There are so many horse bedding options- sawdust, shavings, straw, pellets, and even shredded paper. It’s usually a personal decision as to what works best. You should stay clear of a few types though. They can cause health and soundness issues in your horse.
- Black walnut sawdust: Your horse can develop laminitis within a few hours of standing on black walnut sawdust. Additional symptoms include a fever, colic, and swollen legs. Even sawdust blends with tiny amounts of black walnut can cause issues. Stay clear of it and always ask your sawmill what they process.
- Maple sawdust: Red maple leaves are toxic to horses. Research is starting to uncover other types of maple trees that are also problematic for horses. It’s best to avoid maple bedding.
- Cedar shavings: While not necessarily dangerous, its oily nature can stain your horse’s coat and irritate their skin. Some horses experience an allergic reaction to this type of bedding. The potent smell can also be too strong indoors.
- Dusty bedding: Some options like straw and kiln dried shavings can get very dusty. This may cause respiratory issues for certain horses.
Make sure to do your research and ask questions before choosing a bedding type for your horse. In order for your horse to be comfortable and content in their stall, you also need to use the right amount.