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Report, 1998

Golv i häststallar

Jönsson, Rebecka


The design of floors in horse stables is a compromise. On one hand it shou1dn’t be slippery for horses or people and on the other hand it should be easy to clean. These two requirements often contradict each other. The flooring should also be cheap and durable. The most common flooring in horse stables is concrete. The concrete slab for the house is then used as flooring. There are some stables with alternative flooring such as wood, asphalt, shavings, sand, pavement stones or epoxy/sand-mixtures. The purpose of this study was to compare different floorings from a friction point of view. The study was carried out by visiting stables in Sweden and Ireland and measuring the friction on 20 Swedish stable-floors. Before the measurements started, a method was developed that was easy to use in the field. The method that has been used for the friction measurements is based on the measuring of sliding distance. A block of wood, with a horse-shoe nailed or glued to it, slides down a chute and out on the floor. The distance it slides varies depending on the friction of the flooring. The equipment is easy to use and to transport from stable to stable. To test the methods reliability it was compared to the method used by Hörndahl (1995) in the study "Wearing quality and prevention of slipperiness on solid floors in animal houses". One of the limitations with the method is that it can only be used on hard surfaces. The abrasive properties of the floors has also been measured in order to see if it can be related to the friction. The measuring were carried out by dragging a block of plaster over the floors. By weighing the block before and after the drag test, the degree of abrasion can be determined. The more weight-loss - the more abrasive is the floor. Different floorings have been compared from a friction point of view. Other parameters such as price or hygiene qualities have not been considered. The measurements were carried out in 20 stables in Skåne, Östergotland and Uppland in 1996-1997. The results show that the concrete floors are most slippery. The epoxy/sand-floors showed the best results. There are many varieties of epoxy/sand-floors and this study only includes two of them. Therefore it isn’t possible to say that they are generally good but it is possible to make good floorings from epoxy/sand, for example the flooring in some of the aisles of the clinical centre of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Measurements of the abrasive properties did not show a strong correlation with the friction measurements, It seems as if the correlation is weaker on the less slippery floors. This could be explained by the different ways in which a floor can be slip-resistant. They can be soft like the wooden floors or they can have more or less sharp structures and this is why the weight-loss of the plaster-blocks are varying. A slippery floor on the other hand is hard and even and the plaster-blocks don’t loose much weight. During the visits floors made of shavings, sand, rubber, concrete with stones in it and different kinds of urine drainage in horse-boxes were studied. Aisles with shavings or sand are skid resistant and sound-absorbing but they demand more maintenance then hard surfaces. There are rubber floorings that are skid resistant and sound-absorbing but generally they are expensive. To be able to say which floor is the most skid resistant more tests need to be carried out. The floors in this study are of different ages and the amount of "horse-traffic" varies considerably between them. Newly laid floors of the different materials would have to be tested and re-tested after being exposed to the same wearing. One should also test how the different materials are affected by dirt and moisture. Stable floors are often both dirty and wet and it is important that they are skid resistant all the time. The used friction measuring method should be tested further to se if the results are affected by e.g. air temperature or atmospheric humidity. Another question that needs to be answered is how soft the floorings can be without the friction measuring method giving the wrong results. The wooden floors in this study are probably a borderline case. Since they are a bit deformed when a horse step on them the risk of slipping is decreased. A floor that is skid resistant for horses with shoes does not necessarily have to be skid resistant for horses without shoes. A hoof without a shoe can be deformed and thereby interact with grooves or other irregularities in the floor. A shod hoof will slide over the grooves.


Horses; floors; material; abrasive; material; skid; friction

Published in

Rapport - Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för lantbruksteknik
Publisher: Institutionen för lantbruksteknik, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet

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