact surface.

Paddock use all year round

WARCO paddock mats are also a good, weatherproof and low-maintenance alternative to riding sand in the riding arena, which is labour-intensive to maintain.

The paddock should be available to the horse all year round. The access, fencing and ground must be safe and suitable for horses.

In the paddock, the horse should be able to move sure-footedly, not stand in mud, not slip during spontaneous movements and not injure itself in the event of a fall. The ground itself should be weatherproof, frost-proof and rot-proof. Depending on the weather, a muddy or hard-packed meadow is just as unsuitable as concrete paving or asphalt.

Paddock mats and rubber interlocking pavers from WARCO meet the requirements of a paddock floor suitable for horses when used properly over many years. Because that is exactly what they were developed and manufactured for. They work so well that customers have even laid out their riding arenas with rubber granulate slabs.

Strong advantages

With an outdoor arena paved with paddock mats or rubber composite paving, neither mud nor sludge will form, even in prolonged rainy weather, and the arena remains usable. Also, the hoof patches are never worn out, but always remain level.

Paddockboden von WARCO

Interlocking paving made of rubber granulate - not only in the horse walker

In many riding stables, the horses undergo daily exercise training in a horse walker. This is practical and helps to keep the horses fit. As a rule, the hoof pavement of the horse walker consists of rubber bone stones, i.e. H-composite paving.

The double-T interlocking paving made of rubber granulate, often referred to as bone stone, is very popular in horse stables. The rubber paving is pressed from a special mixture of rubber granules and rubber fibers under high pressure. This makes the rubber blocks particularly tough and resistant, but still permeable to water.

This makes WARCO's robust and heavy-duty rubber composite paving the ideal surface for horse walkers, stable lanes, grooming areas, washing areas and all paths in the riding facility where horses are led or ridden.

The WARCO paver has the same dimensions as the identically shaped BEHATON double-T concrete paver, the H-brick. This means that both materials can be laid seamlessly in one surface. And, as with the BEHATON H-brick, an extremely stable bond is created between the bricks during laying. This is because each H-stone is in full-surface contact with six surrounding H-stones. This creates a stable mechanical bond that prevents the paving stones from shifting or tilting and can absorb high dynamic loads on the surface.

Bone stones and bone stone mats made of rubber granulate

Which makes more sense: water-permeable or non-water-permeable stable mats?

Opinions differ on the question of whether water-permeable or non-water-permeable mats are the better choice in stables and especially in boxes. However, this question is wrong, as the property of water permeability is only the result of an upstream decision. The correct question should be:

Thin and hard oder thick and cushioning stable mats?

The differences between water-permeable (thick and cushioning) and non-water-permeable (thin and hard) mat types are manifold and result from

  • the granulation (grain size) of the material used,
  • the pressure with which the panels are pressed during production, and
  • the structure of the underside of the panel (smooth or embossed).

It is essential to avoid urine in liquid form in the stables at all costs! This is because the decomposition of unbound urine produces ammonia, and every horse owner is aware of the dangers posed by ammonia in the stable. For this reason, horse stables have been littered with a well-absorbent material (straw) for centuries. The bedding binds and neutralizes the liquid urine.

The same applies to the use of rubber mats in horse stables: urine must not be liquid, but must be absorbed immediately. Urine must be prevented from seeping through the rubber floor or through the joints between the mats.

Horses do not like to urinate on hard ground because it splashes. Every carriage driver knows this: when riding on paved or asphalted paths, horses hold back urine until the urge to urinate becomes too strong or until they reach a meadow or natural ground. Then the bladder is emptied.

For horse keeping, the above means that the stabled horse must have a soft, absorbent surface available around the clock and at all times of the year, either in the stable or freely accessible in front of the stable for urinating. However, this also means that areas (in the stable) on which the horse should not urinate must be equipped with a rather hard floor.

  • A stable with thin, hard (non-water-permeable) stable mats must therefore always be completely littered.
  • A horse stable with unrestricted access to a paddock (with natural soil) or a paddock covered with thick, absorbent (water-permeable) stable mats does not need to be bedded.
  • In a permanently or temporarily closed horse stable, e.g. a conventional horse box, which is lined with thick, absorbent (water-permeable) stable mats, there is no bedding, but a partial area is set up as a toilet area (with bedding).

Urine in the stable

All stable mats have one thing in common: no stable floor made of rubber mats is suitable for horses to urinate directly on. This is neither horse-friendly, nor hygienic, nor beneficial to the lifespan of the stable mats.

The properties in direct comparison: thin & hard / thick & cushioning stable mats

Criteria
thin & hard (impermeable to water)
thick & cushioning (water-permeable)
Thickness (thickness)
10 - 20 mm30 - 55 mm
Rubber granules
finely ground
Coarsely ground
Physical density
> 1.050 kg/m3< 1.000 kg/m3
Surface

closed-pore
anti-slip with embossing

open-pored
anti-slip

Underside
even or slightly structured
Highly structured
Water permeability

Plate impermeable,
joints permeable

permeable over a wide area
Diffusion
not possible
open to diffusion
Thermal insulation
low, approx. 0.16 W/(m-K)
noticeable, approx. 0.1 W/(m-K)
Sound insulation

low
good to very good
Shock absorption
hardly
low to good
Urine resistance
moderate
depending on material, low to moderate
Relocation
surface bonding on bound base course
Floating installation on bound or grid-like base layer
Joints
must be glued (sealed)
No post-processing
Bedding
Box must be completely littered; low savings
Box must be completely littered or (with toilet corner) not littered; low to high savings
Primary functions

Floor protection, comfort, sound insulation

Litter substitution (only in conjunction with a toilet corner), comfort, cold insulation, sound insulation

Better thickness and cushioning

In general, thick, cushioning (water-permeable) stable mats are preferable. They insulate much better against cold floors and their elasticity is more in line with the physiological needs of the horses.

The toilet area - safely bind urine in the box and on the paddock

The asphalted area in front of a property in Switzerland was covered with 42 mm thick horse stall mats from WARCO and can now be used by the ponies as a safe paddock. A separate area filled with sawdust is used for species-appropriate urination.
Paddock with toilet corner

A paddock was created on an asphalted yard area in Beckenried, Switzerland, which is not completely flat and open to the road. The water-permeable, 43 mm thick horse stall mats provide the ponies with a non-slip surface that is easy to walk on.


A generously dimensioned toilet area is located in a corner of the paddock facing the road so that the horses can shine in a relaxed manner and the urine does not run out onto the road but is collected immediately.

The same paddock without WARCO mats

Before the horse stall mats were laid, the yard could only be used as a run or paddock to a limited extent, as the traces of the horseshoes on the asphalt show.

In the rear left-hand corner, you can already see the demarcated and littered toilet area.

How do I create a toilet corner for horses?

If a horse is stabled for a longer period of time in a stable or box that is lined with water-permeable, i.e. thick and cushioning stable mats, a toilet area with sufficient bedding must always be available.

The toilet area should be about one meter wide. It is a strip or rectangle on one side of the stall area and is clearly separated from the rest of the area by a bar on the floor. The toilet area contains bedding that binds the urine produced. The wooden beam on the floor prevents the litter from getting onto the rest of the stall area.

The advantages: Less bedding is required and mucking out is limited to a small area. This reduces the costs for bedding and stable work by around 70 percent. The horses also benefit from an insulating stable floor that remains pleasantly clean and dry.

Toilet corner in a small horse box

Die Aufstallung von Pferden in geschlossenen Ställen ausschließlich auf Stallmatten ist nicht zu empfehlen. Beim Urinieren spritzt der Urin vom Boden auf die Beine der Pferde, was diese naturgemäß nicht mögen. In der Folge halten die Tiere den Harn zurück, was zu gesundheitlichen Problemen führen kann.

Außerdem ist es einfach unhygienisch, wenn sich Urin oder dessen getrocknete Reste auf, in und unter den Platten sammeln. Pferde sollten daher grundsätzlich nicht auf Stallmatten urinieren, unabhängig davon, ob diese wasserdurchlässig sind oder nicht.

Surprisingly

'Surprisingly, the horses really don't go on the slabs, but always look for the corner with litter. Only the droppings end up on the slabs and can be picked up and disposed of with considerably less foreign matter. Savings on litter and manure. Of course, mucking out is also much quicker.'

Ulrich Verlande, December 21, 2019, Stable mat SD 40 mm, delivery dn256946fs

Laying and cleaning water-permeable stable mats

WARCO's large-format stable mats weigh almost 40 kg. It therefore makes sense to lay them in pairs. Laying them on an existing stable floor made of concrete paving is very easy.

WARCO's solid horse stall and stable mats have straight sides. This makes them easy to pick up for regular basic cleaning of the stable and floor. Simply lay the WARCO stable mats on a suitable carpet pad, preferably in a half-bond or wild bond, i.e. with a T-joint. To prevent the mats from drifting apart, the mat surface must be edged all around, often the stall wall or a wooden beam is sufficient.

A bound base layer should have a gradient of around two percent towards the drain. On natural soil, an unbound base layer open to infiltration can be produced quickly and easily using plastic honeycomb grids. Please use a powerful circular saw with a coarse-toothed blade or a chainsaw to cut the box mats to size.

Cleaning the WARCO stable floor - by hand or by machine - is easy: dry with a broom or sweeper or wet with a water hose or high-pressure cleaner. The high-pressure cleaner ensures the best cleanliness.

Well insulating (water-permeable) stable mats

No complications

'Easy to install, easy to clean. Delivery was prompt and without complications.'

Ulrich Haupt, December 27, 2019, Stable mat luxury 55 mm, delivery dn257791fs

Installing non-water-permeable stable mats correctly

Ein Eimer mit 25 kg ALLESDICHT, der praktischen Flüssigabdichtung von WARCO, die beim Abtrocknen eine hochelastische und dauerhaft dichte Gummihaut bildet.

Thin, hard (non-water-permeable) stable mats are primarily floor protection mats. They protect the stable floor slab, which is usually made of concrete, from mechanical damage and from the effects of horse urine. However, this is only the case if the rubber floor has been laid absolutely waterproof. To do this, the joints between the waterproof stable slabs must be glued and sealed, e.g. with the PU adhesive sealant OP83.

It is recommended that the thin and hard (non-water-permeable) SZ stable panels are fully bonded to the substrate. This works particularly well with WARCO ALLESDICHT, the permanently elastic rubber skin for painting or filling.

The existing floor is permanently sealed and additionally protected in a single work step. ALLESDICHT is applied in 2 to 3 layers - the stable tiles are laid in the last, still damp layer. By pushing the panels together, the joint is also filled; no additional grouting is required.

Non-water-permeable stable slab

Your advantages with a stable floor from WARCO

  • species-appropriate horse keeping - dry ground
  • Insulate against cold floors - Insulate against impact sound
  • anti-slip - less sticking
  • Better stable climate - fewer diseases
  • Faster mucking out - less litter
  • Proven quality - robust and durable
  • Many types - for every area in the barn
  • worthwhile - directly from the manufacturer

Rubber flooring from WARCO in horse stables - it's worth it!

WARCO mats are not only suitable for horses, but also for other hoofed animals. More and more stables and enclosures for alpacas, llamas, goats and sheep are being fitted with WARCO stable flooring.

WARCO stall mats, stable slabs, rubber composite paving, paddock mats and stable mats have been proving their worth in horse stables all over the world for decades. In addition to the species-appropriate comfort for horses and other hoofed animals and the functional benefits, WARCO stable floors are an extremely economical floor covering. It is not for nothing that many vets, research institutes and agricultural advice centers recommend keeping horses on rubber mats.

The purchase costs for a WARCO stable floor pay for themselves quickly, as the operating costs for bedding, mucking out, manure disposal and vets are often reduced by more than half.

There are no extraordinary follow-up costs for the stable operator, as WARCO rubber granulate slabs are maintenance-free. The service life of a properly laid and used WARCO stable floor is up to ten years or more. What's more, with WARCO you buy directly from the manufacturer and therefore benefit from lower prices in the store.

Alpacas, llamas, goats

WARCO rubber granulate mats are not only ideal for horses and ponies - they are also the perfect stable floor for alpacas, llamas, goats, sheep and other hoofed animals!

All WARCO products for horse keeping

Frequently asked questions

Which stable mats are the best?

The situation on site is always decisive when choosing the right stable mat. In most cases, however, the following applies:

  • Panels measuring 50 × 50 cm or 100 × 100 cm with a thickness of at least 40 mm should be selected.
  • The slabs should be made of rubber granulate and be permeable to water. Non-water-permeable mats are only an alternative in exceptional cases as pure ground protection.
  • Rolls and mats with a thickness of less than 3 cm are generally a poor choice.
Can you do without bedding for stable mats in the horse box?

The installation of stable mats in a horse stall does not mean that bedding can be dispensed with. This applies to both water-permeable and non-water-permeable stable mats. In any case, the horse must have a place where it can urinate without the urine splashing on its legs. In addition, the urine must be completely absorbed and not bound. Bedding is therefore necessary!

If the stable mats are not water-permeable, the horse box should be completely littered. With water-permeable stable mats, a littered toilet corner in the stall is usually sufficient.

Are stable mats in the horse box worthwhile?

With the right planning and application, the use of stable mats is always worthwhile. On the one hand, you save money and work when bedding and mucking out, and on the other, you improve the stable climate. However, it is essential that the stable mats are not soaked by the horses' urine.

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