Archive for the ‘Stall mats’ Category

SuperStall Vs. Rubber Filled Mattress

May 3, 2016

You all know by now that I like to write my blogs based on questions I get when talking to customers. Lately I’ve been asked a lot what the difference is between a rubber filled mattress and our SuperStall Mattress. In order to explain the difference, first I’ll tell you a bit about the history of our company.

IGK Equestrian, LLC is the child company of North Brook Farms, INC. Twenty years ago, Peter and Carolyn Kyle (owners of North Brook Farms, INC and IGK Equestrian LLC) were dairy farmers milking 350 head on their 800-acre farm in central New York. Their veterinarian advised them to make their cows more comfortable, since well-rested cows produce more milk. So the Kyles decided to make the cows’ bedding softer and more enticing by incorporating recycled rubber.

They started the business by making these rubber filled mattresses. Over time we realized there were a few things about the rubber mattresses that we didn’t love. The first thing, that was very apparent was that the rubber filled cells, which were about 4ft x 5ft, were very heavy; weighing about 130 pounds! Both the manufacture process of these mattresses and the installation process were very labor intensive. During the installation process, the mattresses had to be pulled off of a pallet, carried to where they were getting laid down and then maneuvered so that they were laying correctly. Everyone’s arms were aching by the time the installation was completed! The second major downfall of these mattresses that we noticed is over time the rubber inside the cells compact. After being under an animal for a long duration, the rubber will nestle down in the cells of the mattress, where the various sizes and pieces of rubber fit together like a puzzle, and become hard. Having this mattress compact over time and become hard defeats the purpose of a comfort mattress for your animal. When we realized that the rubber filled mattresses did this, we decided to switch our systems to a foamSuperStall Foam Horse Mattress System mattress.

We have been using foam in our SuperStalls for over 10 years now. Our foam has been tested over time and has shown less than 1% compaction over a ten-year period. The foam is a lot less heavy than a traditional rubber filled mattress and has proven to provide comfort time and time again both in the dairy and horse industry! Your horse will be much more comfortable in their stall for years to come with a SuperStall System than a rubber filled mattress system!

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Dyna’s Story- Navicular Syndrome

May 3, 2016
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Cindy & Dyna

I love my job. Mostly because I love horses, and get to look at gorgeous barns, pretty horses, and I get to talk to horse people all day. But talking to someone who loves an animal as much as you do is probably my favorite part about my job. Selling the products that we sell at IGK Equestrian, I get to talk to lots of horse people! Last week I had a local woman, Cindy, call me who had heard about our mattress system, from a friend who has our mattresses in her dairy barn! She was so excited about our SuperStall Mattresses that she drove out that day to the office to take a look at our product. She told me how she has two horses, and that one of them has Navicular Syndrome. I immediately fell in love with her story and her horse. I wanted to do everything I could to help out “Dyna”! Here is her story:

“Dyna found me in 2006 at the age of 8. She had been a show horse in many types of events from jumping to western pleasure to a lesson horse by the time I met her. I knew I was purchasing a “lame” horse but to what degree was unknown and by then the bond was formed. I wanted her no matter what! We discovered her navicular at the time of purchase with a routine vet check. After X-rays and many vet appointments and farrier trials with new shoes consisting of rim pads and egg bars along with medication and joint 12980514_944201222343187_1139237171_nsupplements she has been comfortable until this past winter.Knowing that she could become more “ouchy” over time and with age I tried to think of continual ways to keep her comfortable. A friend of mine suggested your product. I researched it online and thought it would be the perfect remedy. The mattresses were installed right away (in both of my horse’s stalls) and I have seen instant relief in how Dyna walks out of her stall and overall movement. I am so grateful and thankful to have found IGK Equestrian. Dyna is a “family member” and I want her to be as comfortable and happy as possible. I love he

SuperStall Horse Mattress System

Dyna checking out her new SuperStall!

Cindy also owns Dyna’s son Riley. Riley is sound and she wants to keep him sound so she figured putting a mattress in Riley’s stall would be a great way to do that. I love hearing stories like this and how much our SuperStall Mattress can help. I have heard so many accounts about horses no longer limping out of their stall, or seeing more shavings on the horse’s body everyday because they’re constantly lying down on the SuperStall. I’m so glad that we could help Dyna feel much more comfortable! If you have any questions and would like to know how our SuperStall Mattress System can benefit your horse, don’t hesitate to give me a call!

Spring Cleaning Around the Barn

March 24, 2016

Spring is officially here! And you know what that means? Spring cleaning around the barn! I always try and do cleaning around the barn when I’m there, but it really is great when you take a day (or week!) to thoroughly clean the barn. Grab everyone that boards their horses there or grab some friends and make it a party with lunch involved! Let’s take a look at some good tips on cleaning your barn!

Start with de-cobwebbing your entire barn. After a long winter cobwebs can pile up, creating a fire hazard for your barn. Use a broom or a duster on a long pole so that you can reach higher places in your barn. You can grab one at Walmart for about $17! They are really handy! Once you got all of your cobwebs down, sweep every nook and cranny of your barn. Get every corner, behind tack boxes, under doors, everywhere! You’ll notice a huge difference in your barn immediately after completing both of these cleaning tasks!Renovating a barn, spring cleaning around the barn

Since freezing temperatures are in the past, you can take down all of your heated buckets. Be sure to clean them thoroughly with a sanitizing solution and store them upside down. You may have a few extension cords that you used with the heated buckets. Wrap the extensions cords up nicely and find a good place to store them. You can easily run to your local hardware and grab some extra hooks and hang them in your tack or storage room. That way when you need them next fall you won’t have to dig through any bins looking for them!

Finish tidying up the barn by cleaning out each stall completely. Conventional mats, you would have to pull the mats up, muck out whatever bedding or manure got under the stall mats, and then sanitize the ground under the mats. With our SuperStall Mattress System, which is a wall-to-wall system, you can use a power washer to clean your stall. The mattress connects directly to the stall wall, sealing the foam under the waterproof topcover. A quick sweep of a power wash with an attached detergent (of course make sure it is safe for your horses) can easily kill bacteria and make your stall sparkling again! Spend less time on maintenance and mucking out your stalls by adding our SuperStall system to your barn this Spring during Spring cleaning time at the barn!

How do you spring clean at your barn?

Broodmare Stall Tips

February 9, 2016

If you intend on breeding any of your horses or maybe have some borders that have bred horses, it really is important that you have a broodmare stall available at your barn. I’ve had some customers just open a partition between two stalls to create one big stall, or they put a big stall in the corner of the barn. However you build your broodmare stall, I have a few tips for creating the perfect atmosphere for your horse to bring her foal into the world.

A broodmare stall needs to be larger than a normal stall. Your mare needs to be able to roll around when she’s in labor, and the stall can’t be too small where she could accidentally step on her foal after its born. A lot of farms do at least a 12×18 stall, or if you are going to use two stalls with a partition you could go up to 12×24. Make sure that there is good ventilation in the stall area that you choose, but be sure that there is no direct drafts that may make the newborn cold.

The stall needs to be 110 percent disinfected. Be sure to strip any old bedding of the stall out and remove any buckets or feeders. Wash the walls of the stall, stall door, stall floor, basically any surface in the stall with a pressure washer or garden hose, and scrub with a stiff brush and detergent. You then can disinfect all stall surfaces with 2 ½ tablespoons of Lysol concentrate per gallon of water. Apply the solution with a spray bottle, sponge, or mop. Allow this to air dry. Pay close attention to any splintered pieces of wood or any imperfections that could harm the new foal. Fix or remove any problem areas.

The bedding in the stall should be safe for both the mare and the foal. Thick bedding in the stall is necessary, and needs to be kept clean. Straw is the best option for broodmare bedding. Shavings or sawdust can harbor bacteria, which could be a danger to your new foal.

Last but not least, double-check that you have enough lighting. There should be adequate lighting to be able to see everything that’s going on in the stall, but not so much lighting that your mare is stressed out from it. At night you should dim the lights or turn some of them off so that she has the nighttime feeling, but set the libroodmare stallghts so that you can still see the progress in the stall.

Many of our customers purchase out SuperStall system for broodmare stalls. It is very easy to sanitize and clean, and provides a comforting area for her to give birth in. They’ve even used it to go up the walls of the stall! Our stalls are all custom made for your exact stall size, so if you decide to create stalls that are partitioned, where the partition can be moved or if you do one large broodmare stall, we can make the stall for you!

How do you have your broodmare stall set up?

Oops, I Spilled Water in My Stall!

November 23, 2015

I’ve helped out at a lot of different barns over the years. I like seeing exactly how everyone operates their facility and has their own particular ways. But no matter what, when I am in a barn and I am filling water buckets they always say “don’t let it overflow!!”

If you have a deep bedded system, the spilled water will create a big wet area, and you normally spill it right where the water bucket is, where the horse stands most of the time. Some barns will leave the water in the stall, and wait for it to eventually evaporate.  It is not good for your horse to stand in wetness for long periods of time. Too much moisture in the horse’s hoof will actually weakHunter Harrison 037en and break the hydrogen bonds that are in the cellular makeup of the hoof, and will make the hoof too flexible and reduce the hoof’s structure.  The hoof will become soft and weak. Other barns will pull out the three inches of bedding that it saturated and replenish that whole area with new bedding, becoming very costly. If you’re using thick rubber mats, this water can get under the mat and create mold; which is dangerous for your horse to be around.

If you were to have a SuperStall Mattress System in your stall, then spill some water, it is an easy clean  up! Our SuperStall Mattress keeps all liquids right on top of the rubber topcover. The topcover is not porous so you don’t need to worry about the topcover absorbing some water and creating bacteria, and water will not get under the topcover and create mold. You only need to bed your stalls about one inch, so you don’t have to worry about having your bedding being soaked. Most people with our stalls installed, just shop vac up the water that is sitting right on top of the cover and add a bit of refresher bedding. You’ll never have to tell your barn help “don’t let the water overflow!!” again!

 

Stall Floors

November 9, 2015

You would not believe the kind of questions I get during sales calls for our SuperStall Systems. How old is your oldest stall? (Our first one was installed in 2006!) How thick is your foam pad under the topcover? (1 1/8”) How thick is the full mattress system together? (Around 1 1/4”) The next question I normally get is “what flooring should be under the mattress system?”

When building a barn, you normally have a subgrade (your soil), then 2-4 inches of a subbase, composed of aggregate stone, and then 2-4 inches of a compacted crushed stone, such as limestone. There are a variety of floors that you can have in yourIMG_2205 barn. Some choose to keep this crushed stone base as the floor of their entire barn, some pour a cement center isle while keeping crushed stone in the stalls, while others will pour a cement floor inside the entire barn. Pouring cement in the entire barn, or at least a cement center aisle are the best options for horse owners. If you for some reason cannot pour any cement, there are ways to make crushed stone work. The most important thing when utilizing a crushed stone floor is to make sure that it is fully compacted. If you are using crushed stone as your entire floor, you will most likely disrupt only the top 1/2 inch in the aisle way. Everything under that 1/2 inch will not be disrupted if it has been compacted correctly. Both cement and crushed stone are not adequate enough for a stall floor. There should be some sort of barrier between your horse’s hooves and the hard surface. Think of how much our bodies hurt from standing on concrete all day, a horse is the exact same. They don’t want to stand or lay on a hard surface, and adding extra bedding for padding is not much help. The stall requires some sort of cushion for the horse.

Our SuperStall Mattress System works great with both crushed stone floors and cement floors. IGK SuperStall system is composed of foam and a rubber topcover. The foam lie
s directly on the floor, while the topcover is installed over the foam and attached to the stall walls, sealing the foam under a waterproof surface. When you have a crushed stone floor, we recommend that you have a plastic sheet under the foam, so the moisture that sometimes works its way up through the crushed stone, does not reach the foam. If you have any other questions that you would like me to answer in a blog please let me know!

SuperStalls Can Help You Go Green Too!

November 3, 2015

Horse Stalls Going GreenLast week I focused my weekly blog on how our footing can help your barn to “Go Green”. This week we’re going to continue the discussion and focus on our SuperStall Mattress Systems. Our SuperStall Mattress system is a wall to wall mattress consisting of foam and a topcover. The topcover attaches to the wall and seals off the foam mattress, creating a barrier so that no liquids can get to the foam. Our durable topcover keeps liquids on top and your horses happy. Since our SuperStall has the perfect amount of cushion, you don’t need to add three inches of bedding to give your horses more cushion, instead you only bed your stall at the most, one inch. When using less than an inch of bedding, you will be saving up to 60% in bedding. This not only saves in time and money, but in the environment too!

In our last post I spoke of composting your manure. By composting your manure, you will be able to recycle the manure and use it on your gardens or to fertilize pastures in the spring.  When you fertilize your pastures with compost, you are improving aeration and also water retention by creating healthy soil in your pastures. Composting your manure not only reduces your waste and improves soil quality, but reduces flies in your barn and can kill parasites and pathogens.  In addition to composting your manure, think about ordering your bedding in bulk. You should get a discount for ordering a larger amount and you’re also cutting down the amount of gas used to pick up or deliver. If you don’t think that you will use an entire load of bedding for your barn, perhaps think of a neighbor that would be willing to split the load with you. These are just a few options to make your barn more environmentally friendly.

What do you do to keep your barn environmentally friendly?

Options for Horse Stall Bedding

October 19, 2015

Let’s talk about options for horse stall bedding. The options for bedding in your horse stall are pretty endless. In the end you have to choose something that your horse loves and it works great with you too. Bedding should have a few characteristics in order to dub it the best bedding for both you and your horse. The number one thing is that it should be safe for your horse. Don’t try and experiment with random substances in your stall. Ensure that whatever you have in your stall is going to not harm your horse externally or internally in any way, and should also not be dusty. Whatever material you choose should be absorbent (which is kind of the whole point of stall bedding), and easily composted. Your material also needs to be readily available. If whatever material you choose can be compacted, that can immensely help when looking where to store it in the barn. Most importantly, it should be cost-effective and easy to pick manure from so that you don’t spend hours a day mucking your stalls.IMG_2206

Now that we’ve discussed the criteria for horse bedding, let’s take a look at some options.

Option #1 and most popular: Shavings.

This option can be the most economical based on where you live. For example, where we are located in Upstate NY it is very easy to get ahold of wood shavings for stalls. It is cheap and you can often buy in bulk. It is easy to store and is very absorbent. The only downfall of this option is that it can be very dusty, and can even make your entire barn dusty. You should have good ventilation in a barn where loose shavings are present to give your horses fresh air. Some barns that I have gone to keep their shavings stored in a lean-to on the outside of the barn.

Option #2: Wood Pellets

I really think that this option is becoming much more popular in recent years.  Wood pellets are made of kiln dried wood and sawdust. The kiln dried wood and sawdust is compressed into a small pellet. When this pellet is in the stall and moisture hits it, it will expand to be normal sawdust again and is as absorbent as regular sawdust. This option is low in dust from the compression process and is packaged in bags, so it is easy to store; and is relatively inexpensive. The only issue with this type of bedding is that you will need to spend a little extra time to make sure that you don’t take out any pellets when you muck the stall.

Option #3: Peat Moss

Peat moss is an option that is easily available and horses seem to like it a lot because it gives them that soft bedding to lie down on. You can find this at your local hardware or garden store and a little bit goes a long way so you only need to buy a few bags. It is absorbent in the stall and virtually dust free! The only downside is that if you have a barn with many stalls, this is not your best economical option. It can get expensive for many stalls.

Option #4: Straw

Straw has been used in stalls since the beginning of time. It is often inexpensive and can be easily obtained. If it is mucked properly it stays pretty clean and composts very well. But there are many cons to straw. It is not very absorbent, (which kind of defeats the purpose of stall bedding) it requires a lot of room to store the bales, and can be very dusty. Another note to keep in mind is that some horses do try and eat this. You will need to keep an eye on what horses eat this bedding and possibly change their diet based on that.

No matter what type of bedding you use, if you have SuperStall Horse Mattresses in your stalls you will save tremendously on bedding. Our SuperStall System needs less than an inch of bedding, which will then make mucking your stalls out much easier! If you want to save on bedding, call us today for a sample of our stall mattress!

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?


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