Managing Used Horse Bedding Material

Depending on the material you use for your horse's bedding, managing the used bedding can be a major task or a relatively minor one. The key here is to have a schedule and stick to it. Once used bedding builds up, not only is it more difficult to manage, but it can lead to health hazards for both you and your horse.

The horse stall

The horse stall

This freshly stripped stall is ready for bedding. Shavings, straw, compressed wood pellets - provide absorbency for urine and facilitate cleaning. New window.

All stalls and paddocks need to be cleaned on a daily basis. Once manure and urine-soaked bedding has been removed, wet areas should be treat with lime or another sanitizing, odor-eliminating treatment and fresh bedding should be added to insure safe, clean, dry and odor free conditions.

You may want to consider the type of bedding material you use to lessen the amount of soiled bedding that must be removed daily. You don't want to reduce stall bedding at the expense of your horse's health, but you should consider the horse's needs.

Horses by nature are used to sleeping on hard surfaces such as the ground. They don't need a huge cushion of shavings or straw to sleep comfortably. Rubber stall mats work very well for many horse owners. They make clean-up easier and are healthy for hooves.

A stall mat offers a firm, level surface that allows you to scoop up manure and wet bedding easily. By using disposable bedding such as shavings or straw only in spots where the horse urinates frequently, you can minimize bedding use and the amount of stall waste that has to be disposed of.

Composting equine stall waste

Composting equine stall waste

Maintain compost piles to convert manure and bedding into useful garden and lawn compost. New window.

One of the most productive and environmentally sound ways to dispose of used bedding is by composting. If you decide to compost your soiled bedding, you can compost manure right along with it.

Choose an area that will not lead to pollution of a stream or a well and will not be offensive to neighbors.

Through composting, the total mass of manure and bedding can be reduce by about one-quarter to one-half. In other words, six tons of manure can be converted to 1.5 to 3 tons of finished compost which can be used in greenhouses, gardens, and nearly anywhere fertilizer would be used.

If you don't choose to compost used bedding, you will need to provide temporary storage for the waste in large, covered receptacles and arrange to have it hauled off on a regular basis.

Related products

Resilient, cost-effective, manufactured from 100% re-vulcanized and recycled rubber, this Interlocking Rubber 4' x 6' Stall Mat offers stress relief to bones and muscles, better dust control and level, and safer floor surfaces that minimizes the amount of water or urine that can seep through seams.

A great tool for using when moving heavy stall mats, this EZGrip Mat Mover with engineered teeth that will not slip even on old or wet mats. Makes moving heavy stall mats easy.

This 5-Cubic Feet Wheelbarrow with Dual Pneumatic Air Filled Tires and Cushion Grip Handle is perfect for removing used bedding from horse stalls. Easy to work out of height that will dump to the front easily with its balance, plus easy to control the amount and location where you want to dump used bedding.

About the author

EquiMed Staff shares a common goal of helping you improve your horse's health. The staff work together to develop unique web-focused content that answers the most common questions of horse owners. EquiMed staff written content is updated frequently to incorporate the best practices within the equine healthcare industry. Thanks for visiting!

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