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Inexpensive mats for stall WALLS of a kicker?

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  • Inexpensive mats for stall WALLS of a kicker?

    I am looking for tough mats that will dampen concussion from wall kicking. Regular rubber mats like you use on the floor don't help much. Maybe I could mount those over something else, somehow??

    I'm eyeing these: http://www.softstall.com/softwall_products.asp, but since I board and will be moving soon I'm not looking to spend so much. I need to do one 10' wall and one 14' wall, and about 4' of height should be adequate.

    I have thought about doubling-up blue folding gym mats and have been unsuccessfully watching Craigslist for those.

    Any suggestions? TIA!
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

  • #2
    If you mount regular stall mats on a board so there is an air gap between mat and wall, that will usually work well. Like run a 2x4 board along the top where you want to mount mat, mat hangs on that. My vet suggested this and while I didn't use it for that horse/barn, I have seen it work for others.


    • #3
      I bought a horse who was a confirmed stall kicker. I was boarding then. The place I boarded had concrete cinder block walls for the stalls. Problem solved. Never ever did she kick again.

      I have not had one since. But I do wonder if I do get another one, maybe the cinder blocks are a good thing. ??


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
        If you mount regular stall mats on a board so there is an air gap between mat and wall, that will usually work well. Like run a 2x4 board along the top where you want to mount mat, mat hangs on that. My vet suggested this and while I didn't use it for that horse/barn, I have seen it work for others.
        That's a very interesting idea. I'll have to see if that might work here. The other issue is that he falls when he falls asleep, so I have to be a bit careful about things "sticking out".

        He's an anxious/neurotic kicker, so I think he'd "happily" bash his leg on cinderblock :-/
        As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


        • #5
          My mare (the kicker) was not deterred by the cinder block wall in her stall. You could see the kick marks in the concrete!

          The 2x4 would only stick out ~1.5" (or whatever the actual dimension of a milled 2x4 is), then the mat on top...not too far, and you hang it so the mat ends up going down to the stall floor. So it might not be too much of a hazard if he falls. Just would be careful about hardware used to attach, so nothing protrudes too much.
          Last edited by horsepoor; May. 12, 2013, 07:57 PM. Reason: Autokorrekt....again!


          • #6
            This reminds me of something that happened to one of my horses, so I hope it works for you too. One of my horses would kick the side of the stall between her stall and my other horse's stall, only at feeding time. And her feeder was on the side opposite that wall. So, the BO put one of the stall mats, also known as the heavy roller mats that are cut and used in some barns, up on that one wall.

            My mare never kicked the wall again. Apparently she enjoyed the sound of her hooves on wood, but didn't like the muted sound of hooves on rubber.

            So tack something rubber up there and hope that it works as it did with my mare. Oh yes, for then on, at every other barn, she did not kick the wall between her stall and my other horse.

            I would think that gym mats would be just as good as the rubber mats. Those old heavy ones from industrial roller lines are tough and last forever.


            • #7
              Hanging a mat a few inches from wall works great but you probably need something bigger than a 2 x4- the mats are very heavy.
              We used a 2x6- hung wall to wall (made wooden support each end on walls to hang it from. When that horse left, it was simple to remove it. We hung the mats at a level where the bottom of mat was a few inches off the floor.


              • #8
                I used the soft stall covering carpet mat and put it on the wall with an air pocket behind. However we did it 4 1/2 feet up the wall and have a 17.1 hh 3 yr old that has broken the boards above that. Other than her it worked well.


                • #9
                  Since you say you are moving soon- I'd want something really low cost- I wonder if carpet remnants + airspace gap might work. I'd think you could screw it into a 2x4 or sandwich the top edge between 2 2x4s and then hang the wood bar (with rope) from the top edge of the stall wall (assuming there are divider bars?) It would keep you from having to put a lot of hardware into someone else's stall walls. I don't know if a horse would chew on the carpet for fun- maybe if it was turned so the fuzzy side was in it wouldn't be so inviting.

                  You could probably find carpet strips leftover from business instalations from a contractor on craigslist.


                  • #10
                    Have you thought of trying kicking chains? You have to put them on and off daily, but are a pretty easy, inexpensive solution. They are horse activated, do nothing but tickle the leg if horse is not kicking to snap them.

                    They DO work, seldom takes a horse more than a couple kicks to "get it" and start revising their behavior.


                    • #11
                      If boarding, that might be a nuisance for BO/BM.


                      • #12
                        Someone on our local Kijiji (Cdn version of Craigslist..sorta..) was selling used mats from a dairy barn for $35 each. They were about 4x6 feet in size, very heavy duty fabric over crumb rubber. There were "channels" filled with crumb rubber. I thought about them for stall mats but then decided they would move too much underfoot to be safe.

                        Too far away to be of use to you but maybe look for something similar in your area?


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by Mozart View Post
                          Someone on our local Kijiji (Cdn version of Craigslist..sorta..) was selling used mats from a dairy barn for $35 each. They were about 4x6 feet in size, very heavy duty fabric over crumb rubber. There were "channels" filled with crumb rubber. I thought about them for stall mats but then decided they would move too much underfoot to be safe.

                          Too far away to be of use to you but maybe look for something similar in your area?
                          Those would be PERFECT. I know exactly what you are talking about. Stable Comfort mats are similar, with a smooth layer of rubber that goes over the top. I will definitely add those to my search.

                          Unfortunately there are too many things in the stall he could get kicking chains caught in (mostly spaces between boards that taper and narrow). That wouldn't end well.

                          I think the carpet idea is interesting, but probabaly too light weight to be used alone. Otherwise I don't think it would slow the kick much. He's a cow-kicker and used short fast rabbit kicks. So. annoying.
                          As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


                          • Original Poster

                            I came upon the idea of using firm foam insulation, like this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Owens-Cor...x#.UZGqKLUqauI
                            Not alone, but perhaps behind a mat (or carpet? Not sure if BO would be OK with carpet....)
                            It could be cut to fit. Is this a dumb idea?
                            As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


                            • #15
                              That crushes, if it is what I'm thinking it is (looks like the same pink foam I used for my laminitic horse, and it smushes and doesn't rebound). I'm not sure it would do any better than just leaving an air gap.


                              • #16
                                The advantage of hanging the mat is that it swings when the horse tries to kick so is not so 'satisfying' for the horse as kicking a solid or semi solid object . If you use insulation you are defeating the purpose of hanging the mat or carpet.


                                • #17
                                  Another idea

                                  I have also seen people use cut up rubber conveyor belts as stall mats, I have no idea where they got them but maybe a Craigslist wanted ad?

                                  Perhaps this has already been tried, but I will toss it out anyway, has it been determined what exactly his "bone of contention" is? Sometimes you just have try out different stall locations until you find a spot that suits him. I used to have a mare that always "kicked" her way to the best real estate in the barn. A stall where she could see what was going on and visit with the humans but did not have to put up with any other horses other than some lowly gelding that would ignore her


                                  • #18
                                    I don't know what you consider inexpensive, but Farmtek has something that would work well, I think. It's their 5x7 Clear Span mat, here:

                                    I have a bunch of these and have been very well pleased. I have a bad back that makes standing on a hard floor in one place extremely painful. These mats have ridges on the back, so they give when you step on them. I've put a piece in front of my sink and can now wash dishes without having to go to bed afterwards. Those ridges would also give give on walls. I've hung them on the walls of my trailer, and they work quite well. You'd probably need four of them. They are also tough. Mine are seven years old and look like new.
                                    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                    Thread killer Extraordinaire


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Viney, those look like standard stall mats, no? I'm not sure that they'd decrease concussion enough.

                                      His trigger is stress. He doesn't like to be stalled, so he weaves and cow kicks the wall when he's worked up. He usually doesn't kick very hard, but every once in a while, he does. The annoying thing is he doesn't usually kick with his hoof; he hits his leg against the wall. If he's stressed about something (and it doesn't take much), he kicks more. Leaving him out isn't a perfect solution, because he falls when he falls asleep and has nearly gone through the fence. He is out 12+ hours a day and worked almost every day. The more he works, even if it isn't real exercise, the better he is.

                                      Thanks for all of the suggestions. Lots of good ideas!
                                      As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


                                      • #20
                                        The reason these mats are different (at least to my eye) is that they are very dense rubber (not foam) and have the 2" wide ribs on the back. So between each rib there is an area that can compress about 1/2 an inch when the top is pressed. I've not seen other stall mats with the ribs on the back, but I haven't seen all that many stall mats.

                                        They weigh a ton, but I can handle them by myself. I could not lift them to attach to walls because of the weight.
                                        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                        Thread killer Extraordinaire