Home Health & Care Our Choice for Stall Mats is Stall Savers

Our Choice for Stall Mats is Stall Savers

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If you’ve ever searched for stall mats or liners for your barn, you know how overwhelming it can be.

When my family was building a barn and it came time to shop for stall mats, we found the choices to be very diverse. We were methodical and thorough in our search, compiling a list of the things that were important to us as we began ordering catalogs and samples from every conceivable stall mat manufacturer.

stall-mats

Our criteria were as follows:

  • Durability – Horses are notoriously destructive and mischievous. We wanted a product that would hold up to their shenanigans. We also wanted something that wouldn’t have to be replaced in a few months with very light use.  There are rubber mats, recycled mats, and a dizzying array of everything in between.

 

  • Drainage – We didn’t want our horses standing in pools of urine, so finding a mat that allowed for proper drainage was key.

 

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  • Safety – Slick surfaces in stalls are dangerous for horses, riders, grooms, and the individuals cleaning the stalls. A non-slick surface was a priority.

 

  • Comfort – A surface that was comfortable for our horses to stand and lay on was also a priority. During the winter months when temperatures can drop to -30ºF, our horses are generally in their stalls. Preventing leg injuries and soreness was key. If you’ve had horses for any length of time, you know that standing on surfaces that are too hard for long periods of time can be an issue.

 

  • Affordability – The differences between prices for stall mats are huge! Prices ranged from hundreds to several thousand dollars for our 12 x 12 stalls.  We also wanted a product that would reduce the cost of bedding, if possible.

 

  • Ease of installation – We don’t have a big maintenance crew to help move and install stall mats so we looked for something that was easy to install and maintain.

 

  • Ease of cleaning – We clean our own stalls and were interested in products that streamlined the process. We didn’t want stall mats that curled as a result of being wet or soiled.

As you can see, our list of requirements was lengthy!

After months of research, we finally made our decision: Stall Savers

Author’s Note: We have received no compensation from Stall Savers and are NOT paid to endorse their products.  This is an unpaid product review based on our personal experience with this product.

stall-mats
Photo: StallSavers.com

What we love about Stall Savers:

Ease of Installation

The product arrived via FedEx. Each mat was individually boxed.  Our stalls are 12′ x 12′ so the boxes were a little longer, but 2 people could easily move them and put them in each stall.

Stall Savers recommended that we have a 2′ x 2′ “leach pit” in the middle of each stall. That was probably the most time-consuming process as we had 6 stalls and incredibly hard soil. We have the 2′ x 2′ leach pit (filled with gravel) in 3 stalls. In the other 3 stalls, we decided to experiment and try a 3′ trench that is 1′ deep, also filled with gravel.  We do notice a little bit of a difference between two installations, however, it’s not much.

To install, you will need a drill, a carpet knife with a sharp blade, and the manufacturer’s instructions regarding what goes under the liner. Getting the stall mats square in each stall took the longest. For consistency purposes, we wanted the amount of material attached to the stall walls to be uniform all around. (Yes, we were a tad bit OCD on that!)

Safety

Stall Savers come in two finishes: standard which is smooth and textured which has just a little bit of a rough texture to prevent slipping.We chose the textured finished and love it because our horses (and the people who care for them) do not slip.

Drainage

Urine does not pool up on these mats! We followed the manufacturer’s instructions (with the exception of our experimentation on leach pits as noted above) and have a solid dirt/clay base that is topped with 6 inches of a combination of limestone and crushed stone.  The drainage is great and we have had not noticed any massive pooling of urine because it simply flows through the liner.  With the drainage, the ammonia smell has been kept to a minimum.

Durability

Our horses were in their stalls a great deal for the first winter with these liners.  There are NO tears, no rips, no curling up (because it’s all one solid piece of material), and no noticeable signs of wear. The liner has not pulled away from the stall walls. We have several horses who are really ‘hard’ on their stalls but you couldn’t tell it by looking at these liners.

Comfort

Our horses have had NO leg or body soreness/issues at all.     They aren’t super soft but they aren’t like standing on concrete either and our horses seem very comfortable standing in their stalls.

Ease of Cleaning

We are no longer dealing with mats that are curling, peeling, or come out of place. This has reduced the time it takes us to clean stalls, and in addition, we are using less bedding because the drainage is really terrific.

Affordability

Compared to the other mats and liners we looked at, Stall Savers fell in the middle of the typical price range. We ordered the 13′ x 13′ liners for our 12′ x 12′ stalls, which both we and the manufacturer recommend.  These liners are screwed to the stall walls, so it’s important that you order a liner that’s larger than your stall.

The total cost for our liner was about $250 per stall. Stall Savers also recommend using a good amount of bedding (6-8″). This may seem like a lot, but the more bedding you have, the less often you have to clean. This proved to be true despite our initial skepticism!

We give Stall Savers an “A” rating!

Our horses are comfortable and they haven’t been able to wreak havoc with these liners! The material is easy to clean and saves us on bedding costs while reducing the smell of ammonia.

For more information on these liners, visit StallSavers.com or give them a call. We also found their Customer Service people very helpful and friendly which was another bonus!

 

This post originally appeared on January 30, 2018. Updated on July 24, 2020.

11 COMMENTS

    • Hi Karlie!

      We use small pellet wood shavings in our stalls. We have found the stalls are easier to clean and (knock on wood) we have not had any rips, tears, perforations or pulling away from the stall walls in the entire time we’ve had them installed. With the bad winter we’re having here in Iowa, our horses have spent more time than usual in their stalls. We find we don’t have to use as much bedding as we previously did and the bedding does seem to stay drier between stall cleanings.

  1. Cindy,

    Thanks so much for this helpful article. I am considering using them for a large boarding facility in Wellington (60 stalls). Our natural base is fine sand. A friend used the GGT version of these (Polysols) and had multiple instances of tears from pawing. Have you had any trouble at all with this? And what would you recommend as a base on top of the naturally draining sand?

    Jane

    • Hi Jane!

      I’m glad you found the article helpful! We have had NO issues with tears from pawing at all. Our natural base wasn’t sand, it was a hard, compact clay that was not going to be good for drainage or for our horses to stand on. We changed our base from clay by removing as much clay as we could (about 8 inches) and we added sand, dirt and lime screetings (which is crushed limestone that’s a little ‘grittier’ than sand). After that was done, we followed the manufacturer’s directions on digging the drainage trench. We filled that trench with gravel and covered the trench with a fine layer of the lime screeting and then the entire floor was covered in sand which we lightly packed, before we installed the mats. We actually packed and gently sloped the sand towards the trench. I was afraid that we’d see rips and/or tears where the gravel drainage trench was in each stall, OR in the corners where I thought the mat material might actually tear away from the wall for some of our horses that paw. None of that ever happened. We use a fine/med wood shaving in our stalls and the drainage is great and so is the comfort for our horses. I do think if the stall mats were pulled too tight OR left too loose during the installation, you could eventually end up with rips or tears. We just placed the mats in the stall (they are easy to handle compared to most), spread them out and made sure there were no wrinkles or too much tension anywhere and then attached to the walls. That’s probably more information than you wanted! Feel free to contact me with any additional questions.

  2. Hi,

    I am wondering if you are still as positive about your Stall Savers mat system? We are just about to build a shelter for my mini’s and I really like the idea of the permeable Stall Saver system. How are yours holding up? What about retained odors? Any concerns? Any positives?
    We do not have harsh winters as far as snow or much freeze, but can get tons of rain. Where our shelter is being built did stay relatively dry when when we had tarps over the area this past spring (while still getting huge WET storms). My minis will not be stalled nightly or such, totally up to them if they choose to go into new shelter, but the do love the protection from the rains as well as from the hot summer sun at times. For mini’s, how deep would you recommend the drainage/leach field be? Look forward to hearing back from you.

  3. Hi…we put crusher run gravel down and sand on top…but everytime it rains the stall floor is wet as the sand is absorbing. Do you think this mat liner would keep wetness from coming up thru and get bedding wet?
    Thx
    Lw

    • Hi Linda! So sorry I haven’t responded until now! Depending on the elevation of your barn/stalls and if these are installed properly (2 foot drainage pit underneath the mats) I would think they would!

  4. Interesting and informative blog. I am very happy to find this blog helpful. I never use this stall mats in my horse stable. But by knowing the amazing features and benefits of this mat, I found this mat is very helpful to me. Apart from safety and easy to installation, this mat also provides drainage options at affordable prices. So, I like this feature the most and that’s why I decide to install this mat in my horse stable and make my horse happy.

  5. Just finding this article as we are looking into stall flooring options for an existing barn. Are you still happy 2 1/2 years later?? Any problems or concerns? Have you used the pine pellet bedding with this?
    Thanks!

  6. I’ve had stall savers for 4 years now. At first they drained well,then over time the areas where the animals pee become clogged and will not drain.I’ve tried everything from dawn to urine dissolver with no affect. I have at least a 6″ base of gravel with a perimeter drain around the barn leading to a sump.When I lift the stallsavers and pour water on the gravel it drains fine. When I pour it on the stallsaver it does not drain. Contacted the seller and they claim no one else has this issue? Anyone have a solution.

  7. Can you be more specific when you say limestone and crushed stone as your base? We have pretty good draining soil, I did the leech pit with larger limestone (2b or 3/4 inch) and 6 inches of rice limestone (1/4 inch) under my stall saveras the company recommends smaller stones. We just put it in 2 months ago and have areas that aren’t draining well- when I took up the stall saver, the small stones are packed together it’s almost like a cement in the areas where she pees. I do sprinkle the PDZ on these spots and not sure if that is contributing to the problem or the stones were just too small. I do love the stall saver mat and want to keep it but wondering what base I should switch to. Thanks

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