We have a concrete base and were looking at Comfort Stall mattresses… with the rubber crumb filled layer… then found the Softstall, which is a layer of foam like a carpet underlay…similar one piece cover. Anyone know about Softstall, is it thick enough over concrete, would you do it again or change anything? one of my stalls is 12x20’ for foaling.
Edit- I went over my stall notes and realized that I have confused stall flooring products. My apologies. I have no positive or negative reviews to provide regarding Softstall:
http://www.softstall.com/index.html but would like to hear from anyone who has used it.
I worked at a farm that had Haygain’s ComfortStall in all the stalls including a foaling stall. They are my favorite mat I have seen.
When I used them, they were about seven years old with no rips, tears, or damage. Each stall did have a huge 8” drain covered with secure cover but I put screens over all of them so the shavings would not go down the drains. They were very soft, the horses loved them. They were easy to clean, the top cover was all one sheet, and there was no wear that I saw on them. They were installed over a poured concrete slab base and went about 6” up the wall with a metal strip over the mat lip/wall junction.
One thing to note is that they are slick when wet so we needed to bed with shavings then lots of straw over the top so babies would not slip. Bedding with just straw left things too wet.
They are advertised as a way to reduce bedding. The barns I know that have them use very little bedding and as a result the stalls are damp and smelly. I am not sure there is really an advantage over well fitting rubber mats. You need to use the same amount of shavings/straw to avoid the swamp effect.
I heard enough poor reviews of Softstall that I bought Stable Comfort instead. I know of Stable Comfort mats that have been in place for about 15 years and still look and feel great. Mine will be delivered Monday.
I assume they adjust to the softness. Our horses will avoid soft ground I guess with the belief they will be eaten up into a bottomless pit … like jumping over a water puddle rather than stomping through since they do not know how deep the water is
Chanter you make a valid point but avoiding soft ground that is wet is very different from avoiding Comfortstall. As long as you use enough bedding you do not have a wet stall and the amount of “give” in the Matt is not extreme enough that I saw horses avoid it as a soft surface. I loved that there was no shifting of mats, no pee getting stuck under a mat seam, and it made power washing the stalls actually doable. That said, I would like to see a comparison of how hard each stall mat system is, how much it depresses, and if it depresses evenly under a foot or the foot rocks at all. I am a huge fan of a soft area to lay down but I am undecided if that is the best surface for a horse to live on if they are mostly in a stall.
George, sounds like you have first hand knowledge of the Soft Stall product? This is a 2" thick composite pad, not the tempurpedic type, right? I am looking at these right now for a purchase and am wondering about the longevity of the top cover with larger horses, warmbloods, friesians, etc. Does the top cover stretch out over time? How long since the install of the ones you are using? Thanks for any feedback on this. Trying to purchase before the end of this year.
Here, might be better if we actually tag that poster, since this thread is 6 months old… @george ?
@lovedressage and @Mossey-2003, Sorry for the lack of reply! I did not see the tag. Stall flooring is a question I am debating for a facility I am involved in advising on. The OP question was a comparison of SoftStall vs. Comfort Stall Mattresses. I am not qualified to offer an opinion on either product since I have not installed or used either product long term. I did think that you might be interested in some of what I had found out about products in this category and would like to hear both of your thoughts as well.
The product I am familiar with was about seven years old, and looked brand new. There was zero stretching, ripping, or tearing of the cover. That product is Haygain’s ComfortStall Flooring System. It is not a “mattress” it is a series of semi rigid foam pieces cut to the stall size then secured with a five layer bonded rubber “sheet.” The result was durable, easy to clean, and worked really well.
One very interesting aspect that I have learned is that Ramm’s ThuroBed Mattress System, is the same product as Tru-step Mattress System by Classic Equine both of which have been re-branded with the permission of the parent company that also offers the SAME product, StableComfort by Promat. These systems also come with an optional 3/4" additional layer of premium pad.
Are you confused yet? I am! Due to the weight of the products, shipping can be significant. Depending on location, it may make sense to go with one distributor or product over another. Some distributors may also “bundle” products together and split shipping so if you are getting new stall fronts and floors, you may need to shop around.
If money were no object, I would go with Haygain’s ComfortStall Flooring System over any of the others because that is what I know. Sitting here, with samples in front of me, and the top layer of the ComfortStall is much thicker and looks more durable then the Stable Comfort/ThuroBed Mattress/Tru-step Mattress. I am also concerned about the long term possibility of grooves forming and creating an uneven surface with the Stable Comfort, something that does not happen with ComfortStalll. I really don’t like the fact that ComfortStall uses no recycled products and I have to give credit to StableComfort for using recycled crumb rubber. My quote for Stable Comfort was almost half what my quote for ComfortStall was, on the other hand, ComfortStall has a warranty of six years and Stable Comfort only has a warranty of three. I have been assured by both companies that they have heard of the products continuing to be defect free after ten or fifteen years. I have asked for the names of barns with longer installations of both products and will let you know if I can find any that have stood the test of time!
One interesting fact Is that both products say that they can be installed over a gravel, crushed rock/decomposed granite base as well as a cement base. While I saw the ComfortStall hold up beautifully installed over a poured concrete slab, I want to see what it looks like after being installed over gravel or decomposed granite. In contrast, I can anticipate Stable Comfort working quite well over a crushed rock base because any of the settling of the product could be better absorbed by the base but I’m not sure how well it holds up when installed over a slab. The distributor assured me that this is a non issue but that some people do install Stable Comfort over several inches of packed sand which I imagine might help to prevent grooves or channels forming in the surface over time.
Finely, a 8” diameter drain cut into the floor of the ComfortStall with a heavy drain guard over it, was totally heat sealed and showed no sign of wear. I want to see how a drain is cut into then sealed on the Stable Comfort. I would love to hear more observations from users on long term durability of any flooring systems.
Really dislike softstall. I do not think it is healthy for horses to stand on uneven surfaces and the things are lumpy and too soft. I also dislike that they are attached to the stall walls, it’s a pain to move or remove them.
Big thumbs down here.
@winter that is a very interesting perspective. I am so glad you brought it up. I agree, horses should not stand on an uneven surface. As I understand it, all these crumb rubber in nylon channel with top cover systems first originated from cow flooring that was adapted for horses. What base were your mats installed over? How many years did you use them before they got lumpy? Did the top covers tear? They are absolutely not designed to be moved once installed so your dislike of moving them does not surprise. What did you replace them with? I have also wondered if it’s great for horses in non therapeutic settings to stand on such a soft surface long term. Could you expand on your thoughts regarding your dislike of too soft a surface? I think it was actually your post I saw about Softstall on another thread that caused me to not even look into them. I do not know what brand these pictures are from but my concern regarding long term durability can be seen in the attached pictures.
Not sure what stall system these pictures are from but whatever one it is I do not like the way these have worn!
I do not have them in my barn, so I can not answer some of your questions but I rode at a barn that had them, they were less than two years old and already lumpy and uneven. Those were installed over concrete. I actually did buy rolls of the top cover and used it to line my stall walls. Works great in that application but has some small tears where horses have kicked it.
All studies show that horses who train (carefully) on hard surfaces have better bone density and long term soundness. They do need a soft place to lie down, but horses are standing, not lying the majority of the time in their stalls. Dairy cows who the softstall were initially designed for spend much more time lying down in their stalls than horses and they are typically in straight stalls, not loose to walk around as they please. I just don’t see the similarity to a stalled horse.
I put EVA mats in my barn. They are softer than the traditional hard rubber mats but flat and firm. They are also an adaptation from the cattle industry but more practical for horses I think. They are going on 7 years old and still look great and have not had any problems. They are over concrete. I would never have a stall floor that wasn’t concrete underneath.
You mean this kind?
Or some others made for horse stalls.
I think Winter has the equimat brand
I looked into getting them for my farm – it’s a super nice product. Just the right amount of cushion and a bit lighter than regular rubber mats (but not so light that they would flip around)
At Winter -
Have you found the EVA mats you installed allow urine to seep under the mats? Or do the interlocking tabs keep it “waterproof”? Did you seal your concrete with anything before installing the EVA Mats? I am about a month or so away from moving my horses home and was looking at the SoftStall product. I have found ComfortStall too soft and the overlayment was not taut and proved cumbersome to muck as tines would catch the material… maybe it was installed incorrectly Dunno. I just don’t want urine to seep under the mats causing bacteria and a nasty clean when the time comes. Where did you purchase your EVA mats? from Equimats?
@ winter: I have been debating on comfortstall vs EVA mats. I will be pouring concrete and would like to know if there is an issue with urine seeping through the interlocking mats? Have you had any other issues? Do you use shavings over the mats? Thanks in advance.
My barn has SoftStall and this is exactly how some of the mats have worn. Today one of the mats was replaced and it was an all day project. The mats have been in place for at least 15 years, so the screws holding the mats in place were rusted.
@ORtrailrider, this is an old thread, and the poster you are replying to hasn’t been active in almost three years. (Just FYI, so you aren’t surprised if/when they don’t respond.)