Horse Bedding - it sure looks mighty comfortable!
You love your horse and enjoy taking care of him but that doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t like to reduce your workload at the stable. The right horse bedding provides a comfortable and healthy environment for your horse but also makes life easier for you. At Equi Supermarket we have a fabulous range of premium horse bedding at amazing prices for you to choose from.
Your choice of bedding will depend on several factors. Your budget, your access to storage, your ability to dispose of the material after mucking out must be considered. You must also think about whether or not your horse suffers from a dust allergy or respiratory condition. Whilst wheat straw is cheap, warm, absorbent and easy to dispose of it is awkward to store and can be dusty. Oat straw looks great but can be dusty too. What are your other options?
Wood Shavings for horses
Extremely absorbent and simple to muck out, wood shavings are a popular choice. They are cheap too but are best burned after use rather than adding them to muck heaps as they break down slowly. BEDMAX shavings are an excellent choice and offer natural bedding with minimal dust which is comfortable and cost effective. StableBed shavings are also an excellent option. These dust extracted shavings provide a warm, fluffy and absorbent bedding made from naturally antiseptic Scotts pine timber.
Stable Shavings: Making a Great Bed!
There are several materials which will provide excellent bedding for your horse. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Some equestrians prefer straw or hemp whilst others favour using wood fibre or wood pellets. You should certainly consider the benefits of wood stable shavings.
Wood shavings are an extremely popular form of bedding. They are highly absorbent and are light and so easy to muck out. It is important that you use shavings which have been specially produced for use as animal bedding. Some shavings such as those from saw mills may have sharp edges and could contain a variety of rubbish and debris.
Shavings specifically produced for bedding are extremely comfortable. They provide support for hooves and cushioning for your horse’s joints. They control moisture well and are long lasting. It is possible to purchase dust extracted shavings if your horse has respiratory issues.
If you like the sound of stable shavings then you must think about how you will dispose of them. They can be burned but if you don’t have the facility to burn them then they are often unwelcome on muck heaps because they take some time to break down and rot.
Making a Bed
So how do you make a great bed for your horse from stable shavings?You will require between four and six bags of shavings to create a good bed in a typical loose box or stable. A 20kg bag of shavings will cover two to three square metres. Rubber matting provides an excellent substrate for your shavings.
Spread the shavings evenly using a fork to aerate them and fluff them up. You are aiming for a level bed which is between six and eight inches deep and which covers the majority of the floor area. Leave some space at the door so that the shavings do not escape into the yard. This depth of bed is ideal for moisture management and so less shavings will have to be replaced when you muck out. Some owners prefer to bank the shavings against the walls to create a reserve of dry material.
Maintaining a Great Bed
You should remove your horse from its stable if at all possible when it is time to muck out. Any droppings should be removed as soon as possible using a shavings fork. Carefully shake the fork each time you use it to release any clean shavings. These will then drop back onto the surface of the bedding and so will minimise wastage.
When you have removed all of the waste, fluff the shavings with the fork. Every two or three days, heap dry surface shavings around the edges of the stable and then remove areas of wet shavings. Then spread the shavings from the edges evenly across the stable again. Top up the bedding with fresh shavings to the required depth. You will probably require less than two bags of stable shavings each week but this will depend on your horse’s toilet habits and how often they are brought in. Explore a range of different types of.
Wood Pellets horse bedding
This material can absorb nine or ten times more liquid that shavings and is a dust free bedding. Verdo Horse Bedding and Thirstybed Premium wood pellets help to reduce your workload as any soiled bedding remains compact. The volume of bedding you need is also reduced and so this is a cost effective choice.
Wood Fibre bedding
Wood fibre is a new innovation and is manufactured from whitewood fibres. This is a dust free, eco-friendly bedding which is insulating and comfortable for your horse. Northern Crop Driers’ Megazorb is an excellent wood fibre bedding which drains well and so remains dry on top for your horse’s comfort.
Hemp horse bedding
Aubiose bedding is derived from the soft centre of the hemp plant and is cultivated without the use of pesticides, fungicides and insecticides. This bedding can absorb up to 12 times more liquid than straw and 4 times more than wood shavings. Aubiose is super soft and spongey for your horse and breaks down easily after you have mucked out.
Our excellent range of horse bedding gives you a fabulous choice of premium products. You are sure to find the perfect bedding at Equi Supermarket and at the best price. Many products are available by the pallet for your convenience.
Should You Use Deep Litter Bedding?
If you have a busy life, then it can be quite a challenge to find the enough time to care for and to ride your horse. With work, family, friends and any number of distractions vying for your attention, it can be hard to fit everything in. This means that deep litter bedding is an appealing option as it will save you both time and money but, for the welfare of your horse, it is important that you strike the right balance between hygiene and convenience.
What is Deep Litter Bedding?
Deep litter bedding is the practice of simply removing droppings from the stable and leaving the rest of the bedding to build up. You clear away the top layer and create a compacted layer beneath. Day-to-day you merely have to add a small amount of bedding.
The Health Implications of Deep Litter
It is up to you how often you completely clear and clean the stable but leaving bedding for two long can cause respiratory issues for your horse. You must try to strike a balance between convenience and good hygiene. When the litter is cleared, it should be totally removed and the stable must be cleaned thoroughly.
Who Should Consider Deep Litter?
Deep litter saves both time and money which can be a major boon when you are struggling to fit your life into the time available. This method of husbandry is most suitable for those who are busiest during the week but who have more time to devote to their horse at the weekend.
The compacted litter can provide extra insulation during colder weather and can also prevent horses from slipping on concrete if they have a habit of churning up a thinner layer of bedding. So there are some potential advantages to deep litter over mucking out daily.
What is the Best Bedding to Use?
Equestrians have traditionally used shavings for deep littered stables, as they are highly absorbent and easy to pick droppings from. Straw is a more economical option but can be more troublesome regarding respiratory issues.
Bedding which has been formed from highly absorbent materials like as hemp, flax and shredded wood fibre can be a great choice. Shredded cardboard and paper has the benefit of being dust free, but is not usually suitable for deep littering as the droppings are difficult to pick and the wet bedding stains horses’ coats easily.
Regardless of what material you use, it will only absorb so much moisture. In addition, ammonia from urine will build up no matter what type of bedding you utilise and this quickly becomes problematic.
Everyone’s circumstances are different. It is crucial that you put the welfare of your horse first, but you may be able to find a compromise that saves you some time and makes life a little easier to manage.
There is a super informative article here which looks at Choosing the right bedding.