The Fieldguard M2 – a stable mat worth waiting for

Fieldguard are very pleased to announce that after a four year break, the wonderful and unique complete horse bedding mat, the M2, will be returning to our catalogue very soon. The first shipment left India last week, and should be in our warehouse by the end of August.

The mat is unique because it is the only mat ever to be developed quite specifically as a complete bed mat, with instant and total draining properties. A urinating horse produces around 10-15 litres of liquid and with this mat it is gone within seconds, like water down a plug hole, leaving just a damp patch on the surface. The mats are small and easily handled. They stand on extended legs so each mat can cover enormous quantities of liquid. They are vulcanised to a specific level of hardness that is firm underfoot but soft enough not to bruise a horse’s ribs when lying down. Horses happily lie on them for extended periods, rather than the usual 20 minutes.

Their development started in 1990 and it took three years to get both the design and type of compound right. Happily, the right compound was available in large quantities, for it was the detritus of the compound used in the manufacture of hard wearing car tyres, whose only other outlet was in the manufacture of deep sea trawler net bobbins.

Fieldguard began development of the M2 in 1990, with large inputs from the veterinary profession, and The Pelters Company, a long established manufacturer of net bobbins. It took three years to get both the design and type of compound right and the resulting mat was patented in 1993. Little did we realise that 20 years later that patent was to be their saviour.

The mat proved a sensation. It was half the price of any other stable mat and worked twice as well, covering all the necessities for the perfect stable bed, and requiring no other bedding whatsoever.

Fieldguard Stable Mats have proved a perfect long term drainage solution for my horses and worth every penny if you are a working rider!!

Liz MossopStable Owner, Nottinghamshire

However, every silver lining has a cloud somewhere and the Achilles heel was that it had to be made to very precise tolerances; otherwise the draining and locking systems didn’t work. Any variation of compound or vulcanising time resulted in a non-working mat, or at least, a mat that didn’t work quite so well.

The mats are small with broad drain channels across and liquids go down them to the edge where they fall through a small 2mm gap between the mats. Thereafter it drains away under the mat, so obviating all smells from the stable. Within 30 seconds of urinating the bed is clear of all liquid save a damp surface patch that dries within minutes.

As tyre manufacturers moved away from expensive natural rubber to a petroleum based product so the compound became increasingly difficult to source. The petroleum based product did not have the required properties to ensure an even draining gap between the mats. It also proved erratic to vulcanise to the specific hardness and that had an adverse effect on the locking system, The Pelters Company were forced to specifically commission virgin latex compounds at great cost.

The attrition in the UK fishing fleets due to EU regulations also robbed The Pelters Company of their main markets and in 2012 they closed, selling all their presses and moulds to a Belgian company who manufactured rubber products in Poland. Before closing they made quite a large number to tide us over the change in manufacturer. In the event the new company proved unable to produce the mats to a reasonable standard, and were disinclined to produce at any price.

We thought that to be the end of our lovely mat as we didn’t have any contacts with the Pelters people outside of work. However there was one sliver of hope. One of the staff had bought fencing from us many years previously and their address was still on our data base. We wrote. The response was positive. We were now in contact with the ex-Company Secretary and the Product Manager.

Our Indian supply factory felt that if we could supply all the relevant information they may be able to produce the mat. There were no engineering drawings, until the Company Secretary remembered that there were some less precise ones with the original patent application and those she had, together with all the company papers, in boxes in her garage. They were found and from them the ex-Product manager was able to produce precise working drawings. Luckily he also remembered the exact specifications of the compound and the optimum vulcanising time and temperature.

Our Indian suppliers produced CAD working drawings very quickly but the compound defeated them, so they turned to the Rubber Research Institute of India who, after some time, eventually located a rubber producer who could mix the compound.

Fieldguard paid for the milling of new moulds and all was now set for the mat’s re-appearance, albeit with many a slip from mould to physical mat that delayed our re-supply by eighteen months.

It may be a twenty five year old design, but it is tried, tested and obsessively loved by users; to such an extent that there is still a demand for them, even second hand. Our ‘supplies’ over the past three years has been by buying any that become available and selling them onto users. The last of our own stable mats went in December 2015, and they were 17 years old!

With the vast number of mats now available purporting to be ‘stable mats’ it is amazing to think that so revolutionary were the M2 that they accounted for ¾ of all stable mat sales at one time. Their eclipse only came because of the demise of ready supplies of cheap compound useless to anyone else.

Nowadays, stable mats are largely purchased as a sub bed, to still have large quantities of bedding on top – which rather defeats the object of the exercise. Here is one that does it all without the ongoing costs and time consuming effort of supplementary bedding. It does have limitations, for a stable of these mats needs some form of drainage, no matter how rudimentary. In ours, and many other cases, a brick knocked out of the back wall.

Horse bedding mats, Stable Mats
Complete horse bedding mats M2
M2 Complete bedding mat
Read more...

Remedial works at Celia Cross Greyhound Rescue kennels

Immediately outside the kennels is a fenced, grassy slope that comes down to the concrete path beside the kennels. The grassy slope is flint bound, and so cut paw pads was a constant problem when the dogs came out and had a run around.

The slope also used to become waterlogged in the winter, as there was no ultimate drainage due to the low wall splitting the grass and the concrete path.

Four years ago we donated, and laid a series of our honeycomb grass mats M52L to cover the entire grass area. This worked very well at first and the grass growth proved phenomenal considering the destructive force of an accelerating greyhound’s claws.

However, the winter of 2015/16 proved so wet that the collected water under the mats turned the soil into quicksand and the mats sank. We hoped that even then, when the grass started to grow in the spring of 2016, the problem would solve itself. Of course, it didn’t happen for the sunk mats, apart from keeping the soft mud level, were less than useless.

The company donated a pallet of new honeycomb mats and our wonderful staff volunteered to donate their weekend to cure the problem for the kennels. The first task was to lift the lower section of the existing heavy, mud logged mats – using the new Fieldguard Gripper for the first time. It was a baptism of fire, for the mats were both slippery, muddy and exceedingly heavy. The Gripper performed splendidly, once we’d worked out that it needed dunking in a bucket of water between each lift to remove the sticky, slimy mud.

They then dug a trench and laid a French drain between the bottom of the slope and the low wall, levelled it with earth, laid ground stabilisation mesh M9 and dropped the new honeycomb mats on top. The whole pinned down with the metal U pins (M9P).

It was then re-seeded and, notwithstanding the dogs still using it all as their private race track, you can well see the results starting to emerge after just a month of growth.

The kennels are also very happy with the result, for it now means no more mud encased doors and walls from muddy paws and they will soon be looking out on a constantly verdant green area – calling it a lawn would be stretching the point.

We now wait to see how it all fares next winter!!!

Celia Cross Mat Renewal
  • Gripper Mat MoverGripper Mat Mover Tool

    Gripper Mat Mover Tool GR1

    The Gripper mat mover provides an easy and simple way to move, or lift, heavy mats and carpets single handed.

    £16.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
  • Securing U pins

    Securing U pins M9P

    Metal securing U pins for ground stabilisation mesh (M9) (pack of 100).

    £70.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
  • 23mm Heavy Honeycomb mat, grass mats, gravel mats23mm Heavy Honeycomb mat

    23mm Heavy Honeycomb mat SSM52LO

    These heavy honeycomb mats are extremely tough and long lasting. With a 22% greater footprint and being harder than standard mats, they cope better with constant vehicle usage in less muddy conditions, or where sub-strata conditions are bad for animals. They are available in one size; in black or brown.

    £20.25£36.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
  • ground stabilisation mesh

    Ground Stabilisation Mesh M9

    Ground stabilisation mesh makes a perfect reinforcement for grass and embankments or as underlay for honeycomb mats. An open weave green coloured plastic mesh, supplied on a roll of 30m x 2m x 2-3mm (98’ x 6’6”).

    £130.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
Read more...

The Gripper Mat Mover From Fieldguard

The Gripper Mat Mover

The Gripper mat mover provides an easy and simple way to move, or lift, heavy mats and carpets single handed.

The Gripper has a pull strain of 200Kgs, so is capable of moving the heaviest of mats and carpets.

Order yours today direct from our website.

Read more...

Green Gloop – the essential spring cleaning fluid for stables and yards

Now that we are in the final, dreary dog days of winter, most of us are starting to plan for the year ahead.

Very soon stables will be vacated and the annual clean take place. This year we have not only the reliable, and recently enhanced, Green Gloop cleaner, but a new and most useful mat moving product called ‘The Gripper’ that is due very soon.

In 2016 the EU imposed new regulations and restrictions on chemicals used around or with animals. There were also directives on the levels of packaging to make them more ‘child proof’. Green Gloop fell into this category and it had to submit to stringent safety tests. Primarily because it is water based the cleaning fluid passed with not only flying colours but with a commendation that it was safe to use by Veterinary establishments on hard surfaces.

Every silver lining has a cloud, of course, and we were not immune, for the level of concentration of the fluid (why pay to ship water) meant that we had to re-label incorporating vast levels of frightening and unnecessary warnings. This could have been avoided if we had agreed to dilute the product before bottling. However, it would also mean that shipping costs would escalate, so we bit the bullet and stayed with the current high concentrate and terrifying warnings.

Because the formula was so well inside the set parameters it gave us the opportunity to slightly change it and beef up some of the constituents, with the result that Green Gloop has become even more effective at what it does, which is neutralise the ammonia in equine urine, clean and sterilise mat surfaces, and fumigate stables. Basically, we are now offering a far better product, as concentrated as previously, that represents even better value for money as it didn’t incur any additional production costs.

The downsides being these unnecessary and scary enjoiners to how to use the product safely. To exceed the EU Directive EN14349 for Veterinary surface disinfectants we also had to double the dilution rate, although this is totally unnecessary, as it is the same product as previously, only better. So, when you read the rate of dilution on the bottle being 2 or 4 cups per 16 litres of water just continue with the old and more economic rate of 1 or 2 cups.

The other downside is new, ‘secure cap’ bottles that are virtually impossible to open for the first time. We suspect this is temporary as there has been such an outcry throughout the EU that the restrictions on caps have recently been substantially modified – back to what they were previously.

There is a knack, as this mini video illustrates.

How to open a Green Gloop Cleaning Fluid bottle

green gloop new label detail
Green Gloop
Read more...

Introducing the brand new GRIPPER Mat Mover

Great news!!!  The new Gripper mat movers are now available from our Fieldguard webshop.

In a business such as ours you cannot but help chucking a lot of heavy mats around all the time, and we found the need for a Mat Moving tool essential for that purpose.

With this in mind, we could see a wide variety of situations where such a mat moving tool would be useful, PROVIDED it was at the same sort of price as a garden tool. There was no alternative but to produce one ourselves, and in the process improve the performance. This we have done. We are proud to announce the arrival of the Fieldguard GRIPPER mat mover.

GRIPPER is positive grip, positive release, so can be used for any heavy bag, sack or cumbersome object where there is some finger grip, such as bags of compost, horse or dog feed, or carpets. It permits moving very dirty cumbersome objects without getting mess all over clothes – or hands. Best of all, it provides a firm grip for your hand, rather than just a couple of fingers. It will grip most flat mats automatically up to 25mm thick, but needs the positive grip button when handling mats with legs, or no meaningful gripping surface, such as the honeycomb mats.

Why not order yours from our web shop now?

Read more...

What to do when your customers are pigs

Fieldguard Honeycomb Mats for pigs
We were very pleased to be asked to carry out another large installation using our most popular M52LO honeycomb grass mats. Very similar to the last project, but this time just outside Guildford in Surrey. We needed 100 of the grass mats, 3 rolls of the M9 stabilisation mesh, 300 pins and 600 cable ties.

As the installation was a fair way from where we could park the van, Charlie and I were very happy when a gentleman with a quadbike and trailer turned up offering his help. With over a tonne and a half of mats to move we were quick to accept his offer!

Although this installation was predominantly in a field for horses (Which we are very used to) we had a rather unusual request to install an area of mats inside an area for pigs (Which we are not quite so used to!). However, this proved to be a very useful exercise for as you can imagine, the pig-pen was more than ankle deep in very sloppy “mud”, conditions in which both Charlie and I thought that the mats would simply disappear in to the mud.

But this was not the case; once the M9 mesh and M52LO heavy duty grass mats had been laid the area was transformed! We could immediately walk on the mats with no mud coming up through the now, very stable, surface. Once the grass grows up in to the mats in the spring the area be very different.

I hasten to add that we didn’t cover the whole area in mats, we did leave a sizeable area of mud for the pigs!

  • Securing U pins

    Securing U pins M9P

    Metal securing U pins for ground stabilisation mesh (M9) (pack of 100).

    £70.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
  • electrical cable ties

    Electrical cable ties CT100

    160mm x 4.8mm nylon cable ties for joining honeycomb mats. Also perfect to secure the R8 and R45B insulators and R45B tensioner to posts other than wood.

    £2.00£4.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
  • 23mm Heavy Honeycomb mat, grass mats, gravel mats23mm Heavy Honeycomb mat

    23mm Heavy Honeycomb Mat OM52LO

    With a 22% greater footprint and being harder than standard mats, they are extremely tough and long lasting, and cope better with constant vehicle usage in less muddy conditions, or where sub-strata conditions are bad for animals. They are available in one size; in black or brown.

    £20.25£36.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
  • ground stabilisation mesh

    Ground Stabilisation Mesh M9

    Ground stabilisation mesh makes a perfect reinforcement for grass and embankments or as underlay for honeycomb mats. An open weave green coloured plastic mesh, supplied on a roll of 30m x 2m x 2-3mm (98’ x 6’6”).

    £130.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
Read more...

Stunning mat installation in West Sussex

Earlier in November we were contacted by a customer in West Sussex who wanted to lay mats in a paddock, ahead of any downturn in the weather in the coming months.

We were delighted to supply 80 square metres of our highly rated M52LO mats, laid on a base of our M9 Mesh. The project used 900 M9 pins and 500 cable ties. As you can see, the result is stunning.

As a small company, we can offer an installation service on large projects up to 30-40 miles away, and on rare occasions have gone 50 miles for a larger installation.

We are able to support single stable installations or a small numbers of field mats up to 10 miles away.

Always remember though, that we can deliver any of our products direct to your door throughout the UK.

  • 23mm Heavy Honeycomb mat, grass mats, gravel mats23mm Heavy Honeycomb mat

    23mm Heavy Honeycomb Mat OM52LO

    With a 22% greater footprint and being harder than standard mats, they are extremely tough and long lasting, and cope better with constant vehicle usage in less muddy conditions, or where sub-strata conditions are bad for animals. They are available in one size; in black or brown.

    £20.25£36.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
  • ground stabilisation mesh

    Ground Stabilisation Mesh M9

    Ground stabilisation mesh makes a perfect reinforcement for grass and embankments or as underlay for honeycomb mats. An open weave green coloured plastic mesh, supplied on a roll of 30m x 2m x 2-3mm (98’ x 6’6”).

    £130.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
Read more...

Fieldguard chooses TNT as new courier

Pete from TNT

Pete from TNT will be collecting every order you place with us from now on

For the past twenty years we have had a very happy relationship with Interlink who have  all our next day Courier shipments.

However, like any marriage, there have been ups and downs. Now we have been forced to change delivery partners, as they are no longer able to carry liquids, meaning they no longer accept shipments of Green Gloop. As Green Gloop accounts for around 30% of all Courier shipments the divorce was inevitable.

Step forward a knight in shining armour – in the guise of TNT, who are very happy to ship liquids on our behalf so we are now using them for all our Courier deliveries – primarily fence, Gloop, plastic mesh, anti-cast, ramp and EVA mat deliveries.

Whilst we are able to track shipments, it would be most helpful if customers would give us feedback as to their experience on the service provided to them by TNT for the next few weeks.

Read more...

…the Unicorn Returns

M130 complete bedding matsAfter celebrating it’s 40th anniversary in 2015, the Unicorn Trust, an equestrian centre based in Gloucestershire, decided to fit out a brand new stable block.

In fact Fieldguard had provided the Trust with our M2 matting some 20 years before, so we were delighted that we were first choice when it’s came to their new project. After a consultation to determine their exact requirements, we recommended our semi draining M130 mat and offered to demonstrate the fitting with an on site visit.

New stables at the Unicorn TrustQuick to self lay, they were in fact the ideal solution, providing a high-quality, complete stable bed. The M130s are suitable on any hard surface (even one breaking up) without pre-preparation and their flexibility ensures that they will conform to all undulations or unevenness. Horses lie down happily on what, to them, is a soft surface that will not scrape their hocks, as well as significantly reducing the possibility of getting cast.

Staff at the Unicorn Trust are excited with the result. The new M130 mats are far easier to lift, yet the unique design virtually eliminates this smelly chore anyway, as silt is trapped within the draining grooves, making the mats much easier to clean.

You can purchase the M130 mats via the product link below direct from our web shop.

We have a simple chart which will help you work out the quanities needed for your stable area.

Finally, if you would like any advice on this or any other product, please feel free to call us on 01483 275182, 9am-4pm Monday to Friday.

  • Interlocking horse bedding mats, interlocking rubber mats, anti fatigue mats, safety mats, interlocking floor matsDog Mat

    27mm Interlocking floor mats FM130

    These interlocking floor mats are very thick and extraordinarily soft, yet hard wearing with an excellent anti slip surface. The mats lock together with an inbuilt locking system. Perfect for indoor games areas, garages and workshops.

    £30.00 (exc. VAT and delivery)
Read more...

EVA Stable Mats fit to order for the Ebony Horse Club in Brixton

The Ebony Horse Club in Brixton, South London, is a community riding centre in one of the country’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Pioneered by Ros Spearing, who for a number of years, had been taking an after school club of children for riding and horse care lessons at stables across London. She realised that a more permanent solution was required to help local children with difficult family backgrounds or who were in care. The ideal solution would be to establish a permanent riding school where the young people could, in total safety, learn to relate to others by caring for, and understanding horses.

They identified a disused bomb site and prevailed upon Lambeth Council to grant them a lease after clearing the detritus left by drug users over the years. Ros was later awarded an MBE for her work in the community.

Shadowed by tower blocks and a railway embankment it would seem to be the most unlikely setting for a riding school and yet it has been hugely successful since it was opened in 2011 by their Royal President, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. The riding club not only allows access for nearly 200 inner city children but also for young people with special needs and disabilities many of whom will have had little or no positive contact with animals, especially horses

In August 2011 Fieldguard were asked to install stable mats and wall mats in the nine stables at the Ebony Horse Club. First we installed the M6 EVA wall mats and that included covering a tricky piece of trunking up one corner of each stable. The floor mats were the M4 EVA mats, each one of which we numbered on the underside to aid the children re-lay the mats after the mats had been taken out for their annual clean. The wall mats needing over a 1000 holes drilled in to the concrete block walls for the plastic fixings! And nearly 100 holes very carefully drilled in to the hardwood doors to install to the wall mats to prevent the noise made by the horses kicking the doors in anticipation of feed time!

Leaving Brixton late in the evening of Saturday 7th August we had a rather lucky escape as this was the eve of the London wide riots that followed the shooting of Mark Duggan. Had we chosen to do the installation on the Sunday, we may not have been so lucky!

Read more...