Flooring for Horse Breeding Barns
“From the Breeding Shed to the Winner’s Circle, Supporting Champions One Step at a Time”
This is the motto of Abacus Surfaces Inc. and Abacus Sports Installations Ltd. The sister companies produce and install flooring and other surfaces specifically for equines, much of it custom work.
Padenpor is a seamless rubber surface that is popular in top breeding barns and veterinary facilities. The Padenpor flooring system is a permanent, seamless and level surface with slip resistance texture. Abacus invented Padenpor 16 years ago and many thoroughbred breeding barns currently use the product for their floors. The surface can curve up and extend as high as you need. “Twelve feet up the wall,” says Susan Proud. Breeders can also sterilize entire stalls for new occupants. A private study conducted by the University of Colorado at Shadwell Farms found Padenpor surfaces to be 99.9% bacteria-free after a year of use.
Breeding events use the system as well, because its non-slip surface makes the process safer. At Coolmore Farms in Lexington, Kentucky, Padenpor has seen constant use – about 47,000 live covers – since it was installed over eight years ago.
Safety and Durability
According to Susan, the key to its durability is the polyurethane coating. This coating is highly resistant to urine and protects the rubber padding underneath. “The rubber mats are custom-made for individual customers,” she says. “They can be as thick as you want.”
Safety has made the system attractive to medical facilities as well. The veterinary schools at Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Tennessee all use Padenpor flooring. Manufactured by Abacus Sports, the product is available in 15 standard colors and has about a month lead-time between order and installation. It's based on a product originally developed as a surface for gym floors by Susan’s husband, Spencer. A local horse owner saw the installation at the University of Kentucky and asked “'Can you do that for my horse?'”, says Susan. The equine flooring business took off from there.
Susan has been a lifelong horse-lover and currently has 22 horses at her farm, including her own and boarders. There are Morgans, Arabs, Paints, Thoroughbreds, and Quarter Horses. Susan rides many regularly, but she also loves to just “drive by and see them galloping.” Her herd is housed in a “160-year-old cattle barn.” When she renovated the barn, Susan did her own research on surfaces and “tried every stall mat out there.” The product that she found to be the best is now offered by Abacus Surfaces. It can be ordered in bulk, and is cheaper to ship than directly from the manufacturer. The mats come with a 12 year warranty.
Abacus Surfaces also supplies excellent rubber pavers, called Pavesafe. These pavers “lock in nicely, so they don’t shift,” says Susan. They have been installed in many race track aisle-ways, washrooms, and winner’s circles around the U.S. Churchill Downs installed the pavers 15 years ago and during a recent renovation, simply moved them around because there was no need to replace them. As an additional feature, the pavers are so flat you can drive a tractor over them, and the company has installed them in driveways. Pavesafe make their pavers from 100% recycled rubber from car and plane tires. Because of their high rubber content, they expand and contract, which allows them to be resistant to extreme temperature changes.