What Type of Bedding Should You Use?

With so many factors to consider it can be difficult to choose what type of stall bedding is best for your horse and your pocketbook, not to mention your back after a hard day of mucking stalls!? Here?s a rundown of the most popular choices.

  • Stall Mats.? Although initially costly, these are excellent for providing good comfort to your horse and for preventing damage to your barn floor.? Stalls with mats tend to be easier to clean and go though less bedding.? If you can afford them, they are highly recommended no matter what your situation.
  • Sawdust or Shavings.? Probably the most commonly used, this type of bedding is both cheap and easy to clean.? If you use a manure fork, you can pick through the shavings and take out only the soiled bedding, keeping costs low.
  • Straw.? Another common traditional bedding, this is most often used when mares are foaling.? There are some drawbacks however, as some horses will want to munch on it. ?Also, soiled straw can be heavy to muck out and is difficult to pick out only the dirty bedding, making it a more wasteful option.
  • Pellets.? A relatively new product on the market, wood pellets are dehydrated wood shavings.? Once moistened, they grow into soft, fluffy bedding that is very easy to clean.? Although much more expensive than most other bedding options, some horse owners feel that the lack of waste more than makes up for the cost.

Consider your horse?s individual needs when looking at bedding, for instance if he has respiratory problems you will want to stay away from anything dusty.? Never use old hay as bedding, as horses will nibble on it no matter if it is soiled or moldy.? Your horse spends much of his time in his stall, so finding the right bedding is an important job that should be done with care.

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