There are many types of horse bedding available, from shredded paper and rubber matting to woodshavings and cardboard. Before you select any type of bedding however, there are a number of things that you will need to consider.
Your horse’s health. If your horse has an allergy to certain types of bedding, then you will need to select dust free products. The most common symptoms suffered by horses with allergies include respiratory and skin problems. If your horse experiences these symptoms or other symptoms such as watery eyes or itchy skin, then it could be a sign that he or she is allergic to the type of bedding that you are using.
Quantity. In addition to the type of bedding you should use, you will also need to think about how much you will need. For example, if the stable gets cold easily, then you may wish to consider using more effective types of bedding, such as a deep straw bed, to keep your horse warm. Rubbing matting will also help to keep the stable well insulated.
Comfort. You will need to think about what type of bedding will provide your horse with plenty of comfort. Straw is the most popular type of bedding and is comfortable and easy to obtain. However, there can be problems when opting for straw as bedding, as some horses tend to eat the bed, which could result in problems such as weight gain or respiratory problems. For bedding with a low dust content that is comfortable and easy to clean out, you may wish to opt for hemp, flax and rapeseed. This type of bedding is also easy to dispose of.
Safety. If your horses have any special requirements, then you will need to select a type of bedding that suits their needs. For example, mares that are in foal may require extra protection, so consider opting for rubber matting or wall mats.
Cost. Think about how much you are able to spend on bedding. If you need large quantities of bedding, then consider buying in bulk from suppliers, as this can often save money.
Author Stephen Clarke