We often face the question what the best bedding to choose for our horses. There are many types, but I would like to focus on the most common for us, i.e. shavings and straw.
WHAT TO CHOOSE?
Both straw and shavings have their supporters and opponents. I will say from my experience that both options are good, but for different horses.
Let's start with a much more expensive option - sawdust. Shavings have many advantages, above all it is easier for us to control the horse in terms of food. Although I know of cases of horses that also eat sawdust, this is a rare case and if our horse has weight problems or other gastric ailments - I would choose this option for such horses.
Another advantage of shavings is the ease in maintaining cleanliness in boxing and it is a great convenience during competitions, when we often have to do everything on our own. It is worth remembering to buy special forks (collectors) for shavings - such a tool will make cleaning the box much easier. When buying shavings, the price is not always an indicator of good quality, but of course it should be shavings especially for horses, because they are dedusted and adapted to their needs.
It is a traditional bedding, which is almost every stable, and it is definitely a cheaper option, but just as good. Straw is a good solution for less greedy horses, as well as horses that need to gain weight. Of course, it depends on the type of straw, which usually absorbs moisture well, another plus is that it is much more efficient. Although accessibility nowadays may be even more difficult than in the case of shavings usually have more of this type of litter. When it comes to cleaning the box, it is definitely more difficult than in the case of shavings and it is best to immediately take care of order, because it is very easy to smell. Of course, for horses that should be under control when it comes to food, this is not the best solution.
Both straw and shavings should fill the entire box so that the horse has enough comfort and freedom when he lies down, or the ball, but also when he stands. It is very important when we want our horse to be in shape and feel good. Remember that such issues also affect training.
If we are dealing with a new horse, it is worth asking the previous owner or guardian on what bedding the horse has stood until now. Rapid changes can also cause gastric problems in horses, so it is best to change the bedding gradually, adding, for example, straw on the sides of the box so that the horse can get used to and get used to something new.
Finally, I will add from my own observations that, despite the fact that straw does not have much nutritional value, (compared to hay) horses usually like the taste of the straw.
However, if there are no contraindications by the vet, I always threw a handful of straw to horses that were currently standing on sawdust. Try it yourself, because some horses react at the sight of straw like treats! Let me know what experience you have with different types of bedding and how do they work for you? Some also decide on other solutions, e.g. a special pellet for horses, which resembles more feed in granules than bedding ;)
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