Archive for the ‘Rubber Mat’ Category

Arena Footing: It’s Not Just About Feet.

April 1, 2013

Arena footing may cause injuryArena footing isn’t just about the feet—but about the horse’s entire body. Arena footing influences the entire musculoskeletal system, including bones, muscles, joints, tendons and cartilage. Choosing the right type of footing is important because some surfaces can be a potential risk factor for injuries.

  • Coffin bone fracture is a common fracture among horses who ride fast on hard surfaces. When a material, such as clay or stone dust dries out, it compacts and forms a hard surface, causing horses to move stiffly. Since materials can compact over time, adding an amendment helps reduce compaction and can provide cushioning necessary for good leg and tendon support.
  • Degenerative joint disease (DJD) can be developed due to repeated shock impact of the hoof with the ground, which can lead to progressive and severe cartilage damage. Surfaces with lower-impact resistance absorb more energy and reduce shock to the hoof and leg. Sand has a lower impact resistance, but very deep or dry sand can lead to injuries other than those caused by impact shock.

Wax-coated sand, rubber and fiber arena footing materials can help reduce the shock of contact between the hoof and the surface. To help prevent the risk of developing tendinitis, fractures and joint injuries, be sure to train on a wax-coated footing surface like TruStride® or LiteStride® by IGK Equestrian. TruStride and LiteStride not only provide a stable, flexible and resilient riding surface, but are among the best footings to prevent injuries in the arena.

How do you prevent injuries in your arena?

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10 Most Popular Posts on Carolyn’s Footing and Bedding Blog

March 12, 2013

Top 10 Arena Footing and Stall BeddingOver a year ago, I wrote my first post introducing myself as part owner of IGK Equestrian.  I created this blog so I could address some of the main challenges associated with arena footing and stall bedding and share success stories from people who have used the products. I’ve covered topics ranging from dust control in arenas to tips on how to “go green” in a horse stall. Here, in reverse order, are the 10 most popular posts to date on Carolyn’s Footing and Bedding Blog.

#10: Is Your Horse Eating in Bed? This post revealed horses on restricted calorie diets were ingesting wood shavings in their stalls. Typically, wood shavings aren’t a horse’s “go-to” snack, but when on a diet, bedding can look pretty tasty!

#9: Fuming Over Stall Odor. When drainage is poor, or stalls aren’t mucked out regularly ammonia fumes and bacteria can build up. This can be irritating and harmful for both horses and humans.

#8: The Link Between Sand Footing and Lameness. A study by the University of Glasgow showed the type of arena footing, specifically sand, can be a risk factor for lameness in dressage horses.

#7: Cutting Back on Bedding. Replenishing materials and mucking out stalls can be a hassle. This post suggests using a mat system with a waterproof top cover because it helps reduce the amount of bedding and disposal costs.

#6: Is it Time to Change my Stall Mats? If you are using a lighter- weight mat, you may have to remove it once a month to re-level the stall; however, with heavier mats, this may only be a semi-annual event.

#5: Horse Stalls can “Go Green” Too! At a young age we learned the 3 R’s: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. This popular post proposes ways to make environmentally-friendly choices when it comes to your horse’s bedding!

#4: My Names Carolyn “I’m an Arena Footing Freak!” This was my first post introducing myself as an arena footing freak! From this point on I aimed to educate my readers about both arena footing and stall bedding.

#3: Dust Control in your Arena. Dust in the arena is common, and suggestions on how to control dust is a topic we’ve returned to time and again on this blog.

#2: How to Create a Safe Foaling Stall. A lot of people are searching the Internet for ways to create a safe foaling stall. Needless to say, quite a few of them are landing on this post.

#1: Solid Rubber Mat vs. Foam Mattress…Which is Ideal for Your Stalls? This informational post compared two popular types of stall mats. If it helped you make a decision, I’d love to hear from you!

Should You Cut Back On Hay Bedding?

February 18, 2013

Reduce hay bedding with SuperStall by IGK EquestrianAre you using hay in your stalls? According to an article in The Horse, dust particles, mold spores and fibrous plant materials found in hay can cause severe respiration irritation when inhaled by horses. Together, these irritants can result in shortness of breath, coughing and other symptoms which can impact training and exercise. In addition, a recent university study shows that mature hay for bedding can be dangerous for pregnant mares in the third trimester due to fescue toxicity. Here are four safety tips for horses bedded on hay:

 1. Wet the hay: A study conducted at the University of Edinburgh suggests wetting hay before it is put in stalls can significantly reduce dust concentration. The most effective way of limiting dust is by immersing hay in water and then immediately putting it in the stall. If not done right away, the hay will dry which could allow respirable dust levels to increase.

2. Remove horses while mucking: The study concluded dust levels are higher when there is a lot of activity in the barn. Therefore, remove horses while mucking out stalls or during any other frequent activity.

3. Test mature hay for toxins: It is not uncommon for horses to eat their bedding. Tall fescues may contain high levels of the toxin ergovaline. This could cause problems for pregnant mares and their unborn foal. Ergovaline tests can cost up to $50 per sample, but it is money well spent to protect your mare.

4. Select alternative bedding: Reducing the amount of hay used for bedding can reduce the risks posed by dust irritants and/or fescue toxicity. SuperStall® Foam Mattress by IGK Equestrian features a waterproof industrial top cover which creates a “moisture tray” that allows all liquids and manure to be captured on top and easily removed. This not only results in a cleaner, drier environment but it also reduces the amount of hay and other bedding needed in the stall.

Which bedding would you choose to keep your horses safe?

Promoting Safety and Good Health in the Barn

January 15, 2013

SuperStall is healthy beddingAlthough time consuming, building or renovating a barn can be an exciting project. You’ll want to design a barn that is safe and promotes good health and well-being for both horses and people.

According to a recent article in The Horse, veterinarians suggest avoiding attaching a newly constructed barn to an indoor arena. Although this is a convenient set-up, the dust produced in the arena can be harmful for horses. Dust interferes with breathing and can also lead to Inflammatory Airway Disease or IAD, a condition that causes coughing, nasal discharge and exercise intolerance.

If this isn’t realistic, or you are renovating a barn that is already attached, than limiting the amount of hay and sand in the stall will help reduce dust. These materials not only produce dust, but can also create an uneven surface, which could cause slippage. Wood shavings should also be minimized in the stall due to the risk of ingestion, which can cause serious digestive problems, including colic.

Concrete covered with rubber provides a nonslip surface that is comfortable and gentle on the horses’ joints, and is easy to clean. Frequent cleaning is important to help protect horses from oral-fecal diseases such as Salmonella infection, which can occur when moisture is trapped underneath the mats.

When it comes to building or renovating your barn, consider SuperStall™ Memory Foam Mattress by IGK Equestrian. SuperStall is a one-piece wall-to-wall, foam mattress system that features a waterproof woven top cover. The top cover creates a “moisture tray” that allows all liquids and manure to be captured on top and easily removed with the bedding. This not only reduces the amount of bedding needed to provide comfort, but also reduces the risk of slippage and disease risk.

How do you keep your horse healthy and safe in the barn?

 

Sand Vs. Mattresses…Which do you and your horse prefer?

December 21, 2012

90308465When choosing a surface for your stalls, how do you decide which material is best for your horse and easiest on you? Here are some advantages and disadvantages of two common stall bedding materials: sand and mattresses.

Sand:

Advantages:

  • Sand is highly absorbent and allows good drainage.
  • The surface is soft making it one of the most forgiving bedding materials for a horse’s legs.
  • Even if the sand is wet it rarely gets slippery.
  • Sand is often one of the most affordable bedding materials.

Disadvantages:

  • Pure and newly laid sand does not compact well, creating potentially dangerous tracks and pockets.
  • Because sand does not compact well, stalls must be raked daily to assure a smooth, safe surface.
  • Sand can retain dampness in cold weather, which can be uncomfortable.
  • Sand tends to have a drying effect on horse hooves.
  • Sand mixed with other bedding material can be a hassle to clean and should be replaced frequently.
  • Horses could ingest sand which could lead to possible intestinal impaction and colic.

Mattresses:

Advantages:

  • Mattresses provide a comfortable surface.
  • Because mattresses provide a more level surface, they can reduce the risk of slippage.
  • Foam and rubber mats provide insulation for a more comfortable and warm environment during the winter.
  • Mattresses tend to have a long life with added ability to withstand continued use.
  • Horses bedded on mattresses are less likely to ingest sand or wood chips.
  • Mattresses with a waterproof top cover can reduce maintenance.

Disadvantages:

  • Foam mattresses without top covers may retain odor and moisture.
  • Mattresses can be expensive; however, many come with a warranty.

When it comes to choosing a stall surface for your horse, for the best return on investment and overall comfort, it pays to choose SuperStall® by IGK Equestrian. In addition to all the advantages listed above, SuperStall features a waterproof, woven top cover which creates a “moisture tray” that allows urine and feces to be captured on top and removed with the bedding. This helps to reduce labor, disposal efforts and cost. Best of all, SuperStall comes with a 5-year warranty.

Which bedding do you prefer? Sand or Mattresses?

Are Your Stalls Ready For Winter?

November 30, 2012

157081684With the Farmers’ Almanac calling for a colder, snowier winter for much of the United States, it’s important to make sure your horse’s bedding is winterized! Follow these steps to ensure your horse remains dry and comfortable all winter long.

1. Remove the Manure:  Don’t believe the myth that manure keeps a horse warm. No horse wants to sleep in its own droppings, regardless of the temperature. If manure is not thoroughly removed, it can freeze, leaving your horse to lie on a bed of “manure cubes.”

2. Minimize Wood Shavings: A recent study showed horses are more likely to consume wood shavings during wet, cold weather because they are both hungry and bored. Ingesting wood shavings can cause potential serious digestive problems, including colic, so be sure to keep wood shavings to a minimum in your horse’s bedding.

3. Change Bedding Materials Frequently: Stalls bedded with wood shavings, straw, sawdust and shredded newspapers absorb a lot of moisture. These materials need to be changed frequently to ensure dryness, which can be a real chore when the temperature drops below freezing.

4.  Install Foam or Rubber Mats:  Foam and rubber mats provide insulation fora more comfortable and warm environment during cold winter days and nights. SuperStall® Foam Mattress by IGK Equestrian features a waterproof, industrial top cover which creates a “moisture tray” that allows all liquids and manure to be captured on top and easily removed. This results in a cleaner, drier environment with less need for wood shavings and other bedding materials.

Consider installing SuperStall®, and both you and your horse can look forward to winter.

What are your biggest challenges when it comes to winter stall cleaning?

Solid Rubber Mat vs. Foam Mattress…Which is ideal for your stalls?

August 29, 2012

When choosing a surface for your stalls, how do you decide which material will provide the most comfort?  Comparing two popular mats, solid rubber and foam, can help with the decision.

Solid Rubber Mats:

Benefits:

  • Long life; added ability to withstand continued use
  • Can help keep dust production down
  • Can help to reduce slippage
  • May assist in preserving your floor’s natural surface

Drawbacks:

  • May require additional bedding materials for comfort
  • Could retain odor and moisture
  • Heavy (can weigh up to 150 pounds); making it difficult to remove and level/clean out stalls

Foam Mattresses:

Benefits:

  • Memory foam material helps cushion tired/strained ligaments and joints
  • May be sized for wall-to-wall coverage in a variety of stalls
  • Remains level
  • May resist bacteria growth

Drawbacks:

  • Initial expense; however, many come with a warranty

When it comes to choosing a stall surface for your horse, for the best return on investment and overall comfort it pays to choose SuperStall®, by IGK Equestrian.  In addition to all the benefits listed above, SuperStall® features a waterproof, woven top cover that helps to reduce labor and disposal efforts and cost, along with a 5-year warranty.

What mats are you using in your stalls now?


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