Quarter Moon Acres Equine Therapy with Greatmats stall mats

Wisconsin Horses and Volunteers Turning Disabilities into Abilities

Quarter Moon Acres Equine Assisted Therapy Center

Quarter Moon Acres Equine Therapy with Greatmats stall matsPolk County Wisconsin’s first-ever Equine Assisted Therapy Center didn’t just come together by chance. Two of the three founders had been contemplating the idea for many years. For one, it was a childhood dream, and for another, her own experience using horses to cope with disorders led them to help others turn disabilities into abilities.

“Horses helped me through the years,” said Quarter Moon Acres Equine Therapy Center co-founder Patti Andersen. “I have ADD myself. I have massive depression, and the horses themselves have helped me through that.”

Greatmats Interlocking Stall Mat Kits Horse Hooves and Cowboy BootsFellow co-founder Kristi Hart and a childhood friend had worked out plans for a future equine therapy center as pre-teens. That friend passed away far too early, but Kristi never forgot their plan to help others through horses.

In 2014, Patti, who had served as a second mother for Kristi through her teenage years, approached Kristi about opening an equine therapy center on Patti’s farm in rural Amery, Wisconsin. Kristi jumped on the opportunity, moved back to the area, and the duo quickly asked Karole Lee, a boarder at Patti’s farm, to join in the venture.

With all three still working full time jobs, they began offering therapy sessions one day per week in the Spring of 2015 with a crew made entirely of volunteers.

“Our clients range from 6 to 86 and everywhere in between,” Patti said. “Some clients with dementia are the 86 group. And the young ones – many times it’s not an anxiety disorder that they have, it could be just social skills – even at that age – or no core strength, which equine therapy helps with that too.”

The Need for Quality Stall Mats

Greatmats Interlocking Stall Mat Kits Horse Hooves and Cowboy BootsWith the average age of Quarter Moon Acres’ therapy horses being about 17, maintaining their comfort is essential to keeping them ready to serve.

“They’re in stall for quite a bit of the day,” Patti said. “They need some cushion on their feet and under their legs. Without stall mats, we would not be able to do what we do because – No legs on a horse, no feet. No horse, no therapy.”

Kristi pointed out that not all horse stall mats work the same, noting that some of the mats they’ve used have had a tendency to curl, exposing seams, creating a tripping hazard for the horses and making the mucking process more labor intensive than necessary.

“When God created horses, he did not make them the most graceful animals, so if there’s something to get caught on, they will get caught on it,” Patti said.

“We have to have sound horses,” Karole added. “If they aren’t sound, we can’t have them out in the program at all…. They’re not going to be sound if they trip over uneven mats.”

“These horses are our life,” Patti said. “With the mats from Greatmats, they are standing straight and tall.”

Greatmats Rubber Interlocking Stall Mat Kits installedWith Greatmats stall mats, Kristi says they are able to keep their therapy horses comfortable and they’re stalls dry and clean much easier, saving the volunteer QMA staff a lot of time, effort and frustration.

Each rider requires at least three volunteers to help them through each therapy session, so its important for the staff to be able to spend as much of its time as possible focusing on the riders.

The three founders thoroughly enjoy watching the progress their Greatmats Rubber Interlocking Stall Mat Kits installationclients have made over the past three years as well as the reaction on the faces of the clients and their parents as they discover new things about the horses and confidence within themselves.

“Seeing the clients and parents is awesome, but I also think that watching the volunteers that come out here and support us is awesome,” Karole said. “We can’t do this program without them.”

“We’ve seen what horses can do for us, or the people that are close to us, not only physically, but emotionally as well, and we’re lucky enough to have this right at our fingertips,” Kristi said. “So to be able to take what we have and can use every day, and share it with people who don’t … is amazing!”

Patti Andersen, Kristi Hart, Karole Lee
Quarter Moon Acres Equine Therapy Center
Amery WI 54001
For more on this topic please review our Horse Stall Mats product page.
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Gracie Shepherd – Barrel Racer

Portable Horse Stall Mats keep horse healthy for weekly competitions

By Brett Hart

Having ridden horses as long as she’s been able to walk, 16-year-old Virginia barrel racer Gracie Shepherd got her competitive start showing halter horses.

Gracie Shepherd barrel racing horse Greatmats

”I’ve only been barrel racing a year and that’s a completely different ball game for sure,” Shepherd said. ”I’ve always wanted to barrel race.”

So she jumped in head first and drove 17 hours to Texas to purchase a 4-year-old barrel horse named Rosie.

”A ton of people thought I was crazy for not only going that far, but buying such a young horse,” Shepherd said. ”People always said ‘don’t buy a green horse for a green rider,’ but I’m stubborn and did it anyways. I wanted a horse I could grow and learn with.”

Gracie Shepherd Barrel Racing competition Greatmats”I took matters in my own hands and with God, my horse, and my family I made that dream my reality.”

Now Shepherd competes in a barrel race or rodeo virtually every weekend – sometimes as many as 4 shows in a weekend.

”There are very few weekends that Rosie and I are at home,” Shepherd said.

In her short barrel racing career, Shepherd has gotten the biggest thrills from competing in the Forth Worth Stockyards Championship Rodeo and two trips to the AQHYA Youth Worlds.

”Rosie actually wasn’t far off of placing against the big dogs,” Shepherd said of the Fort Worth Rodeo.

She’s also made the finals a few times at No Bull Barrel Races.

”My biggest accomplishment really is just being where we are within a such short amount of time,” Shepherd said. ”I would’ve never thought we would be where we are in a year.” Gracie Shepherd Barrel Racing Greatmats

Greatmats Portable Horse Stall Mats
With all over her and Rosie’s time on the road, Shepherd discovered found pulling big, heavy stall mats out of her trailer to put in the stalls to be a major inconvenience.

”That was not very easy at all,” she said. ”Those suckers are heavy. I really wanted something just easier to get to her stalls with lots of comfort. A lot of the shows are pavement stalls, so it can make her pretty sore.”

When Rosie was sore, Shepherd she would be stiff in her hind end and wouldn’t perform well.

”Pavement stalls can do that to a horse,” she said.

Then, while looking for stall mats to take to the AQHYA World Show, she came across Greatmats’ Portable Horse Stall Mats.

Gracie Shepherd barrel racing horse on Greatmats Portable Horse Stall Mats

”I love how portable and easy they are to set up.” Shepherd said. ”They don’t take up a lot of space in my trailer. And they are light and easy to get to my stalls at shows.”

Rosie has been happy with the new Greatmats Portable Horse Stall Mats as well.

”She definitely never feels stiff since we’ve used Greatmats, and she performs better since she’s not stiff,” she said.

Pleased with the progress she and Rosie have made with the help of Greatmats, Gracie Shepherd plans to continue chasing her dream.

”We are nowhere near finished yet,” she said. ”I really want to make it to pro rodeo one day and win the AQHYA Youth World.”

”I’d like to personally thank Greatmats for joining Rosie and my journey,” Shepherd said. ”Traveling down the roads wouldn’t be as good if we didn’t have them!”

Gracie Shepherd barrel racer with Greatmats Portable Horse Stall Mats
Gracie Shepherd
Glade Spring VA 24340
For more on this topic please review our Horse Stall Mats product page.
Related Product: Portable Horse Stall Mats

Cottonwood Riding Club Loving Interlocking Horse Stall Mats

93-acre Riding Club is Largest Horse Boarding Facility in Colorado

By Brett Hart

Tara Gandomcar-Hieb of Cottonwood Riding Club in Littleton, Colorado, has become a horse stall mat connoisseur of sorts after being in the horse business with her family for the last 35 years.

Cottonwood Riding Club horse boarding logo GreatmatsShe and her sister, Erica, recently took over the family business, the largest boarding facility in the state of Colorado, which is home to more than 170 horses on the riding club’s 93 acres.

”We’re second generation at this barn so a lot of what we’re doing now is updating the barns that were built 25 years ago,” Tara said. ”We’re a large boarding and training facility, so we have two box stalls,” Tara said. ”Those have the old non interlocking mats.”

cottonwoodWhen we revamping the breezeway barn, which has open sides, it discovered Greatmats’ interlocking stall mats.

”There are no shavings allowed in that barn,” Tara said. ”I needed something to protect the horses from laying on the gravel and still not slip around on the ice. The non interlocking mats peel up and curl up the edges, so the horses were tripping and people were tripping.”

They started with updating some 11.5×20 foot stalls with custom cut interlocking horse stall mats from Greatmats.

”I love the interlocking mats,” Tara said, which led her to use them again when they built a new barn in 2016. ”It’s easier for my guys to clean. It’s better for the ladies walking around. The horses – they’re not tripping and have less thrush and foot issues.”

Cottonwood Riding Club horse boarding GreatmatsNow, with four barns, Cottonwood Riding Club has equipped its newest 23-stall barn with a 12×12-foot mat stall mat system over chip gravel.

”Every stall has it’s own little drainage system,” Tara said, noting that the cleanliness of her facility is one of the reasons its become the most popular boarding facility in the state. Adding the interlocking stall mats has helped keep the reputation in order.

”Before, the stalls were not completely matted – Mats in front and dirt in the back.” Tara said. ”That definitely made that barn more sellable. Having the horses on a completely matted surface. It just looks cleaner so it’s more appealing. … Shavings and dirt and everything get underneath the corners of the non interlocking mats.

Tara Gandomcar Hieb owner of Cottonwood Riding Club horse boarding GreatmatsAnother big selling point for Gandomcar-Hieb was the fact that the Greatmats stall mats came with 12 year warranty.

”It was a dollar per square foot more expensive than the non interlocking mat, but worth the expense in the long run,” Tara said. ”It’s nice to have the new technology.”

”Our first barn was sort of the test for it and we’ve definitely noticed that that is an easier situation,” she added. ”You can go to a feed store and get mats that are a dollar a square foot cheaper, but you’re going to be fiddling around with it every year. It’s less labor. Labor is time and time is money.”

home gym
To learn more about Cottonwood Ride Club, read this article published in the Littleton Independent or visit its website.

Tara Gandomcar-Hieb
Cottonwood Riding Club
Littleton CO 80125
For more on this topic please review our Horse Stall Mats product page.

Horse Stall Mats

Is it a daily challenge to keep your horses and stables clean?  It might be time to consider horse stall mats.  Mats are great for keeping stalls and flooring neat and clean, even when it’s raining and sloppy outside.  Unlike dirt and other natural bedding, mats can be quickly hosed off and will dry quickly.  Mats also prevent horses from digging up the dirt and making a mess while still providing a softer standing surface than concrete. 

Our mats for horses are the best mats available on the market today and we provide them at competitive prices.  American made, these tight fitting, interlocking rubber tiles, are precision cut with a water jet.  This ensures a perfect installation every time no matter how unorthodox your facility may be.  The interlocking edges keep your floor from sliding around and making an unsafe environment for your horses.  Also, unlike less expensive “floating” mats, the interlocking design keeps dirt from getting underneath the edges.  Once dirt gets under the edges of cheaper mats, the edges begin to curl up creating a tripping hazard and an ongoing cleaning project that most people would just as soon avoid.

Our horse stall mat kits are made of the best recycled rubber on the market and come with a 10 year warranty against manufacturing defects.  They are designed to last for 20 years under normal equine use.  They are great for a number of applications including horse stalls, wash areas, aisleways, foaling stalls, semen collecting stalls, trailer floors, and grooming areas.  All horse mats come with a flat bottom and diamond-top surface that provides comfort and stability for you and your animals.  They are remarkably easy to install and require no adhesive.

Horse stall kits come in three different sizes: 10×10, 10×12, and 12×12.  Each mat is 4×6 and weighs 100 lbs.

Contact Greatmats at http://www.greatmats.com – 877-822-6622.