There are a lot of different bedding options for horses on the market. If you are a first-time horse owner, it might be challenging to choose what works best for you.
On the other hand, if you own horses for many years, maybe it’s time to reconsider your options since many new materials came out and they might suit your horse better.
Here are some of the aspects you should consider before choosing the bedding for your horse:
- Are there any health concerns involved?
- What is the availability of your preferred bedding?
- What is the price of your preferred bedding?
- How absorbent is the bedding?
- Where can you store it?
- Will the bedding work with your stall mat or stable flooring?
Once you’ve answered all those questions, you can start researching to see what kinds of beddings are available and the advantages and disadvantages of each bedding type.
Here are some of the most popular bedding types you can use to keep your stable, clean, warm, and dry. We’ll work you through their ups and downs to help you make the best choice.
One of the most popular and affordable types of bedding is straw bedding. It’s been used for ages in the horse stalls, and it’s widely available.
The main enemies of straw bedding are mold and dust, and that’s why it’s not recommended for horses that may have respiratory issues. Another issue is that horses might find it tasty and develop health problems if they eat a large amount.
If you choose straw bedding, make sure you use a generous amount to create a protective layer and keep the moisture down.
A great alternative is to choose a dust-extracted, highly absorbent straw bedding that has none of the disadvantages of non-processed straw.
Wood Shavings Bedding
Wood shavings are exceptionally absorbent and efficient, and they are also less susceptible to mold than straws. Unfortunately, some of the wood shavings can still be quite dusty, so they are also not recommended for horses with respiratory issues. Luckily, there’s a better alternative to avoid any drawbacks: you can choose a dust-free product like our pine shavings to make sure your horse stays healthy and happy.
Wood pellets are amongst the most absorbent types of beddings. They are not dusty and don’t contain bacteria. That’s why they can be a good alternative even for horses with respiratory issues.
Make sure you always know the source and purchase good-quality wood pellets, as some pellets contain additives or can be made from sawdust and can become dusty. Prepare your pellets for use by “watering” and allowing the moisture to be absorbed for several hours. The pellets will expand and become soft and absorbent. Pellet bedding is very easy to “pick”.
Paper Product Bedding
Paper shavings are highly absorbent and are dust-free, so they’re a great alternative to other shavings. Horses are generally not interested in eating paper shavings, and they also offer an adequate insulation level.
The disadvantage of using paper shavings is that it can get cumbersome when soiled. It can also develop mold if it gets wet, so you always need to be careful and clean properly. Disposal is often the biggest challenge.
Peat Moss Bedding
Peat moss is mostly used for gardening, but it's gaining a lot of popularity as horse bedding as well. It’s made of decomposed moss, and it’s a great option since it’s highly absorbent and it’s not prone to mold and dust. This makes it a good bedding for horses with respiratory issues.
The main disadvantage is that it can be quite expensive and hard to find in some areas, but you might find it in gardening stores. It’s also quite challenging to clean and doesn’t look as good as straw or wood-based shavings.
Hemp bedding is also less common but a great choice if you are looking for an absorbent and low in dust alternative. It can reduce barn odors by absorbing ammonia fumes, and it’s effortless to clean and maintain.
It’s also a biodegradable and eco-friendly option for environmentally conscious horse owners.
It can be hard to find and could be more expensive as a downside, but the less frequent cleaning means you can save time and money in the long run. It’s important to keep Hemp bedding dry as it will mold when exposed to moisture.
Sand bedding is not as absorbent as other bedding alternatives, but many horse owners consider it an option since it’s widely available. It has the advantage of being cheap, reusable, and easy to work with.
As a disadvantage, it can potentially be dangerous if your horse ingests it since it can accumulate in their gut and cause sand colic.
Wrap it Up
Now that you have all the information, it might be easier to make an informed choice and get the best bedding for your horses. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need advice.