StallSkins Permeable stall liners
What are they? How do they work? Are they better than rubber mats? Do I need them in my stalls? Will they hold up? Are they worth the $?
After years of experience with Stalls Skins, I'm filling you in on everything you need to know decide if they are right for your horse.
After using Stall Skins geotextile stall liners for the past seven years both in stalls and in run-in shelters I wanted to fill you in on them so you can decide if they will are a good option for your barn.
Stall Skins are a water permeable thick felt like material. They can be cut to the size of your stall or shelter and attach to the walls to stay in place. I put together a pros and cons list to give you an idea of how they hold up compared to rubber mats. Check it out and decide for yourself if they are an option for your stalls.
The biggest benefit of stall liners is that they don’t shift around like traditional rubber stall mats. Because they are installed as one large piece of geotextile material that gets attached to the stall walls they never have that annoying edge that won’t stay down because shavings keep getting stuck under it like you get with stall mats. You will not be battling with pulling mats out, leveling the footing, and then putting the mats back in only to have them buckling all over within a weeks time.
To put a stall liner in a 12×12 stall it is more expensive than doing basic rubber mats. But you will save some money on bedding and time not having to pull the mats out to try getting them to lay flat after bedding gets under them.
They are lightweight so installation is fairly easy compared to heavy stall mats. The only tools that are required are a power drill and a utility knife. The trickiest part is getting the mat lined up straight to attach the first side. Once you have it started it’s very easy to just work your way around the stall. Cutting around posts or doorways is much easier than with rubber mats too
Stall liners don’t last forever. If you have a horse that paces, paws excessively or wears trail shoes or studded shoes they will wear out fast so I would not recommend them for those situations. We replaced a few after about five years of use when they got small rips in them. Even with the rips, they are still useable but get annoying when the apple fork tines get caught in them.
Geotextile is water permeable so some of the urine will drain through them which saves on bedding. Keeping your stalls dry can also be beneficial for preventing hoof issues.
You need to be sure to put the right footing material beneath them or they will not drain well. We have had a bit of difficulty with this and have had to do some trial and error. They work similarly to how a leach field drains. They are also not likely to stay dry if your stalls are in an area that has soil with poor drainage so you may want to consider other options if that’s the case.
Rubber mulch can be layered underneath them to give added support and cushioning to your horse. For horses that have joint issues or a being stalled for recovery/supportive care, this can be very beneficial.
If the footings underneath them shift you have to detach the liners from the stall walls to smooth them back out or be okay with the floor not being perfectly level. Again this goes back to what type of prep work you did before installation as to how much maintenance they will require to keep the footing level.
Since Stall Skins are permeable they can be deodorized by pouring a liquid odor neutralizer on them. This can help with smells that may be in the geotextile mat and under the mat in the footings. We use odor neutralizer every day when we clean and I like the idea that it’s going through the mat to take care of the ammonia beneath it.
Overall I’m glad we have our stalls lined and prefer cleaning stalls with them vs rubber mats. I do wish they were a bit sturdier and it was easier to get the drainage just right.
They are still a big step up compared to rubber mats that don’t drain at all and shift around a lot but they do have their drawbacks.
If your thinking of putting them in your stalls but feeling unsure if they will work well feel free to leave your questions in the comments.