My Journey Finding the Perfect Horse Stall Mats at Tractor Supply

When I decided to build a small barn for my horses, I knew right away that finding the right stall mats would be crucial. As an avid equestrian and horse owner for over 20 years, I’ve tried all kinds of stall surfaces and materials. But horse stall mats from Tractor Supply have become my absolute favorite for durability, value, and ease of care.

After doing tons of research both online and in person, I finally found the perfect stall mats for my barn at my local Tractor Supply store. So I thought I’d share my entire journey and research process in case it helps other horse owners decide what mats are best for their stables and horses!

Size Does Matter When Shopping for Horse Stall Mats

The very first thing I looked at when stall mat shopping was the dimensions. Tractor Supply offers stall mats in the following sizes:

  • 4 ft x 6 ft
  • 4 ft x 8 ft
  • 3 ft x 4 ft

I have 12 ft x 12 ft stalls in my barn, so the 4×8 ft size was ideal to cover the floor space properly. The interlocking design allowed me to seamlessly cover the entire area with two mats.

The 4×6 mats would have required four mats per stall, which wasn’t preferable for my setup. And the 3×4 mats were a bit small for my needs. So double-checking the sizes ahead of time helped me choose the right fit.

Thickness and Density Matter for Durability

Next up was assessing thickness and density. I wanted mats that were thick and dense enough to hold up to constant horse hoof traffic and waste. But I didn’t want anything too thick that would be overly heavy and hard to install.

After comparing options, I settled on the 3/4 inch thick, 100 pound dense rubber mats. I avoided thinner 1/2 inch mats, as well as any low-density, lightweight mats. The 3/4 inch thickness hits the sweet spot between durability and easy handling.

I also steered clear of excessively thick mats over 1 inch since thicker rubber mats are very heavy, making them difficult to transport and install. For my needs, the 3/4 inch thickness was ideal.

Finding the Best Value Horse Stall Mats

Of course, price and value were also important factors during my search. Horse stall mats aren’t cheap, especially when buying enough to outfit multiple stalls.

I looked at mats between $30 to $65 per 4×6 piece at various farm supply stores. The Tractor Supply mats offered the best balance of price per square foot and quality. At around $40 per 4×6 mat, they provided excellent value without sacrificing durability.

Cheaper mats often cut costs by using less dense rubber, while premium mats cost over 50% more without huge quality differences. For barn owners on a budget, the Tractor Supply mats hit the sweet spot for price and performance.

Why Choose Rubber Over Other Stall Mat Materials?

In my experience, rubber is simply the best material for horse stall mats. Options like thick plastic mats or vinyl don’t stand up over time like dense rubber. And concrete or dirt floors require much more bedding and produce excess dust.

The thick rubber mats are heavy duty and dense enough to handle constant horse hoof traffic, waste, and pressure. The material is also naturally slip-resistant when textured properly, even when wet. Plus, thick rubber mats provide cushioning and support for equine joints.

Rubber mats are also waterproof and easy to clean and sanitize. Unlike absorbent wood or cloth mat options, the rubber won’t trap liquids, odors, or bacteria. For horse health and ease of maintenance, rubber is the clear winner.

Researching Popular Brands and Manufacturers

Within the broad category of rubber stall mats, there are still differences in quality between various brands and manufacturers. I researched all the big names during my shopping process.

Popular brands included:

  • Tractor Supply Co. (in-house brand)
  • Diamond Brand
  • Matrax
  • Snug Floor
  • Humane Manufacturing

All make quality mats, but the Tractor Supply Co. brand offered the best value. Their mats provide quality comparable to more premium brands, but at a 10-30% lower price point.

When shopping among all the options and brands, prioritizing reviews and reputation ensured I chose a top-quality product. In this case, Tractor Supply checked every box.

Locking Mat Edges Make Installation a Breeze

One feature that made Tractor Supply’s mats particularly appealing was the patented interlocking edge design. All mats have a tapered male/female edge that securely lock together.

This made installing full wall-to-wall mat coverage in the stalls incredibly easy. I simply pieced the mats together like a puzzle, pressing the edges down until they tightly interlocked. No overlapping seams, gaps, or wiggle room anywhere.

The tight puzzle-like fit also helps keep the mats flat and even. Interlocking edges prevent buckling, curling, or uneven spots across the entire floor space.

Easy DIY installation was a huge perk that cheaper loose-lay mats can’t match. The interlocks make a perfect tight fit every time.

Are the Mats Suitable for Outdoor Stalls Too?

My barn has three interior stalls plus a large outdoor paddock area I also wanted to floor with mats. I wasn’t sure if the Tractor Supply mats were suitable for outdoor use withstand the elements.

After speaking to customer service, I was assured their 100% rubber mats can handle both indoor and outdoor installation. The thick durable rubber retains its slip-resistance and cushioning whether exposed to sun, rain, snow, or moisture.

As long as the subfloor or ground underneath is properly graded and compacted first, the mats perform just as well outdoors as they do inside the barn. Just be sure to buy additional mats for any uncovered exterior areas you want to rubberize.

Cutting Mats to Fit Unique Floor Plans or Layouts

I have one stall in my barn that’s an odd 11 ft x 11 ft size rather than the typical 12×12. I was curious whether I could trim the 4×6 mats to custom fit this unique space.

Customer service informed me that their mats can definitely be cut to size if needed. The most precise cutting is achieved using a qualified professional and industrial grade power tools or a bandsaw. This does void the warranty.

But for simple DIY cuts at home, a utility knife or jigsaw with a rubber blade works fine. Just be sure to take safety precautions and cut evenly and accurately. Custom fitting the mats to one-of-a-kind floor plans is totally doable.

Delivery Options for Large, Heavy Mats

These thick 100 pound rubber mats were not exactly light or easy for me to load solo. So I explored Tractor Supply’s delivery options to see if I could get the mats shipped directly to my property.

Unfortunately, the store only offers delivery on tractor supply or animal feed orders over 1,500 pounds. Large heavy items like stall mats don’t qualify for delivery services unless you meet that product minimum.

That meant I’d have to rent a truck or trailer and wrangle some helper muscles to get these big mats home. Definitely would have been nice if delivery was available, but it motivated me get creative with transport logistics.

Enlisting Helpers and Renting a Truck for Transport

With no delivery option, I needed to figure out vehicle rental and recruit helpers for loading/unloading. None of my family or friends owned a truck, trailer, or van big enough to haul over twenty 4×8 mats.

U-Haul had the best rates for a 15-foot truck with ramp. For help loading and installing the 600+ pound of mats, I hired two handymen with dolly and lifting gear. This allowed me to safely deliver and install the heavy mats in a few hours with minimal lifting.

While definitely a hassle without delivery, it was a pretty smooth process. Having a detailed plan for rental, labor, ramps, and dolly equipment was key. Not the easiest task, but worth the effort to get such great mats home and installed.

Comparing Prices and Finding the Best Tractor Supply Deals

Between different Tractor Supply locations and online vs. in-store pricing, I compared prices carefully to find potential savings. Here’s what I discovered:

  • Online prices were consistently a few dollars higher per mat. In-store pricing offered modest savings.
  • Different stores had minor price fluctuations even on identical SKUs. One location had a temporary 10% off deal that provided the best overall value.
  • Buying in higher quantities (10+ mats for a whole barn) qualified me for additional bulk discounting at checkout.
  • Signing up for their rewards credit card provided an instant sign-up discount that stacked with the other savings.

With a combination of in-store shopping, buyer rewards, bulk discounts, and sale pricing, I ultimately bought my mats for around 15% less than online retail. Finding these savings did require some persistence and shopping savvy.

Installation Best Practices for Optimal Safety and Performance

To get the most out of my new mats in terms of durability, cushioning, and slip-resistance, I followed best practices for installation:

  • Thoroughly cleaned and leveled the subfloor prior to laying mats. Removed all dirt, dust, and debris to prevent buckling.
  • Created a layout plan to ensure mats fit the space efficiently with minimal cutting needed.
  • Used protective kneepads and gloves during the installation process to avoid injuries from handling the heavy mats.
  • Cut any custom mat sizes professionally using power tools for clean, even edges.
  • Tightly interlocked all edges and confirmed full contact between mats. Double checked for gaps where moisture could penetrate.

Adhering to these simple guidelines ensured my mats stayed properly in place for the long haul. Taking the time to correctly install the mats was well worth it.

Caring for and Cleaning Rubber Stall Mats

Maintenance and cleaning are crucial for any stall flooring. Here is my simple process for keeping these rubber mats looking like new:

  • Remove solid waste promptly using a manure fork to prevent stains and odors.
  • Spray mats with a sanitizing disinfectant solution and let soak for 10 minutes.
  • Scrub and squeegee using a stiff bristle brush, scrubbing concentrated in high traffic areas.
  • Rinse mats thoroughly with a hose, being sure to remove all residue.
  • Allow mats to fully dry before returning horses to stalls.
  • Periodically wash mats with a pH neutral cleaner and water using a foaming spray nozzle.

This routine cleaning regimen takes a bit of elbow grease. But it keeps the mats sanitary without using harsh chemicals that could damage the rubber. Consistency is key!

The Perfect Combination of Safety and Cushioning

Above all, I’m thrilled with how safe, supportive, and comfortable these mats are for my horses after hours of use. The inch thickness provides the right mix of cushioning and stability.

The grippy, textured surface also prevents slipping, sliding, injuries, or lost hoof traction. Even when exposed to water or urine, the mats maintain reliable slip resistance to keep horses surefooted. Yet they still absorb impact and relieve pressure on joints.

For high traffic stalls, I feel so much better knowing my horses have this safe, durable cushioning under their hooves whenever they’re in their stalls. Their comfort and wellbeing is my top priority.

No Regrets Choosing Tractor Supply for My Barn Needs

After the time and effort I spent researching, purchasing, and installing these Tractor Supply horse stall mats, I can definitively say they were the right choice.

For an affordable price, these mats check every box:

✅ Durable, heavy-duty rubber construction
✅ Interlocking edges for seamless installation
✅ Cushioned but supportive underfoot
✅ Excellent traction even when wet
✅ Easy to clean and maintain

I have no doubts these mats will stand the test of time even with heavy horse traffic. And the great value makes outfitting multiple stalls achievable for any budget. For phenomenal mats with incredible longevity, Tractor Supply is my go-to. Their stall mat quality and performance simply can’t be beat!

Hello, everyone! I'm David Henry, a dedicated customer and enthusiastic reviewer of Tractor Supply Company. As a farmer and agriculture enthusiast, I frequently visit Tractor Supply Company to explore and purchase a wide range of agricultural supplies, tools, and equipment. Over the years, I have accumulated extensive experience and knowledge in shopping at Tractor Supply Company, and I aim to help others make wiser choices through my sharing. I understand the importance of selecting the right products for farmers, ranchers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. That's why I enjoy sharing my insights and recommendations to assist individuals in finding the best-suited products for their needs. Join me as we embark on a journey of discovering quality products and making informed decisions at Tractor Supply Company. Together, let's enhance our farming and outdoor experiences through valuable insights and practical advice.