Archive for the ‘Top Cover’ Category

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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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?

Is Your Horse Eating In Bed?

September 27, 2012

Cut back on bedding with SuperStallAccording to a recent university study, researchers looking at horses on restricted calorie diets found that nearly half of them were ingesting wood shavings in their stalls.

Wood shavings aren’t a horse’s “go-to” snack, but when they are put on a diet, bedding can look pretty tasty. Although all the horses in the study remained healthy, ingesting wood shavings can cause potentially serious digestive problems, including colic, and should be discouraged.

If your horse is eating his bedding, one obvious solution is to reduce the amount of bedding in the stall. The SuperStall™ Memory Foam Mattress by IGK Equestrian features a waterproof woven top cover that fits wall-to wall within the box stall, creating 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 (or a snack), but also reduced odor, labor to muck out stalls, and disposal costs.

The SuperStall™ Top Cover is constructed of tough fabric that can be custom fit for everything from a 12’ x 12’ box stall to a 12’ x 24’ foaling stall

Have you ever caught your horse snacking in bed? What did you do?

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?

Cutting Back On Bedding

April 11, 2012

Cutting Back On BeddingStraw, sawdust, wood shavings, shredded paper and rubber mats are just some of the bedding materials horse owners and stable managers use to help horses stay dry and comfortable. Comfort without dryness can breed disease and odor, while dryness without comfort results in an unhappy horse.

The problem with bedding for both dryness and comfort is dealing with excess amounts of bedding, specifically removing and disposing of it,  as well as hauling out the mats, cleaning and re-leveling the stall base, and re-installing the mats.

Using a mat system with a waterproof top cover helps reduce the amount of bedding and odor, while also reducing disposal costs. A wall-to-wall top cover creates a “moisture tray” that allows for waste to be trapped on the stall surface and easily removed with the bedding.  Overall, a waterproof cover can help to reduce the amount of additional bedding materials, labor to muck out the stalls, and disposal costs.

Recycled memory foam mats like SuperStall®, and rubber-filled mattresses like Equisoft® by IGK Equestrian, include a waterproof top cover constructed of tough, woven fabric that can custom sized to fit everything from a standard 12’ x 12’ box stall to a 12’ x 24’ foaling stall. They really help to keep “stall stench” down to a minimum.

One caveat: a customer has brought to my attention that she is reluctant to install SuperStall® because it would ruin her “social life!”  She and her friends make it a point to periodically get together and work on re-leveling their stalls. The women have even designated this time as their ladies “wine night” and actually look forward to completing this task with one another. However, with the addition of SuperStall® there is no re-leveling, and mucking is much less than with other bedding techniques.

What strategies do you use for reducing the amount of bedding in your stalls?

Fuming over stall odor?

February 23, 2012

Stinky StallThe average horse generates more than two gallons of urine and 30 pounds of manure a day. All that waste has to go somewhere, and in a stall environment, that “somewhere” is usually into a pile of pine shavings on top of a rubber floor mat. Now, no one expects a boarding stable to smell like a lilac grove, but it shouldn’t bring tears to your eyes, either. When drainage is poor, or stalls aren’t mucked out regularly, the resulting ammonia fumes and bacteria build-up can be irritating at best and harmful at worst – for horses and humans.

Bedding material is obviously important, and you’ll want the most absorbent you can afford – sawdust or pine shavings are ideal. And while you certainly don’t want to skimp on all that waste-absorbing bedding, it’s worth noting that the thicker the floor mat, the less bedding you’ll need.

One major cause of stall odor is urine pooling under the mat. Foam and rubber mats provide dual benefits of cushioning tired joints and reducing the amount of bedding needed, so don’t get rid of them. But if pooling is a problem, the mats will need to be lifted, cleaned and allowed to dry completely. This will help reduce odor and disease-causing bacteria in waste trapped under the mats, but it’s also time and labor-intensive.

To give your horses all the cushioning benefits of a mat without the potential pooling problems, consider a waterproof top cover. This is a single piece of tough, woven fabric made to fit wall-to-wall on top of a foam or rubber mat within the stall. The top cover creates a “moisture tray” that allows urine and feces to be captured on top and easily removed with the bedding. In addition to getting rid of all that odor and bacteria-producing waste before it has a chance to run under the mat, you’ll also reduce the amount of shavings needed for bedding, labor to muck out the stalls, and disposal costs.

Foam mats like SuperStall®, and rubber mats like EquiSoft® by IGK Equestrian, come with top covers that can be custom-sized for any surface, from a standard 16’ x16’ box stall to a 12’x24’ foaling stall. They do a great job of keeping “stall stench” to a minimum.

How do you manage stall odor?

Carolyn


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