The pros and cons of different horse bedding

When it comes to horse bedding, most horse owners will have a clear preference in the type they prefer to use. With straw and shavings the most popular choices for stable bedding, there are a few other products to consider too.

I’ve personally used shavings, wood pellets and straw for my horse and have currently settled on straw bedding, but they all have their own positives and negatives.

If you’re undecided, or looking to buy your own horse soon, here are the pros and cons of some of the most popular types of horse bedding.

Pony in stable on straw bedding


Having only recently made the switch from shavings to straw myself, I am now a total convert.

Cheap and easy to break down (making it far easier to dispose of), it also makes a very large and comfy looking bed for your horse without a lot of effort involved on your part.

However, the downside to using straw for your horse's bedding is that the large bales can be difficult to store, and it quickly creates a large muck heap. While most horses will have a little nibble on the straw from time-to-time, others will take to eating it.

Wood pellets

Wood pellets are growing in popularity as a type of horse bedding. Made from compact sawdust, most people often add water to them to fluff them up and increase their absorbency.

The advantages of using wood pellets in your horse's stable is that they are dust free, they decompose quickly, and they are highly absorbent - making it an ideal choice if you have a particularly wet horse.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of wood pellets is that they can be slightly more time consuming to use, as you need to wait for the pellets to absorb the water.

Horse inside stable with shavings bedding

Wood shavings

Shavings are a very popular type of bedding but you will often have to shop around quite a bit to find a good quality brand, as some can be incredibly dusty.

The pros of using shavings is that it is widely available and there are a huge number of brands you can try until you find your own personal favourite. As the bales are often smaller, they are also easier to store if you haven't got a large area to keep them in.

On the flip side though, shavings take a lot longer to rot and so they can be tricky to dispose of. The price of shavings can also fluctuate quite a lot between brands and it can quickly add up if your horse is stabled a lot.

Shredded paper

Paper bedding is not quite as popular as straw or shavings, but it does still have its own pros and cons when being used as horse bedding.

The advantages of using paper bedding for your horse is that it is dust free and the bales are often packed well, making them easy to store.

However, while it can be cheap to buy, you often need a large amount to create a thick bed so the cost can quickly add up.


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The pros and cons of different horse bedding
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I'm Shannon. Welcome to Tales from the Country, a countryside lifestyle blog for those who dream of escaping the hustle and bustle of life and about embracing all that comes from living in the British countryside.

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