Choosing Bedding for Your Horse: Shavings
When selecting bedding for your horse, it is essential to choose a bedding that is safe for horses, easy to story and absorbent. Of course, it is also helpful if it is readily available, cost-effective and able to compost well. This is because the primary purpose of bedding is to absorb urine and moisture, not to keep the stall soft and fluffy like a bed for horses.
Of the many bedding options that are available, shavings are among the most popular. Shavings of pine or fir are ideal, as cedar shavings resist decomposition and some horses are sensitive to cedar. While shavings are effective in terms of absorbency, they can be dusty. Not only can this create a layer of dust on everything in your barn, but it can also lead to respiratory problems for your horse. Therefore, it is essential to have good ventilation in your barn when using loose shavings.
To get the best moisture control, consider purchasing kiln-dried savings rather than chip-like shavings. You can also save money by purchasing shavings in bulk, though you will need a shavings bin or storage area to keep the shavings that you are not yet using. This storage area should be located away from the barn to avoid dust problems while also being easily accessible.