There are so many options for horse bedding on the market. Which one is the best? We believe it is important to provide a good environment for our animals, and a crucial part of that is getting the bedding that will suit them well. We will look at 15 of the most popular horse bedding options with pros and cons for each one. After reading this, you will be able to see which one suits you and your animals the best!
What Is The Purpose Of Horse Bedding?
Primarily, horse bedding functions as moisture control, absorbing urine and other moisture. This helps to keep your stall clean for your horses. By keeping the stall dry, horse bedding reduces odor and makes a better environment for your horse to live in. Second, horse bedding gives cushioning and support to your horse. Instead of lying on concrete, your horse can lie down on a soft bed, improving health and comfort. Third, horse bedding is crucial for hygiene. This allows you to keep your horse clean and well-kept in their living area.
15 Of The Best Horse Bedding Options
If you ask others for horse bedding options, each one will give you a different answer. Depending on your situation, you may prefer one over another. Below, we will look at 15 options to use for horse bedding, giving pros and cons for each. See which one will work best for you and your horse.
Pros: Insulating, readily available, affordable.
Cons: Dusty, can be eaten, needs frequent replacement.
Many people use straw for horse bedding. Straw bedding is easy to find and available at many local farms or pet stores. However, it breaks down more quickly, making it dirtier than shavings or peat moss, and must be replaced more often.
Pros: Natural, readily available, comfortable.
Cons: Expensive as bedding, can mold if damp, needs frequent replacement.
Hay is similar to straw and has a similar effect. Because it is a bit heavier than straw or wood shavings, hay bedding is more difficult to move and manage. Additionally, the horse is more likely to eat it. Not only is the horse eating contaminated food, but you must also replace it more often.
Pros: Absorbent, comfortable, reduces odors.
Cons: Higher cost, needs regular cleaning.
Overall, wood shavings make some of the best horse bedding available. They absorb moisture well and are easy to handle, whether that is carrying them or scooping them into the stall. Because our wood shavings are made of pine, they smell like freshly cut pine lumber, making your horse’s environment smell fresh. We are confident that our pine shavings will serve your horse optimally.
Pros: Highly absorbent, biodegradable, low dust.
Cons: Moderate cost, may become slippery when wet.
By shredding or tearing cardboard into strips, cardboard can be effective as horse bedding. If you have extra cardboard lying around, you can make use of it as bedding. Cardboard bedding is not the ideal option, as it can easily get mucked down in the presence of moisture. This can cause the stall to be slippery and dirty. Cardboard is best used as a temporary solution.
Pros: Highly absorbent, reduces waste, and is easy to store.
Cons: Can take time to activate, moderate cost.
Wood pellets make an excellent horse bedding option to provide good care for your horse. They are easy to put down and scoop up and have excellent absorbency. They do need moisture to break down and can take some time to activate. For some animals, this can create an uncomfortable environment for a bit until the pellets start to break down. Overall, wood pellet bedding is a highly recommended option to put into your horse stall!
Pros: Excellent absorbency, natural odor control, biodegradable.
Cons: Can be expensive, with limited availability in some regions.
If you are looking for bedding that your horse will love, peat moss bedding has to be at the top of the list. Peat moss brings natural odor control and is an excellent absorbent material. Additionally, your horse will enjoy standing or lying on the natural peat moss bedding. However, not all areas have this type of bedding available, so it may be difficult to find. Fortunately, Double J Farms offers peat moss horse bedding to their customers, as well as any of your other animal feed and supply needs.
Hemp Horse Bedding
Pros: Highly absorbent, reduces odors, biodegradable.
Cons: Moderate cost, limited availability in some areas.
Hemp bedding is a reliable product that you can use for your horse bedding needs. Both environmentally friendly and easy to use, hemp bedding will bring a soft, comfortable environment for your horse. With a consistency similar to sawdust, hemp bedding is highly absorbent and will raise the level of comfort for your horse.
Pros: Lightweight, biodegradable, low dust.
Cons: Less common, may require more frequent replacement.
Rice hulls are a good alternative bedding option for horses that have sensitive skin or allergies. Rice hull bedding can also be used in conjunction with another type of bedding, such as wood shavings, to create multiple layers.
Corn Cob Horse Bedding
Pros: Biodegradable, dust-free, comfortable.
Cons: Moderate cost, not as absorbent as some alternatives.
Using corn cobs as bedding can be a good option for you to use. They are not as absorbent as other options and can be uncomfortable for some horses. But they are low dust and are easy to find, as they are available at many farms.
Rubber Stall Mats
Pros: Easy to clean, long-lasting, and comfortable.
Cons: Expensive upfront, can be slippery, and may require bedding on top.
Rubber stall mats create a sturdy, long-lasting stall floor solution. But they can be improved by adding another type of bedding on top of the mat. This prevents slipping when wet and increases the comfort in the horse stall. Rubber stall mats are an excellent choice for your horse home.
Pros: Easy to clean, durable, low maintenance.
Cons: No cushioning; needs additional bedding for comfort.
Geotextile fabric, or landscaping fabric, can be used in a horse stall. However, it should not be used alone but rather with another substance. If you have a stone base, use geotextile fabric as the next layer. On top of the fabric, wood shavings make a nice top layer to finish out your multilayer horse bedding, giving you an area that will drain well.
Pros: Easy to clean, inexpensive, drains well.
Cons: Minimal cushioning may require frequent raking.
Sand can be a cheaper choice for horse bedding, as it drains well and is easy to clean. However, horses can ingest some sand or breathe it in, causing some health concerns. Sand is best used as a base layer with something else, such as wood pellets on top.
Pros: Highly absorbent, minimizes odors, biodegradable.
Cons: Moderately expensive, may require regular cleaning.
Wheat straw pellets are similar to wood pellets but are made of wheat straw. They start out as pellets and break down as they absorb moisture. They are slightly less acidic than wood pellets, which is beneficial to neutralizing the horse manure. Wheat straw pellets are another excellent horse bedding material.
Pros: Absorbent, readily available, reduces odors.
Cons: Dusty, needs frequent replacement, fire hazard.
Sawdust is an excellent absorbing material, and is very easy to find at a reasonable price. The downside is the dust, which is bad for the health of you and your horse and can be a fire hazard. These downsides can be mitigated by layering it with some other types of horse bedding, like wood pellets, peat moss, or straw.
At Double J Farms, we have a wide range of products. If you are looking for animal feed, check out our selection of animal feed. If you want some ideas of things to put into your horse stall, read “Horse Stalls | 53 Must-Have Items“.
What Types Of Bedding Can Be Toxic To Horses?
Black walnut shavings can be toxic to your horse’s skin and respiratory system. Black walnut has a substance in it that irritates the skin and respiratory lining, causing some serious health issues. To prevent such issues, do not use black walnut shavings or black walnut sawdust in your horse stall. If you want to use shavings, make sure that they are pine or another softwood.
How Deep Should My Horse Bedding Be?
For best results, use 6” – 8” of horse bedding for your horse. Depending on the type of bedding and your horse, you may want a bit more or a bit less. Generally, you want enough bedding to give cushioning, absorbency, and cleanliness to your horse.
Layering your horse bedding can be a good idea. It is best to start with a base layer of very thin shavings or sawdust, as they are the most absorbent. On 2” or 3” of sawdust, place 4” – 6” of medium flake shavings for the top layer. This combination will be the most effective for an absorbent, dust-free stall for your horse.
Which Horse Bedding Is The Least Dusty?
Wood pellets will be your best choice for horse bedding with minimal dust. Dust can bother animals as it irritates their respiratory system. Because wood pellet bedding is compact and splits apart to absorb moisture, it tends to be without dust, providing a clean-air environment for your horse.
Which Horse Bedding Is The Most Affordable?
Straw is one of the most cost-effective horse bedding materials that can be used. If you can access it at a local farm, straw will be the cheapest option. Straw can be dusty and may be hard to find where you live. Shavings is the cheapest option that is available everywhere you may be. Comparing quality, dustiness, and absorbency, we recommend pine shavings for horse bedding as the most efficient use of your money.
Which Horse Bedding Helps The Most With Keeping The Smell Down?
To control the smell in your horse stall, one of the best options to use is peat moss horse bedding. Because it is a natural product, it has a natural smell as well as incredible absorbency. If you want to give your horse a fresh-smelling stall, use peat moss bedding. Not only is peat moss effective for horse bedding, but it also is easily compostable afterward.
Can Peat Moss Be Used For Other Kinds Of Animal Bedding?
Yes, peat moss makes excellent animal bedding for most animals. For horses, cows, poultry, goats, sheep, or pigs, peat moss bedding is a good choice as the primary bedding material.
For some animals, it is more effective if it is not the primary bedding ingredient. For dogs, use 1 part peat moss with 2 parts of wood shavings to create the perfect blend for your dog. This is for adult dogs; we do not recommend this for puppies due to their delicate respiratory system.
Other animals that can benefit from mixing peat moss into their bedding are rabbits, reptiles(such as lizards), amphibians(such as frogs), and hamsters. Peat moss adds odor-reducing, moisture-absorbing ingredients to your animal’s pen!
What Horse Bedding Is Best To Use In A Horse Trailer?
The best horse bedding to use in a horse trailer is a rubber mat. The rubber mat will give a good base for the horse to stand and will keep it from slipping or sliding. It will also disperse the weight of the horse, so it is better for the trailer as well. We highly recommend using a rubber mat when transporting your horse.
What Horse Bedding Is Best For Hoof Health?
The best horse bedding to use for hoof health is one that keeps the area dry. Both peat moss and pine shavings do an excellent job doing that. If you can keep your horse’s hooves dry, you can prevent bacterial infections from happening. We recommend using one of these two options for horse bedding.
What Horse Bedding Is The Easiest To Clean Up?
If you want horse bedding that is easy to clean out of your stalls, pine shaving bedding is the answer for you. Coming in packages that are convenient to handle, they provide a bedding solution that is efficient to put down and clean up. We highly recommend using pine shaving bedding to provide an easy and comfortable solution for your equine friend!
How Often Should I Change My Horse Bedding?
You should change your horse bedding every 1-2 weeks, especially if you use straw. You may be able to wait a bit longer, depending on the size of your horse and how well you maintain the horse stalls. If you promptly remove soiled bedding, you will not have to change the entire stall quite as often. Regular maintenance extends the life of the horse bedding and makes your horse a much happier animal!
We know that it is important that your horse stall is a clean and comfortable environment for your horse. That is why we provide all the things you need to take care of your horse. This includes horse feed, hay, and horse bedding.
At Double J Farms, we are traditional farmers with experience in animal care. We are dedicated to helping others take care of their animals with the best possible products. We are a one-stop shop for you to get all your animal supplies. We have supplies for more than horses; our products are also for poultry, livestock, and swine. Come visit us today and begin a partnership with us that benefits your animals!