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How much bedding do you use on your mats?

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  • How much bedding do you use on your mats?

    I keep dreaming that there is a better way to do stalls. I have mats in about 1/2 of my stalls. How much bedding do any of you use. I keep them on the lower side, but still feels "bedded" and covers all but the first three feet across the front.
    I would love to justify using less. Might try it but I would like to hear others thoughts?

  • #2
    My stallwalking mare gets one bag, in a pile that's about 4 ft in diametere in the middle of the stall. She pretty much immediately spreads the bedding around herself, and the stall needs to be stripped almost every time she's in it, so I don't use a lot. She also is only stalled for blizzards/ice storms/etc.

    My filly is neat as a pin in her stall, poops and pees all in one corner and doesn't stallwalk. She gets 2 bags, and I might take out 1/3 of a wheel barrel (if that) each time I clean.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


    • #3
      You will get a whole range of responses to this question; from none to a full bed (6" or more). I go middle of the range at about 3" and keep the bedding in the middle part of the stalls. The stalls are large (12'*17') and horses go in and out as they please so I don't want them taking too much out with them.

      They all lay down a lot so I want them to be dry and comfortable when they do.


      • #4
        Mostly it depends on how long the horse is going to be in the stall. At a show or for a horse on stall rest, 6" at least. Horses staying in during the day and out at night (our summer program), about 1/3-1/2 a bale of straw, mostly enough to keep them dry if they pee in it, when it's spread out it's probably only 2" deep. Horses in just for feeding (winter program) a few flakes of straw, but really they probably don't need anything!


        • #5
          I don't think there's one answer - too many variables.
          For me, with horses who have free access to stalls and are rarely in if weather is nice (no mats, stonedust floors in the stalls):
          If I'm using pelleted bedding (Summer) about 3 bags to start a stripped stall, then add a bag about every other week.
          For shavings (Winter - when I can't dampen the pellets w/o the hose) about 2 bags to start, then add a bag every week or so depending on how much they choose to stay in.
          I transition from shavings to pellets gradually - starting about now - adding pellets to the chosen pee spot then gradually completely replacing shavings with pellets.
          Shavings form a deeper bed - around 6" - pellets only end up about 3" but seem cushier.
          Horses both lie down , and no problems like hock sores with either type of bedding.
          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


          • #6
            1" or less.


            • #7
              I have mats in my stalls. I have runs off my stalls. The horses do ALL business outside in the run. Therefore I have zero shavings in my stalls. I pick up poop outside. I have done this for years and years. I too hate to clean stalls. I had a job cleaning stalls. So no shavings for me. If there is an accident, I scoop. All I do is sweep the mats or blow the dust outside. It is a nice bug free, clean environment for the horses to stand or lay down on. Nobody has slipped, nobody has had road rash or anything else. I have way less flies since I have no shavings except for ones in a bag.


              • #8
                It depends. Less for a pig than an easy stall keeper. I've gone back to pelleted bedding. For a regular stall, 4 to 5 bags (12 x 12) and I keep it at that level. For a horse on stall rest, about 12 bags. It's like sleeping on a TempurPedic bed. That depends on the horse too...sometimes for stall rest I've used deep bedded and banked shavings.


                • #9
                  We start out with three or four bags. Maybe add back a half or full bag once a week. Thank you god I have not had to do any stall rest.


                  • #10
                    About 3-4 inches of fluffed pellets, over mats.
                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                      About 3-4 inches of fluffed pellets, over mats.
                      Same here, with a few handfulls of new pellets added every two or three days as needed.


                      • #12
                        I have watched for years horses out to pasture.
                        We have a sand pile they love to use to roll, play king of the mountain and take naps on.

                        Still, when they are on the other side of the pasture, they will lay on the ground there just fine to stretch out and sleep.

                        I am not sure horses are that particular about how soft it is, more that it is dry and even better with a bit of a slope to it.

                        I think that if you watch your horse's stall habits, you can bed some more, some less, according to what the individual horse likes and make them happier than all any one standard of so many inches.


                        • #13
                          When they will be in overnight, I want a fairly deep pile - 3-4" or so, sometimes more. There's nothing worse than not having enough bedding to soak up the urine - ack. The next to nothing worse is not having enough bedding to cushion whatever manure pile they choose to lay on. The choice is to really get it ground in because there's not enough bedding between it and the mat, or to have enough bedding so the manure sort of sinks into the bedding a bit and only squishes against, as opposed to grinds into, the hair.

                          When they are only coming in for breakfast, which is on average 360 days a year, then it can get as low as just a dusting, depending on how long it's been since I had to add anything new and scoop out pee spots.
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                          • #14
                            Wow. I use 8" or more, plus bank the sides about 2' high.

                            Yes, it costs more. Yes it takes forever to muck. But stalls are my horses' bedroom (and bathroom). I want to make it inviting and comfortable for them. I cannot imagine making a horse lie down on rubber mats (which is the same as 3" of bedding) as his only option. When mucking I easily move 4" - 6" off over the wet spots before finding them. I know that my horses are never being asked to lie in their own pee. And my barn never smells like ammonia, except when I muck, and then I use lyme and leave the stalls open for 4 hours.

                            Living in Southern Pines where the soil is sandy, all my fields have big sandy areas in them (made by the horses) where they lie down to rest on nice warm days in the winter. I figure I owe it to them to provide the same level of comfort in their stalls.

                            Plus, my big WB gets hock sores if I ever have less bedding in his stall (like when I am waiting for a new load of shavings and just getting by with what I have left).
                            "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                            Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


                            • Original Poster

                              If I bedded like that it would take all day to do 22 stalls.
                              I was interested to read on another thread that someone only put bedding in the middle, but I agree with those who say you need something to soak up the pee.
                              I think I will try different things with the different horses.
                              thanks for the input.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Eilsel View Post
                                Mostly it depends on how long the horse is going to be in the stall. At a show or for a horse on stall rest, 6" at least. Horses staying in during the day and out at night (our summer program), about 1/3-1/2 a bale of straw, mostly enough to keep them dry if they pee in it, when it's spread out it's probably only 2" deep. Horses in just for feeding (winter program) a few flakes of straw, but really they probably don't need anything!
                                This is about how I do it too. The longer they are in the stall, the deeper I bed. I also bed deeper in the winter than the summer.


                                • #17
                                  Another vote for it depends on the horse. My horses are not closed in their stalls. The mare who is a pig and uses her stall as a toilet and not much more gets minimal bedding (bulk sawdust). The tidy mare gets several inches of sawdust.