The barn I board at has dirt/stone dust floors, with stall mats. Unfortunately, the dirt hereabouts has a high clay content, so it doesn't drain well. When I was using straight shavings, I was pulling 3/4 wheelbarrow per day of wet shavings, had to add a bag every 2 or 3 days, and it very quickly got sopping and stinky underneath the mats. Folding the mats back weekly to air is... unpleasant.
So I decided to try pellets. The experimental pellets are America's Choice. The experiment is going well, it's dry under the mats, I'm removing only manure per the instructions I received, and I haven't had to add more sawdust or pellets all week! However, it seems to compact a lot, but not sure if all pellets do that.
I asked for recommendations of the best pellets to use on one of my FB groups, and everyone said "Equine Pine!". Can't get it here though, since they lost their deal with Tractor Supply.
So, what's the next best horse pelleted bedding brand? I'd prefer one I don't have to spray down initially.
I'd also welcome general advice on using pellets, since I'm new to them. Right now, because I get shavings "free" with my board but have to pay for the pellets separate, I'm only using pellets in the center. I flip the center out, but only remove really dark, really clumpy stuff - and that's not needed every day. Is this the right way to go about it?
Appreciate any suggestions or advice.