Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NW Washington State
I have used shavings (and sometimes still do) as well as the pellet bedding.
Hands down, I prefer pellets! I have no issue with smell, and they last a long time. The waste is very minimal, and since it breaks down into a "course" (but still much more fine than shavings) dust, it composts a lot faster.
I do not wet down the pellets before I put the horse in. My mare will wet all over her stall, so after 1 night, she has about a third of her stall "fluffed". I just pick the poop and mix the bedding around. I did notice in the very beginning when I started using them, if you don't mix it up, then you will get a smell spot. You don't always see it because the bedding absorbs so well, that it makes the surface look dry. So it's important to sift.
It's much easier to pick out the lose hay also!
And, I don't know where you find your pellets Anebel, but 40lbs of wood pellets at any of the feedstores in my area are always less than $6/bag. I usually use the stove ones, because those are usually under $4/40lb bag. The biggest difference is that the stove ones are darker, and packed tighter. But they still work great for me.
Shavings look nice and fluffy, but have a lot of waste, and if you don't have the storage space to buy in bulk (truck load) then it very quickly becomes more expensive than pellets.
I don't have mine in too often, but I can (and have actually tried this before) buy 5 bags to bed down one stall (about$25) and it lasts about 2 months. But the stall with the shavings (one bale) only lasts about a week, 2 if i'm lucky, and it costs $7/$8 per bag. Again, mine come in to eat dinner, and if the weather is really bad, then I'll keep them in, but usually they are only in for a few hours per day.