Another question on stall bedding...
So I'm currently trying to run around and order/buy things for my lease horse so that everything is ready when he comes to the stable in about a week or two. The stable that he is going to be boarded at uses straw for bedding. Now, I love my stable and I have no problem with the way they do things....but I asked why they use straw. They said " because it's soft and the most natural thing for them to sleep on." Okay...I can see that. However, one of the problems they -do- have in the stalls is that several of them have holes or low spots somewhere in the stall where water/urine collect. There are rubber mats in them as well.
I would like to use a combination of pine shavings and straw. A layer of pine shavings in the bottom for absorbency (and hopefully a bit of a nice pine smell) and the straw on top for the softness.
Is this a feasible plan?
It would work, and be comfy for the horse and all, BUT...... something to consider:
Cleaning. In my experience, pine shavings are a pain in the butt to sift through, and straw is messy the moment it gets sprayed with pee, so you'd have to do away with it. I imagine the stall would get messy much more quickly using straw since it doesn't absorb anything, and I just like to complain about pine shavings because you have to sift through them. I don't know if I'm making a whole lot of sense right now.. I'm sleepy ;)
Personally I like the shavings that look more like sand. They fill potholes beautifully, and when your horse pees, the urine shoots straight through to the bottom layer and all you have to do is brush the top layer off and scoop up the waste. It's also a piece of cake to sift poop out of because it falls straight through the fork like sand. That way, you can make one stall's worth last a good week, and save LOTS more money. :)
Thanks for your thoughts! =-) Nice to know someone was listening....
~hears the crickets~
You could do that if you wanted to, but before the stall is occupied, you might be better to lift the mats and fill in the low spots.
Also the base layer of shavings and top layer of straw will be one big mixed mess after the first night of the horse being in there. I think you would do better to choose one or the other.
I don't find straw to be any messier than anything else, and it absorbs the urine well.
Have you had chance to muck out one of the other stalls where they are using straw so you can really get an opinion about it?
I personally like shavings better because I find it easier to clean and Jesse has a problem with eating straw. I'm not sure why. He had good quality hay and grain. Maybe he just liked how it tasted.
Anyway, I would just pick one or the other and fill in the low spots as someone already said.
I don't really like bedding period, but I would take shavings over straw. Straw gets moldy & horse do tend to it when they are bored.
Most people really don't have barns where I live. My horses are kept in a large dirt corral with a shelter open on 4 sides which is fairly typical for the area. I find the dirt where the horses urinate dries out a lot faster with nothing on it (usually within a couple hours in the summer). Where as the shavings or straw will still be wet on the bottom layers at the end of a day.
My horses are also barefoot. To condition their feet it is better if the ground isn't too soft & more like the ground out on the trail.
The only time I'll use bedding is if there is a wet spell for a long time. Then I'll put a layer of pine shavings down under the shelter so the horses will have a dry spot to lay down, but you almost have to change them everyday.
Personally, I prefer the pine-more like sawdust (sand) as above, for the same reasons, but, the sawdust that is compressed into pellets actually turns into that sawdust type stuff so that is cleans about the same, I think it is a little easier to deal with if you are in a situation where you can;t just order a load and use a wheelbarrow(like for one horse).
My question is-is this self care? I am thinking it must be, since you are supplying the bedding? Otherwise, if it isn't, I would go with whatever the barn uses, and spend my $$ on accessories! :-)
I know an olympic rider who prefers straw over shavings any day. The grooms think it's easier to do a better job cleaning and more importantly there is a significant reduction in dust.
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