beddingThis week’s excerpt on stall bedding will be more relevant for those horse owners who house their horses on their own property. Bedding is a necessity if you bring your horse into a stall, and there are a surprising amount of product choices, but which is the most economical? This primarily depends on what is available in the region where you live.

Bedding material includes straw, shavings, sawdust, wood pellets, peat moss, hemp, shredded paper, food by-products such as rice hulls … the list goes on. But I’ve found most horse owners prefer straw or wood products, particularly pellets, as although they are often more expensive than shavings, they save time on stall cleaning, waste less bedding, and last longer. Another product I’m a big fan of because it also wastes less, requires less bedding, and saves time on cleaning are stall mats. Quality stall mats aren’t cheap, but they seem to be a great investment in the long run toward saving money on bedding.

What bedding material do you prefer – is there an alternative to straw or wood available in your area that’s cost-effective?

A few tips for saving money on bedding:
- Keep your horses turned out for as long as possible to avoid wasting bedding.
- Use a stall mat to reduce wastage, amount of bedding, and time spent cleaning stalls.
- Buy in bulk and save, or go in with friends or a co-op.
- Bag and load bedding yourself to save on labor and transportation costs.
- Make sure you have proper stall cleaning tools and techniques so you’re not removing an unnecessary amount of bedding.

To read more, check out this week’s excerpt of Thrifty Horsekeeping here.