My Epiphany Paradise Farm – Robin Broughton

Portable and Permanent Stall Mats fitting the bill for multiple uses

By Brett Hart

After more than 50 years in the horse industry, ranging from rodeoing to jumping to reining, Robin Broughton, is sharing her paradise with hunter/jumper and dressage horses. My Epiphany Paradise Farm Robin Broughton Greatmats

Her farms, My Epiphany Stables in Wadsworth, Illinois, and My Epiphany Paradise Farm in Kidder, Missouri, offer spaces for retirement and rehabilitation for these equine companions.

The current focus of My Epiphany Paradise Farm, a spinoff of her other farm which was founded in 2004 and focuses on rehab, is being a long-term retirement facility for horses.

My Epiphany Paradise Farm Horse Pasture Greatmats

”Because not all horses are able to be rehabbed due to their injuries, my clients were always asking for referrals to retirement farms for their horses,” Broughton said. ”Many of them had asked why I did not start my own retirement facility. They knew me. They trusted me; and it would be a natural transition for those horses who were unable to make it through rehabilitation at my Illinois farm to transition to a retirement farm owned by me.”

In the spring of 2012, Robin sat down with her parents, Keith and Arlene Wilcox, and came up with a plan to turn their family beef farm into a long-term retirement farm for hunter/jumpers. That September, they opened their gates and formed an LLC with officers that included Robin’s husband, George, and sister, Niki McCabe.

Arlene became the primary caretaker of the horses while Keith handled pasture management and maintenance among other duties. Five years later, My Epiphany Paradise Farm is the home to 30 retirees, ranging from 11 to 33 years of age. Last year, it also began accepting young horses that needed a place to grow up before beginning their performance life.

The Need for Stall Mats
In the early years of My Epiphany Paradise Farm, the crew worked out of an older cattle barn with dirt floors. When Robin began researching portable stall mats online for the limited times in which they would need the barn for veterinary or farrier work, or inclement weather, she kept coming back to Greatmats.com because if its in-depth information and apparent quality.
My Epiphany Paradise Farm Horse Barn Greatmats
As the farm’s popularity grew, Robin decided to build a new barn and arena on the back side of the farm. At that time, she began researching permanent mats and again chose Greatmats, this time going with pre-sized Horse Stall Mat Kits due to their ability to be easily installed over limestone without slipping over time.

My Epiphany Paradise Farm Horse Barn Greatmats Interlocking Horse Stall Mats

”They are built to last, great quality, came numbered so that we just followed the schematic to install,” she said. ”There was no cutting, cursing or overheating in putting them in. … Awesome!”

With her new 3,800-plus square foot barn housing 10 stalls and featuring run-out all-weather paddocks off each stall, Robin plans to move the entire Illinois rehabilitation program to the new barn where the bigger stalls, runs, round pen and additional paddocks will be able to service even more injured horses dealing with suspensories, tendon tears, ligament injuries, etc. And with its new 80×184 foot indoor arena, Robin and her staff can work on the fitness rehabilitation of the horses after they’ve recovered from their injuries.

My Epiphany Paradise Farm Horse Stall Greatmats Horse Stall Mats

With that being said, the retirement program will continue is its current form, only more acreage will be added, bringing the total area of My Epiphany Paradise Farm to 200 acres.

Even with the new permanent mats, Robin is still making use of her Greatmats portable horse stall mats for all the same uses as before, along with entryways on the ground for her living quarter trailers, in her stock trailers for short hauls, and in temporary stalls with concrete floors when she brings her horses to shows.

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Robin Broughton
My Epiphany Paradise Farm, LLC
Kidder MO 64649
For more on this topic please review our Horse Stall Mats product page.
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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.

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

13 Horse Trainers Compete for National Honor

Greatmats National Horse Trainer of the Year LogoMilltown, WI – They come from all different walks of life, but something these 13 horse trainers have in common is the fact that they are making a positive impact in their communities through their work with horses and beyond.

The following 13 horse trainers, representing 10 different states, have been nominated for the honor of National Horse Trainer of the Year, and award presented annually by Greatmats.

From Nov. 16 to 30, 2017, voting will be open to the public on Greatmats Facebook page as it weighs in on which two trainers will be named finalists for the award. The winner will receive horse stall mats, or a cash option, from Greatmats, which is in its third year of hosting the contest.

This year’s nominees are as follows.

 

California

Ashley Salter of iRide4U in Santa Ynez

Colorado

Justin Dunn of Justin Dunn Horesemanship in Guffey

Frances Carbonnel of Mariah Farms in Castle Rock

Kentucky

Kelly Murphy-Alley of Striking KMA Performance Horses in Willmore

Beth Harris of Walnut Way Farm in Simpsonville

Michigan

Bill Brown of Chase Lake Equestrian Center in Fowlerville

North Carolina

TR Potts of Potts Performance Horses in Fountain In

Tennessee

Chrystal Crispin of Crispin Unlimited in Jonesborough

Texas

Jeremy Dull of Jeremy Dull Horsemanship in Hempstead

West Virginia

Mike Hurst of Mike Hurst Horsemanship in Philippi

Wisconsin

Sharlyn Fellenz of Mytalisha’s Dream Riding Center in Eau Claire

Bryanna Larson of Pony Tales Refuge and Rehab in Colfax

 

Learn more about the 2017 National Horse Trainer of the Year Award and how to vote for your favorite trainer at https://www.greatmats.com/horse-stall-mats/greatmats-annual-national-horse-trainer-of-the-year-contest.php

As part of its 3rd annnual National Award Series, Greatmats is also presenting awards to to Martial Arts Instructors, Cheerleading Coaches, Personal Trainers, Dog Trainers and Dance Instructors. Learn more about the National Award Series at https://www.greatmats.com/greatmats-national-instructor-of-the-year-awards-series.php.

Why the fuss over stall flooring? How comfortable are you sleeping in your bathroom?

Horse stall floor

Horse stall flooring can make a world of difference in health and happiness of your equine companion.

Sure, you can get by with topsoil, clay, sand, concrete or even asphalt as the flooring surface for your horse stalls. But don’t you think your equine companion deserves better? You want your horses in the right state of mind and physical condition when you ask them to carry you down the trail, in a competition or even in a parade. Making them comfortable (and healthy) in the barn can make a world of difference, and it starts with good flooring – in their stalls and even aisles and wash bays.

An ideal horse stall floor should be durable, easy on the horses’ feet and legs, dry, odor resistant, skid resistant, low maintenance and easy to clean.

When you consider that a 1,000 pound horse produces more than 30 pounds of feces and almost 2 ½ gallons of urine each day, “dry and clean” can be tricky to maintain. That’s where proper drainage and floor surfacing can play a big role. Water resistant or waterproof floors must be sloped to allow for drainage, and bedding is often used to soak up the rest of the urine. Porous floors allow the urine to seep away through a sand, gravel or crushed stone foundation.

Rubber or plastic grid mats, while expensive, provide all of the necessary requirements when used in conjunction with a compacted subfloor and topped with another material such as soil. This combination allows for drainage, prevents damage and wear from pawing and will not retain bacteria-laden odors that can cause respiratory problems in horses.

Impervious stall flooring

temporary interlocking rubber horse stall mat

Interlocking edges help keep stall mats in place – even during temporary installations.

If you don’t have the funds to create this complex, but highly effective, stall flooring system, rubber stall mats may just be your answer. Solid rubber mats are extremely durable and can reduce or even eliminate the need for bedding to provide cushion. They also provide solid footing, a long life span, low maintenance and easy cleaning. Installed over an even, compact surface, rubber horse stall mats should be textured on top for grip and grooved on the bottom to prevent moisture from becoming trapped. They can have straight or interlocking edges, but keep in mind that straight-edged mats may be difficult to keep in place and may need to be anchored to the floor. Rubber stall mats are easy to clean, but take care not to damage the surface if using a pitch fork.

Other solid surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt are durable, low maintenance, easy to clean and disinfect and will not retain odors. However, they are hard on the horses legs, can retain moisture and may discourage laying down, therefore, increasing the need for bedding or rubber matting. Improper installation can cause cracking, chipping and sanitation problems due to urine getting trapped in surface irregularities. They do add a unique benefit in that, in good condition, they are rodent proof.

Porous stall flooring

Porous flooring materials such as topsoil, clay and sand are easy on the legs and are non slip, but lack durability and can be hard to clean, disinfect and maintain. Each of these flooring solutions need to be replaced frequently, offsetting the initial benefit of low pricing. While topsoil and sand can absorb wetness, clay is questionable in that category. Although topsoil and clay do absorb moisture, they can also retain it too long and may freeze hard during the winter. Sand and clay both serve as noise buffers but vary greatly on their effects on horse feet. Clay keeps hooves moist while sand has a drying effect.

Two other common flooring options for horse stalls are wood and a road base mix. Wood is easy on the legs and warm to lie upon. Rough wood has good traction but can become slippery when wet. It also has a high initial expense, can be prone to insect and rodent damage and must be checked often for signs of wear. Wood absorbs odors and bacteria and is difficult to clean due to its porosity.

Road base mixes vary greatly in size of particles, but are generally made primarily of limestone or granite – the smaller the rocks the better. It is easily leveled and compacted and provides good drainage, but can become hard and unforgiving much like concrete.

Aisle flooring

rubber brick paver for horse barn aisles

Rubber brick pavers make are a stylish solution for alleyways at equine facilities.

Your horses’ comfort and safety doesn’t stop at the stall. It extends to the barn alleys and wash areas and, depending on the layout of your barn, may even include the feed and tack rooms. Much like the stalls, aisles should be durable, dry, skidproof and easy to clean. Wide aisles used for exercising horses should have a sandy footing much like that of a riding arena. Smaller aisles, where horses are simply walked to and from their stalls should be treated much like the stalls themselves. The exception is, alleyway floors should always redirect water instead of absorbing. Sloping is critical and drains are recommended along the sides. Once again, grid mats are a top choice if you can afford it. Another strong option for aisles are rubber paving bricks, which provide excellent shock absorption and make it easy to control dust and bacteria at a much lower cost than traditional bricks which can retain bacteria. While the aesthetic value of bricks is hard to beat, soil upheaval and/or poor installation of any brick surface can result in a uneven surface and tripping hazards. Solid rubber or rolled rubber mats eliminate the concern over uneven surfaces, assuming they are installed over a properly leveled and compacted surface. All other forms of flooring leave holes in one or more of the essential components of a proper horse barn aisle.

Wash bay flooring

buttontopWhen considering flooring for your equine wash bays, make sure the floor does not get slippery when wet and is impervious to water. Drains and grates are essential. The best wash bay flooring materials are rough concrete, textured rubber mats over concrete, and sealed, large aggregate asphalt. Again, the floor should be sloped toward a drain that is away from where the horse will be standing as drain covers may cause a safety concern.

When it comes to horse stall flooring, you get what you pay for. A little extra investment in time and materials up front can make for a happy and healthy relationship for years to come between you and your horse.

Portable Horse Stall Mats Pebble

Keep your horse stalls cleaner with Pebble Mats from Greatmats.  Where dirt floors get dug up and sloppy, these mats will keep your floor level and easy to clean.  Plus, they provide a comfortable, safer standing environment for your animals.  These super high density EVA foam mats are excellent for both portable stalls and permanent installations. These stall mats are a great alternative to more costly rubber mats.

Greatmats interlocking portable stall mats are the perfect lightweight yet durable solution as horse trailer mats, portable horse stalls, and temporary horse stalls. These mats are designed to withstand years of use under the weight of heavy animals.
Pebble Mats can be used almost anywhere including stalls and aisleways but please note: you will NOT want to expose them to direct sunlight for any length of time.  That’s because the foam will expand and contract with direct sunlight or significant humidity changes.
These horse stall mats are waterproof and simple to clean.  Hose them off and you’re good to go.  They are safe for your horses because they are lead and latex free.  They also provide excellent traction for you and the animals.  They are lightweight and easy to install and have absolutely no odor.
Each mat measures 2×2’.   Interlocking edge design allows for easy installation with no glue or tape.   They come with a one-year warranty. 


If this particular stall mat is not perfect for your application, please consider one of our other mats.   We also offer horse stall mats in interlocking rubber tiles and offer rubber by the roll.
Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.

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.