Which bedding would your horse choose?

Which bedding would your horse choose?

  • Basic Shavings

    Votes: 15 20.8%
  • Basic Straw

    Votes: 51 70.8%
  • Wood Pellets

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • Paper/Egg box Shreddings

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Bagged Chopped Straw/hemp etc

    Votes: 5 6.9%

  • Total voters
    72

holeymoley

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Purely for a bit of fun and curiosity!

Currently on wood pellets but looks like I may have to go back to straw due to rising costs. However I'm not so sure my horse was a fan of straw. His favourite bedding is shavings- when topping up he'll help open the bale and then paw it and sometimes even roll in it.

So if your horse could choose his own bedding what would they go for? Does anyone know any that are adverse to straw? Mine in his 20s now so would rather he was happy enough to lie down.
 

Starzaan

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Ok, I am a nerd about this so sorry in advance.
I was lucky enough to be part of the leading sleep study in horses. Turns out bedding and size of bed is actually key to physical and mental health, performance, and lifespan.
The best bedding for recumbent REM sleep is straw as it’s so supportive when used in the right quantity. Shavings are a good second, again if used in the right quantity. Wood pellets don’t offer enough support even in the correct quantity, and paper is ideal for rehab due to the lack of dust and ease of mucking out, but in order to provide support, you need to use so much paper it becomes unfeasible for the average horse owner.
 

milliepops

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Mine would choose straw, they all like a straw bed. sadly for them they get a pellets/shavings combo as they all eat straw in preference to hay. all are big sleepers though. i commit the cardinal sin of sweeping leftover hay into the bed so they end up with a fluffy place to sleep :p
i got some really lovely straw to foal my mare a couple of years ago, tbh i would have slept on it :p the size of the muck heap though.. not so good.
 

spacefaer

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I'd hope they'd choose what I'm using 😂 which is chopped rape straw made as a traditional deep straw bed. I suspect they might choose wheat straw themselves as it's softer and more cushioning. (And we have big horses)
I only changed for 2 reasons- firstly storage - I can only have a few bales at a time on the yard, so was reliant on a regular delivery - and 2ndly - disposal. I have a 3.5t muck trailer which I fill once a week and take to empty now I'm on the rape straw. On wheat straw, I filled it daily and emptying that often just wasn't practical.
 
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holeymoley

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18 November 2012
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Ok, I am a nerd about this so sorry in advance.
I was lucky enough to be part of the leading sleep study in horses. Turns out bedding and size of bed is actually key to physical and mental health, performance, and lifespan.
The best bedding for recumbent REM sleep is straw as it’s so supportive when used in the right quantity. Shavings are a good second, again if used in the right quantity. Wood pellets don’t offer enough support even in the correct quantity, and paper is ideal for rehab due to the lack of dust and ease of mucking out, but in order to provide support, you need to use so much paper it becomes unfeasible for the average horse owner.
Delighted to hear this. That's put my mind at rest now.

I always use a lot of bedding. Interesting to hear that about wood pellets, I have a good 4-6 inch deep bed but I know others that just use a scattering. When I was on straw, I made it very deep with high bankings. My idea this time round is to use a shavings base on pee spots and then have the rest of the bed as straw. Unfortunately no drainage in our stables or I would just keep solely on straw. Very pleased to hear they generally favour straw though.
 

Alibear

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Mine would choose straw, as demonstrated when we moved to the current yard. It was straw only, and they both loved it. Unfortunately, YO struggled to get straw, tried and hated pellets, and now they're on woodchip. I prefer woodchip as it's easier to manage. If the horses could choose, it would be straw. If the yard moved back to straw, I'd be happy to, as it's full livery, so I don't have to manage it.
 
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stangs

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Ok, I am a nerd about this so sorry in advance.
I was lucky enough to be part of the leading sleep study in horses. Turns out bedding and size of bed is actually key to physical and mental health, performance, and lifespan.
The best bedding for recumbent REM sleep is straw as it’s so supportive when used in the right quantity. Shavings are a good second, again if used in the right quantity. Wood pellets don’t offer enough support even in the correct quantity, and paper is ideal for rehab due to the lack of dust and ease of mucking out, but in order to provide support, you need to use so much paper it becomes unfeasible for the average horse owner.
Interesting, do you have a link to the study?
 

Caol Ila

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23 January 2012
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Glasgow
Starzaan has justified my ridiculously fluffy straw bed. Thanks, Starzaan. I'd like to read the study too, if it's available. Some of the DIYs put in minimalist shavings, and I wonder if their horses lie down enough. In hindsight, I wonder if lack of sleep was one of many variables triggering my old horse's stereotypies. The YO at her previous (full livery) yard was pretty miserly with shavings. I would not want to lie down on a rubber mat with a thin layer of shavings sprinkled over it.
 

PurBee

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Mine would choose the tastiest!

But they now get a deep big shavings bed and often are both crashed out on it.
I use it purely ‘cos its the easiest to source where i am. I’d prefer a fast rotting bedding, but theyre all so delicious, except miscanthus which i cant source except 1 supplier of 16 euro for 20kg.
 

Fern007

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I always bedded on straw, then when I moved to new yard 4 years ago I had 3 horses on pellets. I hated them. Although easy to muck out I found them dusty. I'm now back on big straw beds, and my bedding bill has been slashed by over £120 a month!!
 

Birker2020

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This is my horses bed, its nice and deep and has 2 bags of wood pellets down with Stable Choice shavings on top. The pellets have been down about two weeks now, I wish I'd found them years ago, they are fantastic. Photo of said horse having a snooze.

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The Fuzzy Furry

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Mine prefer straw.

I have straw in 2 of the field shelters (scalping floors, with old other bed over, then straw) and this gets completely lobbed twice yearly unless soggy in between.

In stables they have either miscanthus or aubiose, for ease of use.
 

ihatework

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I have no idea what my horses would choose in preference because they have never had free choice!

What I would say is, provided it’s good clean straw, I 100% think that a deep straw bed is one of the best.

But any deep clean bed (shaving/paper/rape etc) is just fine.

I cannot stand skanky little beds on rubber mats
 

TPO

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Mine has never been on straw but out of everything I've tried the current would win; chopped straw (dust extracted).

I like a straw bed when there's proper drainage and the ability to lift the bed and air the floor daily. Current stables have Earth floor and mats so need something absorbant rather than draining.
 

Nudibranch

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Mine would choose straw, as evidenced by the fact that will break into the goat shelter at every opportunity and eat it. Even when it's covered in goat wee and poo and there's plenty of grass available. No idea quite why it's so appealing...
 

NinjaPony

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Mine would choose straw but sadly for him he is a greedy laminitic so it’s not allowed! He likes his big deep shavings bed; I don’t use rubber mats so I make it very thick and supportive and I know he lies down because he’s always covered in shavings! I use Bedmax as I find they make a bigger, more supportive bed than smaller shavings.
 

Asha

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Im pretty sure given the choice all of ours would prefer straw. I watched Finn when we tried him on straw and he definitely lay down more on a straw bed than he does on a shavings one.
we only use straw when bedding down for foaling and switch back to shavings as soon as we can. As MP mentions the muck heap with straw is huge and add to that the smell, and we are always glad to be rid of the straw.
I find that our foals /youngsters will always sleep in the hay. Even when its being fed outside, so they definitely prefer that type of bedding.
 

PapaverFollis

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Mine would definitely, definitely choose straw. I used it this winter and they all spent so much time asleep, looking very cosy and happy.

Unfortunately it also seemed to give one of them a cough despite keeping their beds very clean throughout. So it is shavings now. Hoping to get rubber mats and lay a very thick shavings bed over the top in winter. They are only coming in to eat and while I ride at the moment so just have enough shavings to make a softer than concrete place to stand while the other is exercised. It will be interesting to see if they lay down as much once they are stabled again.

I HATE managing a straw bed though. 😂
 

Ratface

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Mine is on s a thick straw bed, as are all his companions. The stallion has an area that has a wood pellet underlay, as he is a prolific producer of pee.
The beds are fully mucked-out every day and skipped-out at late stables, around 9pm. Mr. H likes a nose round, but eats very little of his bed, as he has ad lib hay.
We have swallows that roost in his stables every year. The fledglings occasionally fall out. Fortunately, he hasn't inadvertently trodden on any. The stable staff are very skilled at quickly popping them back.
At the other yard we were at, he was on shavings. I'm glad we're not there now, as I like him to have a deep bed and thick banks, and the cost would have been prohibitive.
 

Jenko109

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I love straw and I'm sure the horses prefer it BUT it stinks and I find I can smell the ammonia so easily in a straw bed, even if there is plenty of straw. I wonder if this has any affect on their health.
 

Annagain

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If he could choose anything, I think Arch would choose hay so he could have breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner in bed. He's often found lying down and eating in the field.
 
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Tiddlypom

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Not straw, ever, never mind what the horses like - I can't abide the lingering stink!

Shavings here over concrete - I heaved the rubber mats out where the bed goes as it's much easier and less smelly to muck out without rubber mats. I do have rubber mats down in the non bedded part, though, as that is where the hay and water go.

Only thinnish day beds down currently as neds are only in for a couple of hours a day. If a horse is on box rest or minimal turnout, I bed down the whole stable.
 

honetpot

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I think as long as its deep and fluffy, they could not care less. I have rubber mats on most of a large stable and then a large area of just anything that is cheap chopped or pelleted, which they lie on. I have round bales of straw that they can eat and the waste goes in the bed in my sheds, but only because its deep littered, and the smell is locked in.
 

scats

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Millie would sleep on anything! We have to use pro bed at the yard, which I don’t really like. Annoyingly the farmer who takes our muck heap and spreads it on his fields hates pro bed and would rather us use normal shavings, but for some reason our YO won’t change supplier.

I used to fully rubber mat my stables, but having lifted them last year to move down the barn, I was horrified at what was lurking underneath! Now I have rubber mats at the front and then a big bed at the back that I am managing to successfully deep litter (though it’s hard work keeping Polly’s decent)

I love a straw bed but I find them too smelly.
 
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