I'm looking into buying stall mats for my barn. Can anyone tell me the differences between straight edge vs. interlocking. Both of the mats I'm looking at are 4x6ft and 3/4in thick. Which do you prefer? Why?
Are interlocking mats difficult to put back together if they ever become "unlocked".
I'm also looking into the "SuperStall" system, with foam or crumb rubber under a mat. Does anyone have experience with these?
Straight are a pain and if they ever start have corners coming up, it is an ongoing problem with bedding getting under it and being difficult to get it to set right again.
My interlockings have never come unlocked in 8 years. Love them.
Have one stall with comfort stall. Very nice underfoot. The rubber and foam has held up well, but I think mice have undermined the stone dust that is under the foam rubber because there are some sunken spots now. Would be a major undertaking to address, I'm not sure it could be done without ripping the top. This stall is in a pole barn (no foundation), so the underpart is contiguous with the surrounding earth. Wouldn't do it again unless the barn had a foundation.
Have used both straight edge and interlocking mats ~
I used straight edge mats for years = nice some moving problems with some horses but worth the money if installed correctly ~ IMHO
BUT the "INTERLOCKING MATS" WIN THE BLUE RIBBON !!!! INTERLOCKING MATS ARE EXPENSIVE BUT SUPERIOR TO STRAIGHT EDGE MATS ~ IMHO
The interlocking mats never unlock and make cleaning stalls very easy.
You will like any of the before mentionned mats but if this is long term like forever I would get the interlocking mats... if you are going to move I would get the straigt edge mats and thus you can take them with you...
Good Luck and welcome to the world of stall mats ~
When planning the 'little barn' the interlocking mats were HIGH on my must haves list....I was able to even order them from the company for the full two stalls, so I only had to cut one exterior long side, and one exterior short side to 'fit' exactly edge to edge, and then put the 'interior' wall over top.
I did the same for the 'aisleway' portion and I love them!
"Indecision may or may not be my problem"
There are also stall kits that come in one piece now. So you don't have any seams! Tru-Stall is what they are called. But yes, most prefer interlocking when your using more than one mat together. It's a great question!
I have the interlocking mats in one of my stalls. They went together awesome the first time. Silly me took them out one day (I think I wanted to do something to the floor underneath) and they've never gone back together as well.
I have the straight edge. They were great until we built up one edge of the stall (long story) and had to take the mats out and put them back in. Since then we have to lift some areas and pull shavings out from under the edge. I don't think we would have had this problem if we had never taken them out. I have the thicker (3/4") mats and they don't move much.
And like other posters, I would never want to go back to NO mats, even though my edges lift.
One of these days I'll replace my mats in one stall and go with the interlocking to see if I want to spend the money to re-do the other 3 stalls.
I have the straight edge type but if I ever redo, will go with the interlocking. I just had the straight ones as I'd bought them to use at boarding barns in the past, and since I had them, they went into my stalls at home when we built. The good, old mats are doing great -- the new ones I've bought since then are cheaper made and curl, and I hate them.
My vet put in the one piece mats that someone mentioned and does not recommend them. He's had horses paw through them, and then you are left with a big mat with a hole in it -- easier to have the pieced ones so you can just replace the one damaged, not the whole thing. And moving them...I can't hardly pull the 4x6 ones around, so I'm sure a 12x12 would do me in!
My husband installed straight edges in my barn 8 years ago. They haven't budged and cleaning is easy. Under the mats is screenings, which needed to be carefully levelled in order for the mats to fit perfectly.
I think that preparation of the surface is key to the straight-edged mats working well.
Mats, regardless of edges, makes cleaning stalls so much easier, and the barn never smells of urine.
By the way, one of my horses always kicks the wooden wall of her stall while waiting for her feed. Not at 90 degrees but at 20 degrees. My husband attached one of the matts along the wall and not only did it protect the stall, but damped the sound of the kicking, and eventually disuaded her from kicking!
---Now you're getting into a whole different territory...as in: whats more important to YOU? ..Y'know? Everyone is different.
In my case: I was laying out/designing barn and working with my builder. I wanted (and it was very important to me!) the interlocking mats, and I wanted him to install them at the time of fabricating the stalls, etc. So, thats why I opted for them. My own 'arena' is going to have to double as turn out/grass, so your dilemma isn't one my personal situation would have any bearing on.
I have always boarded, and I wanted mats and a matted aisleway BIG time for my own place. (my current boarding barn is wonderful!! but has dirt/sawdust aisle which I hate) So that was a priority for 'me'.
"Indecision may or may not be my problem"
I have straight edged mats in 2 stalls, and have switched, over the years to Comfort stalls for the other 7. I love the comfort stalls. I have not had any tear (oldest are 10 years old, newest couple are about 4 years old). They provide an impervious surface which prevents urine from getting under. I also breed, and don't have to worry about other fluids (blood/amniotic) leaking under the mats and harbouring bacteria.
My stalls are not perfectly regular (old barn) and though I / my helper was painstaking in cutting the straight edged mats to fit together, with no gaps - there has still been a little shifting, and shavings getting under. When the ground is very wet outside (springthaw or flooding) I see moisture along the cracks between the mats, and can imagine bacteria etc.
No odour with the comfort stalls. Well worth the money. Savings in time/ labour to clean the stalls. Better air for the horses (odour/dust) and less shavings used.
Oh man, if you get the straight edged ones that are heavy enough not to curl or budge...the 3/4 inch or one inch ones, they are heavy heavy- like almost 100 lbs each- I can't move them by myself. OTOH, we put them down 15 years ago over sand and haven't had a problem. The 1/2 inch ones we bought to go down over the concrete aisle also haven't moved and they were way easier to install, but the edges of one have started to curl.
You guys who have the interlocking mats? How hard are they to cut? and how expensive to do a 12 x 12 stall? When we installed our heavy ones, they were a BEAR to get through and took a half hour just to cut one to size.( we had one stall 12 x 14, so we had to cut one mat in two places to fit) But they were pretty cheap- 6 mats at $50 each or $300 a stall.
"The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF