I've had rubber matting for about 8 months now. I initially got it because my mare was kept on a yard that was really dusty (shavings and straw were kept overhead, not a good idea) and she came down with a cough. I didn't want it to progress to COPD so I got the mats, put her on shavings with them and started feeding haylage. Now she's on a new yard that has much better ventilation and she has straw on top of the mats (just 1 bale).
I really love my mats! Mucking out with shavings took about 10 minutes last winter which was great. I only used about half a bale of shavings per week, although looking back I wish I'd done a bit more of a bed than that as my mare isn't that keen on weeing on just the mats. My stable always seemed much warmer than those without mats too.
Now I have straw on the mats it costs even less and I can have a couple of inches of bed which my mare seems to prefer. She is out 24/7 at the minute but comes in every night for an hour or so and she does go to the toilet in her stable. Mucking out with straw takes about the same as shavings but that includes swilling down the wet patches with water to prevent getting an ammonia smell (my new stable doesn't drain fantastically and straw is less absorbent than shavings).
The only bad thing I have to say about mine is that they're heavy and a pain to move on your own. It is do-able though.
I got mine from www.equisure.co.uk They come with a 10yr guarantee which I have tested (one came with a tear in it and they sent me a new one no questions asked, and left the torn one too even though it was technically usable).
Yes - I do. I use Equimats. Expensive initially but because the individual mats lock together I can move them on my own if necessary - although it's easier with 2 people. The drainage in Carrie's stable is poor so it's nice to be able to lift the mats and disinfect the floor occasionally.
1) No risk of Carrie damaging herself if she lays down once she has moved the bed around and exposes the concrete as is her want.
2) Quick and easy for me to muck out.
3) Use less bedding - I put a thin layer of shavings over half the mats. I'd got my money back in about six months because I used significantly less shavings.
1) My blue and white cob looks more like a skewbald because she insists on using the dung piles as a poo pillow. Friends with dark coloured horses don't seem to have the same problem - or maybe it's just Carrie.
2) The drain at the back of the stable doesn't work properly and fills up with stagnant water/urine so I do have to lift the mats more than I'd need. Wouldn't be such a problem without the drain!
We use rubber mats, and have had them down for 7 months now and they are fantasic.
Winter beds with Flax-a-bed- on top on a semi-deep litter system works wonders for 3 months, then we lift the bed and relay again. Only using 1/4 bale each week to top up.
Now that summer is here, charlie & Zak (a boxwalker) are out most of the time unles really wet, and I like to give them 1 night a week in which they appreciate for a good lie down and sleep.
In the summer no semi deep litter system, just 1/2 bale on a bed made on 1/2 the rubber matting for them to have a bit of extra something to lie on, but the TB Zak lies straight on the mat withour hesitation.
We are very lucky to have very good draining stables so have not lifting them yet as no nasty smells, they are very durable, reduce the risk of slips and grazes which effect concrete, and the time saved mucking out is invaluable when working full time and caring for them both. The beds appear warmer in winter and both boys are very happy with them, also does not wear out shoes which for the boxwalker is a good thing.
I would want to have my horses on rubber matting whereever I was.
I'm a big fan of rubber mats and will be ordering some for Rio's new stable very shortly, which also has excellent drainage. The main thing for me is the reduced amount of bedding needed and the ease and speed of mucking out. They're also kinder on the horse's legs and back.
The downside is the purchase cost, but I'm sure that'll seem well worthwhile come the middle of winter!
I've had rubber mats for nearly 8 months now, put them down when we moved into our new stables. I use shavings with them but I was already using shavings with Peri anyway. I've more than halved my use of shavings despite having huge loose boxes (12' x 16'). Definitely much warmer as I had to change them into lighter rugs even with a much airier box. I also like the reduced mucking out time and the protection they offer the horse. I got mine from Robinson's, although the mats are actually made by Goodricks in Yorkshire.