What Type Of Sand Is Best For Horse Stall? (Best solution)

Soil, Sand, or Clay Sand is frequently used for stall floors. It is easy on the horse’s legs, non-slip, and requires minimal bedding material over top. It drains well and is replaceable once it becomes very soiled.

  • You’ll notice that WSDOT Class 2 Sand (932-3) is the coarsest sand of the four, and Fine Mason Sand (936-3) is the finest. Here are a few different sands that customers commonly use for horse arenas, with a description of their properties: Fairway Top Dressing Sand (921-3)

What is a good base for horse stalls?

A well-drained sand or gravel base under the concrete is desirable, but not required. – Impervious floors require a level evenly compacted sub-layer. Sand or fine gravel may provide structural support and underground drainage. Solid rubber mats are often laid over concrete or well-packed road base mix.

Is sandy loam good for horse stalls?

It is a poor bedding choice for many horses due to the potential for colic. Horses in sand stalls will tend to ingest some of the sand particles and increase the risk of colic.

How do I keep my horse’s stall dry?

How to Keep Stalls and Barns Dry in the Northwest

  1. Wood Shavings Work Great.
  2. Clean Up Daily.
  3. Time Their Bathroom Breaks.
  4. Keep Them in After the Rain.
  5. Dig Out the Mud and Replace the Soil.
  6. Try an Additive.
  7. Mud Control Ideas at Coastal.

What soaks up horse urine?

White vinegar is right up there with baking soda as an accessible and inexpensive barn odor neutralizer—as long as you prefer the smell of vinegar to the barn smells! Keep some vinegar in a spray bottle and spray your horse’s mats before adding shavings and also spray it on the stall walls.

Is gravel good for horse stalls?

Choose a heavier, round, sand. Do not use fine or dusty sand like the type used to make concrete. Gravel paddocks make life easier in the wet Northwest, but horses should never be fed on gravel as they can ingest it leading to colic or tooth damage.

Is Mason sand good for horse stalls?

This is a great option to start out with for dressage and jumping horses, particularly if you intend to optimize the footing with a textile additive like TruTex. In some cases, a well balanced concrete sand can work but typically, mason sand is easier to stabilize.

What can I use for horse stall walls?

As for stall wall construction, hardwood is probably the best. Concrete or concrete block works very well if the stalls are lined with some type of wooden “kick board” to a height of about four feet. The minimum height of the stall walls should be eight to nine feet.

What is the best footing for a horse paddock?

Rock products, also known as sand and gravel, are a great choice for paddock footing because they are extremely slow to break down, don’t hold moisture or bacteria, and can be supported for a stronger base.

What kind of wood is used for horse stalls?

The best wood for horse stalls is Brazilian hardwood, HDPE wood, and Southern Yellow Pine. The worst woods are any type of maple and black walnut, as these are toxic to horses, and they often nibble on their stall. Treated wood should be used cautiously, restricted to low areas.

How thick are horse stall walls?

Stall Walls The walls of the stall should be at least four feet high and made from material strong enough to withstand the kick. Some commonly used materials are 1 ½ -inch-thick tongue and groove, full thickness (two inches) rough sawn lumber, or ¾-inch plywood topped with sheet metal.

Should horse stall doors open in or out?

Swinging doors should always swing freely and out into the aisle, and they must be kept tight against the stall wall when they’re open. A loose horse in the aisle could ram into a half-open swinging door and get hurt.

How do you stop a stall from flooding?

Raising your stalls up an inch or two so they’re at least level with the ground outside of your barn can help to reduce the chance of them flooding. You can use Lighthoof to build up your stall base as well because it adds 3″ of height in addition to providing erosion control.

Why horses should not be kept in stalls?

“Horses get used to being in, but there are health risks,” says Dr. Malinowski. You may worry about turnout injuries, but a barn can be a hazardous place for a horse. Dust and poor ventilation contribute to airway disease, and research shows that confinement in a stall reduces gut motility, increasing colic risk.

How deep should shavings be in horse stall?

On average, customers apply 6 inches of shavings on the floor of the stalls to ensure a good level of comfort for the horse and an excellent absorption rate. However, if the stalls are equipped with rubber mats, less bedding thinkness is required.

Is sand good for horse stalls?

Asked in the following category: General The most recent update was made on January 14, 2020. Soil, sand, or clay are all acceptable options. Sand is a popular material for stall floors. It is gentle on the horse’s legs, is non-slip, and requires just a little amount of bedding material on top of it. Sand-bedded stalls may require “top-up” maintenance since the sand is removed each time the stall is mucked out. If the horse seat is removed from the floor, sandcolic is an issue. Clay, sand/clay combination, limestone dust, wood, concrete, asphalt, and rubber floormats are just a few of the flooring materials that are regularly utilized.

Hard packed clay flooring is frequently used, however it takes a lot of upkeep and is not very durable.

  1. Floors that are stable. The stable floor, also known as Stall Mats, is located at the very bottom of a horse’s stall. Stall mats are rubber or plastic floor mats that are placed over the stall floor in the next layer above the barn’s floor
  2. They are used to protect the stall floor from damage. Bedding made of hay or straw, wood shavings, recycled newspaper and other paper products, etc.

Is Sand harmful to horses in light of the foregoing? Sandparticles attach to the roots and stems of plants that have been swallowed, and this heavy, indigestible substance can build up in the horse’s digestive tract. When a tiny amount of sand is used, it might trigger repeated indications of colic in certain horses. Other horses are said to be able to endure a moderate amount of intestinals with no difficulties. What is the best way to keep a horse stall dry? First, remove all of the damp bedding from the horse stallmats and allow them to dry completely.

Only lay bedding down on a horse stall floor that is fully dry.

Under Foot

The television advertising for mattresses that remind us that “we spend one-third of our lives in bed” are most certainly familiar to you as well. For that matter, if turnout is limited to a few minutes per day per boarding resident, your horse may spend as much as 95 percent of his time in his stall as well. The comfort of your horse’s feet and legs is therefore affected by his stall floor, just as the comfort of your own back is affected by the comfort of your mattress. Are you thinking of changing the flooring in your stalls?

Here’s all you need to know about the situation.

His House and Home

A horse that spends his days in a pasture is almost maintenance-free. Horses in stalls, on the other hand, “require much greater care, attention and labor,” according to Kathy Anderson, PhD and extension horse specialist at the University of Nebraska. It’s not just about feet, either. She reminds us that “materials used for stall floors can greatly influence air quality, ease of stall maintenance and manure removal.” And air quality isn’t something to sneeze at, since “adequate ventilation reduces the presence of air contaminants such as dust, molds and irritating gases from decomposing manure,” Anderson says.

In general, says Wheeler, “a properly constructed floor has layers of materials that provide suitable support, drainage and structural integrity for the top surface layer.” Wheeler notes that there are two major categories of stable flooring materials, those that are porous and those that are not.

Impervious floors, properly installed, are sloped toward a drain so urine and water run out of the stall.

Wheeler’s list of desirable characteristics for flooring reads like this: 1) Easy on legs and “gives” to decrease strain on tendons and feet; 2) dry; 3) non-odor retentive; 4) provides traction—non slippery, encourages horse to lie down; 5) durable—stays level, resists damage from pawing; 6) low maintenance; 7) easy to clean; and 8) affordable.

  1. So how do you choose?
  2. Wheeler calculates that a 1,000-pound horse produces approximately 31 pounds of feces and 2.4 gallons of urine daily.
  3. Floors that allow urine to be absorbed and travel through the flooring will retain odors, so stalls with porous flooring must be well-bedded, with soiled bedding replaced in timely fashion.
  4. Urine removal is a health issue, not simply an olfactory one.
  5. “Since horses spend a good deal of time with their heads down, high ammonia concentrations at the floor level can damage the lining of the throat and lungs.

Prices generally fall into three categories: 1) Least expensive—topsoil, clay, road base mix; 2) medium price—sand, concrete, asphalt; and 3) high end—solid rubber mats, grid mats and wood. We’ll discuss these types and their pros and cons next.

Porous Flooring Choices

Topsoil is the most popular type of porous flooring material. Wheeler compares it to pasture footing, claiming that it has “natural” properties. High absorption, non-slip surface, low cost, and changeable drainage are just a few of the benefits of this product. However, because of its porosity, it can retain moisture and odor, and it must be leveled and replenished frequently. It is also difficult to muck, can freeze hard, and is difficult to disinfect. The removal of topsoil prior to the construction of stall flooring, according to Anderson, will help to reduce the likelihood of settling.

  1. Maintaining level flooring is difficult due to the fact that when horses urinate, gaps and pockets form, making cleaning difficult and resulting in foul smelling aromas.
  2. Anderson recommends that you thoroughly mix the mixture, level it, and pack it before placing a horse in a stall with this combination.
  3. It can cause cracks and splits in horses’ feet because it dries them out; it combines with bedding, making it more difficult to clean; and it can cause sand colic in horses who consume it.
  4. Another possibility is:?
  5. Road base mix, which is also known as limestone dust, washed sand, quarry waste, and stone dust, is typically formed of decomposed granite combined with a tiny quantity of clay or other binding material, according to Wheeler.
  6. Anderson recommends wetting and packing road foundation flooring prior to usage, as well as making sure the surface is level and firm.

It is necessary to have limestone that is 4 to 5 inches thick and to have it laid over a base that is 6 to 8 inches deep of sand or another material that provides for adequate drainage.” The use of wood is still an option, according to Wheeler, because it provides “a low-maintenance, flat surface that assists in the stall mucking process.” It is recommended that the planks be at least two inches thick and treated with a preservative.” Fill in the gaps with sand, road foundation mix, or clay to allow for urine drainage and to keep out spilt grain and the insects and rodents that it attracts.

As a result of providing insulation between the horse and the chilly ground, a wood floor can assist reduce stiffness.

According to Wheeler, a grid mat, which is made of rubber or plastic and is meant to support another type of flooring, is a less frequent alternative.

A compacted, flat sub-floor is laid on top of the mat, and the top layer is covered with another flooring material such as clay, dirt, or road foundation mix.” It is easier to drain because of the wide gaps, and the matrix avoids holes and damage from pawing.”

Impervious Flooring Options

A number of advantages exist for concrete, the most common impermeable material, including endurance, ease of cleaning, rat resistance, minimal maintenance and a cheap cost relative to other impervious materials. “Drainage is virtually nonexistent,” Anderson continues, adding that “additional bedding, and maybe thick rubber matting, is required to minimize odor and traction concerns.” The majority of specialists believe that a horse who lives on concrete should be turned out for at least four hours every day of the week.

  • Asphalt, according to Wheeler, provides “a little more forgiveness” to the legs and feet.
  • It has a long lifespan, offers traction, is less expensive to install than concrete, and is simple to maintain.
  • In most cases, solid rubber mats are used to cover other flooring materials, such as road foundation mix or concrete.
  • They are simple to clean and pleasant for the horse; nevertheless, the cost is a consideration, they can move if not properly fastened, and they may retain odor, according to Wheeler.
  • In addition, warranties are provided with the mats as an added bonus.
  • More than just the surface on which the horse is standing, the floor is a multi-layered structure.
  • Whatever you choose, we’ve gone a long way from “simply dirt,” and you can find the best option for your horses’ comfort as well as your personal comfort in terms of upkeep and cost.

Choose The Right Floor For Your Horse Stable

Horse Stables|October 10, 2018|Horse Stables

When building a new stable or stalls for horses, what they will be standing on is a very important consideration.

When confined, horses must remain still on whatever is on their stall floor for extended periods of time, which can be difficult on their legs. As a result, when it comes to leg health, it is important to choose flooring that is comfortable. Another consideration is maintenance. Some varieties of flooring require less maintenance than others, while some are more difficult to maintain. The sort of floor you pick for your new stable will be determined by the natural soil that already exists, the materials that are accessible to you, and your financial constraints.

1. Soil, Sand or Clay Floor

Even though leaving the present dirt in place is a low-cost and healthy alternative for your horse, your flooring may require daily maintenance to maintain them flat and level, and the soil may need to be changed at some point in the future. Horse stalls with clay-based soils will require a significant amount of upkeep. Damp clay may be slippery or sticky, and horses might dig holes and hollows depending on where they stand, paw, or wander about most of the time.

The installation of clay flooring is a possibility, but it is advised that they be spread over a thick layer of crushed gravel and kept clean and dry at all times.

2. Concrete Flooring

When it comes to stables, concrete flooring is quite prevalent. It is extremely long-lasting, easy to clean, and difficult to damage. Because it can be slippery, textured concrete is preferable for stalls and alleys. While very smooth polished concrete may be appealing and simple to sweep in feed and tack rooms, textured concrete is preferable for aisles and stalls. If horses are kept in stalls for extended periods of time, it is best for their legs if rubber stall mats are installed over the concrete, or at the the least, if the stall is well-bedded.

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3. Crushed Limestone

This substance, which is also known as limestone dust, may provide a comfortable and safe stall flooring if it is laid appropriately. When it is placed in the container, it must be tightly packed and level. Crushed limestone has the advantage of providing adequate drainage if it is laid properly, with several inches of crushed limestone over a bed of sand. In addition, it has a non-slip surface. However, because limestone may pack to a hardness that is nearly concrete-like, stall mats and/or thick bedding will be required in order to ensure comfortable footing for your horse throughout the winter.

4. Gravel or Crusher Dust

Fine gravel or crusher dust can be used as stall flooring to provide a comfortable and safe environment for horses. When it is placed in the container, it must be tightly packed and level. Once it has been laid properly and several inches deep, the advantage of crushed gravel is that it offers adequate drainage. In addition, it has a non-slip surface. Gravel or crusher dust, on the other hand, is not as easy to clean as concrete. Over time, the gravel will compress, necessitating the use of stall mats and/or deep bedding to ensure your horse has a comfortable footing surface.

5. Rubber Mats

Rubber mats for stalls and stable walks are available in a variety of styles and colors. Because they can be hosed down or swept, equestrian mats are less difficult to keep clean than gravel or natural ground. A thick rubber mat provides excellent padding for your horse’s legs while also acting as an excellent insulator. Rubber mats perform best when they are set on a smooth, level surface that drains properly. Their most common application is on top of concrete, and they are often available in the form of interlocking tiles that may be customized to match your stalls or designated location.

provided the image used in this post.

Check out the options Outpost offer click here

When compared to concrete, asphalt is less taxing on a horse’s legs, and it may be designed to drain reasonably effectively. Asphalt is non-slip when it is originally laid, but it can grow slicker as time passes. It must be put thickly enough so that it does not fracture when walked on. However, disinfecting the porous surface may be problematic due to the nature of the material. Asphalt is one of the less expensive alternatives for stall floors and aisles, and it is very durable. We hope that this information will assist you in making a decision on the type of flooring to choose in your new stable or horse stall.

Most Outpost Stables are built to be movable, which means that if you ever need to relocate them in order to replace your flooring, you may do it without difficulty.

Please take a look at our extensive range of Stable designs

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Ask the Rock: What is the Best Sand for My Horse Arena?

So you’ve determined that sand will be the material of choice for your footings. In this essay, we’ll talk about the requirements for arena sand (also known as equestrian sand). We’ll also discuss which sands from Washington Rock Quarries are the most popular with arenas in the Tacoma and Seattle areas.

Arena Sand Standards

Choosing the correct material for your horse arena boils down to three words: safety, safety, and more safety. The perfect arena surface, according to Eileen Fabian Wheeler’s book Horse Stable and Riding Arena Design, “should be cushioned to minimize concussion on horse legs, firm enough to provide traction, not too slick, not too dusty, not overly abrasive to horse hooves, resistant to freezing during cold weather, inexpensive to obtain, and simple to maintain.” The sort of sand you pick will ultimately depend on the activities you’ll be performing in the arena, whether the arena is indoor or outdoor, and if you’ll be adding a supplementary substance such as wood chips.

Wheeler advises that the sand you use should be of high quality.

  • It should be washed and evenly graded to reduce dust
  • It should not be too angular so that it does not compact and not too round so that it does not roll
  • It should be medium to coarse
  • It should be mined rather than manufactured
  • It should be durable enough to last up to 10 years
  • And it should contain no more than 5-10 percent fines (after passing through a number 200 screen).

Remember that these recommendations are for the best-case situation; nonetheless, the final decision will be based on the resources available in your region as well as your specific requirements. More information may be found in the “Resources” section, which includes links to articles with more details.

Understanding Sand Terminology

Fines are extremely minute particles. Fines aid in the compacting of materials, but they may also render things dusty or unclean. Graded sand is sand that has been run through a certain set of screens in order to achieve a specific distribution of sizes. Evenly When the majority of the particles fall inside a specific size range, the term “graded” is used. Sand that has been washed: Sand that has been washed with water using specific equipment to remove some of the particulates that cause dust.

  1. Angular edges are sharp, while subangular edges are softened.
  2. Rounded items will not pack as effectively and will roll more when they are transported.
  3. Silt is defined as material with a size of less than 0.074 mm.
  4. Silt is the term used to describe any substance that goes past this filter.

Washington Rock’s Arena Sand Options

The fact is that the sort of sand you pick will vary greatly depending on the workouts your horse will be performing, whether your arena will be indoors or outside, and if you will be using an additive in addition to the sand (like wood chips or a binder). A sample of each sand is the best method to discover which one you prefer. This graphic contrasts and contrasts the four different forms of sand that are discussed below. The quarter serves as a point of comparison in terms of size. The difference between WSDOT Class 2 Sand (932-3) and Fine Mason Sand (936-3) is that the former is the coarsest and the latter is the finest.

  • Very consistent, with no particles larger than a tenth of an inch in size.
  • Fines are often found in concentrations of 0–1 percent.
  • Class 2 sand is a coarse, washed sand with particles ranging in size from 14 inch to 14 inch in diameter.
  • Fines make about 1–2 percent of the total weight of the product.
  • There are no particles larger than 1/8 inch in size.

Subangular to subround is a shape. Fines make up 1.5–3 percent of the total weight of the product. Manufactured Sand (937-3) is a sand that has been fragmented 100 percent. Sand that is angular and cleaned, and which often contains 1–2 percent particles

How Washington Rock’s Sand is Made

It is mined sand from natural deposits at King Creek Pit in Orting, Washington, that is used in the production of Washington Rock. The sand is fed into a machine that rattles it through a series of screens, resulting in products of various sizes. A wash cycle is then used to eliminate some of the particulates that are responsible for the dusty appearance of the finished product, if necessary. Our produced sand is created by smashing large rocks into extremely fine pieces. It is completely fragmented, resulting in an angular shape.

It is ideal for individuals who require good compaction.

Combining Arena Sand with Other Materials

Sand is an excellent choice for horse arenas because it can be mixed with other materials such as dirt, wood chips, rubber, and other materials to make the perfect surface. Sand is also inexpensive. For example, dirt or wood can be used in conjunction with our sand to increase moisture retention and durability. Horse feet can benefit from additional cushioning, which can be achieved by adding rubber.

Other Horse Facility Materials

For arena foundations and horse paddocks, we provide road base, and for horse pastures, we provide sandy loam. Contact us for more information. Recently, we released a post on a horse farm that utilizes our 1″ minus Trail Mix gravel for both their horse arena and their event site, and we thought you would be interested. The article contains a formula for a paddock that is suitable for the wet climate of the Pacific Northwest. Check out the video below to learn more about the project. Alternatively, please let us know if you have any additional requirements for rock, sand, or soil.


  • Everything You Need to Know About Equestrian Sand
  • Riding Arena Footing Material Selection and Management
  • And More. The Hidden Farm is a horse farm that has been transformed into a wedding venue.

Do you require a quote or a sample? Send us an email using the form on our Contact Us page. Our primary service area is in the Puget Sound region, but we also ship bulk speciality items all around the United States and to U.S. territories.

Which bedding is best? Common options compared

Cleaning stalls allows a person to have some time to reflect. It’s the kind of monotonous task that allows your mind to wander to other things, such as thinking about your training objectives, prioritizing your tack wish list, brainstorming names for an upcoming foal, and other thoughts. Changing your bedding is also a good chance to reassess your preferences. Most likely, you’re making do with whatever bedding material is readily accessible in your location and is within your financial reach.

Although it is not recommended, it is not a terrible idea to think about your alternative possibilities.

Other considerations beyond availability and cost include the possibility for dustiness and the “palatability” of a material—for a variety of reasons, you do not want bedding that your horse will be tempted to eat, therefore you should avoid using it.

When it comes to flooring, the objective may seem straightforward–to cushion and insulate the floor surface–but there are a range of aspects that might influence the best decision for a certain setting.

In the words of Brian Nielsen, PhD, of Michigan State University, “the bedding material should be comfortable so that the horse would not be reluctant to lie down, as well as absorbent.” However, the most important aspect is if the bedding material is affordable—which is more likely to be the case if it is easily accessible in your region.

“In certain locations, wood products are quite affordable because sawmills or industrial firms need to dispose of sawdust or shavings,” explains Bob Coleman, PhD, an extension specialist with the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension Service.

Byproducts are reduced when fewer people are building houses and when timber mills are not producing boards.” Here’s a summary of the most prevalent bedding alternatives, as well as some remarks from industry professionals.

With this knowledge, you may use your next stall-cleaning session to give some useful thought to the materials you’re sifting through, which will save you time in the long run.


ADVANTAGES: readily accessible; visually pleasant CONS: If collected or kept poorly, it is susceptible to mold growth; horses may attempt to consume it. not particularly absorbing Straw is the plant stem that remains after cereal grains have been collected for use as feed. The hollow stalks are trimmed, dried, and baled once they have been harvested. When hay is produced, on the other hand, the entire grass or legume plant is chopped down, dried, and baled. This includes the leaves and seed heads.

  1. The use of straw as bedding is not just decorative; it may also be quite comfortable for animals, especially if it is cut twice after harvest.
  2. Straw is also used as bedding for foaling, rather of wood shavings, which are more expensive.
  3. If a bale of straw shows symptoms of moisture or mildew, it should be examined just as thoroughly as a bale of hay.
  4. One source of concern is the fact that, despite the fact that straw is less pleasant than hay, many horses will still consume it.
  5. “I grew up in a place where we utilized straw,” Coleman explains.
  6. We were lucky in that we were able to obtain wheat straw, which is relatively absorbent and is infrequently consumed by horses.
  7. Embedded seeds near the incisors may be discovered, but abscesses back by the cheek teeth would be difficult to locate and would need extensive dental treatment to clear out.” Nielsen also points out that the absorption capacity of straw isn’t particularly high.
  8. Another consideration in places where cereal straw is abundant is the quality of the bales that may be obtained.
  9. “If you are receiving large bales of straw, do you have a plan for how you will manage them after they are unloaded off the truck?

Some barns are employing large bales of hay, which has forced them to reconsider their day-to-day operations. To move them, you’ll need a large tractor, so you’ll need a strategy,” Coleman explains. Click here to learn more about a research that determined which beddings have the most germs.


Wood-based beddings have a good track record of performance. In terms of water-holding capacity, Nielsen argues that wood products are comparable to straw, if not slightly better. “How finely processed the wood is, the greater the water-holding capacity,” he adds. In part, this is due to the fact that sawdust has a larger surface area than shavings. Sawdust is dustier than shavings, despite the fact that it is more absorbent, and this can cause or worsen respiratory difficulties. In addition, many types of forests might be outright dangerous to horses.

According to him, “some of the cedars contain a lot of oil, and this might create allergic responses or be overly drying–pulling moisture from the foot horns when horses are standing in these shavings.” “You should experiment with some of these in little doses initially to determine whether they would work or not for a particular horse.” Black walnut is one type of wood that is hazardous to all horses since it can cause laminitis in a horse that stands on it for even a short amount of time.

  1. “You must be aware of the source and take care that there is no black walnut in the cloth,” says the designer.
  2. While sawdust and shavings are the most commonly used wood bedding items, pellets are now available as an alternative.
  3. Coleman agrees that pelleted wood products, when accessible, can be used as bedding for animals in need of it.
  4. When they become moist and begin to expand, you will notice a noticeable increase in volume.
  5. Some people place a few pellets on the ground and sprinkle them with a little water to encourage them to expand.
  6. “Some of the pellets used in heating stoves may be hardwood, but the majority of bedding pellets tend to be softwood,” Coleman notes.
  7. The availability of wood goods increases when there is a lot of construction or building going on, and costs decrease as a result of the increased production of wood products.

“When the building industry is down, they become more expensive and difficult to get,” explains Nadeau. Straw is a traditional bedding material on breeding farms since it does not adhere to the skin of a young foal.


Paper possesses a number of characteristics that make it an excellent sleeping material. Using cardboard waste from industrial firms that cut cardboard boxes, Coleman explains how some individuals make their homes more energy efficient. “Small bits can be used as bedding since it is absorbent and does not attract the horses’ attention.” In spite of this, he claims, “you don’t see paper bedding used very often anymore.” It was difficult to cope with, which contributed to the decision. If you carry it out in a wheelbarrow and there is a breeze, it may go everywhere.

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“One argument against paper is that it has a tendency to become wet very rapidly,” Nielsen points out.

Additionally, the printing ink may cause a light-colored horse to appear dirty.

The depth of bedding in a stall, the frequency with which it is changed, and other factors come into play.


Peat moss is a dead, fibrous substance that forms as mosses decay in bogs, and it is sometimes used as bedding for horses. You may be more familiar with it in a gardening context, but it is also sometimes used as bedding for horses. There are clearly advantages to doing so: A little goes a long way with this product because it is incredibly absorbent and horses will not eat it. Peat moss, on the other hand, is difficult to come by in many places and can be rather expensive. “It’s possible that you’ll only be able to find it at a garden center,” Nadeau adds.

  • “The advantages of using peat moss as a bedding include high absorption and the fact that it is soft and nice for the horse.” The availability and expense of the product, as well as the fact that it is black in color, are disadvantages.
  • Everything is dependent on your priorities.
  • It’s also more difficult to pick through and clean since it’s difficult to distinguish between excrement and peat moss.
  • The extraction of peat necessitates the removal of the bog’s living surface, which consists of layers that can take decades to form.

According to critics, the process also emits a significant quantity of carbon dioxide into the environment, which contributes to climate change. As a result, environmental organizations in the United Kingdom are trying to phase out the use of peat moss for all horticultural purposes by 2030.


Despite the fact that sand is not widely used as a bedding material, some horsekeepers do make use of it in areas where it is abundant. “I worked at a place where they put sand between the horses’ beds,” Nielsen recalls. “There are advantages and disadvantages. Stall cleaning was very simple and didn’t take long; the sand falls right through yourapple-picker fork. A disadvantage is poor water absorption. It may stay a bit wet unless you bring in new sand, but you are really not taking the sand out because you can sift through it so easily.

It tends to pack and get hard,” he says.

“ Maybe in a dry climate with low humidity it will stay drier.” If you do choose to bed on sand, it’s vital to feed hay from pans or mats orracks —never directly off the floor.


Even seasoned horsekeepers may be unaware with some of the more strange, but entirely appropriate, bedding options available today for their horses. For example, hulls, shells, or “husks” from nuts and grains can be used as horse bedding if you can obtain them in sufficient quantities and in the right shape. “In certain southern places, peanut husks are used as bedding, and it appears to be effective,” explains Nielsen. The use of rice hulls is a possibility in some regions. Rice hulls have a tendency to remain dry since the moisture drains through them and they do not retain much.

Flax is included in the “other” category as well.

Flax is a food and fiber crop that is typically produced in colder regions of the world.

The “shive,” which is the woody core of the stalk, is a byproduct of the flax fiber production industry.

“People tend to enjoy it as a horse bedding,” Coleman explains, “since it is fairly absorbent and a tiny bit does a decent job.” It is available for purchase in bags and is convenient to travel.” Although it is readily available, some horse owners have reported that it can be a little slippery when initially set down because to its slick surface.

So it’s worthwhile to take the time to go through your tools and equipment on a regular basis.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by!

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The Complete Guide to Horse Paddock Footing

Creating an outside paddock for your horses as part of your management practices to provide them with a healthy living environment is most likely something you have done or are going to do as part of your management practices. These smaller outdoor facilities, which are also known as a sacrifice area, confinement area, or dry lot, are intended to provide horses with a secure and pleasant environment in which to roam around and socialize when grass turnout is not available. In order to keep the paddock in good condition year-round, it must be maintained in a high-use location that receives a lot of hoof activity.

Putting in and maintaining some form of paddock footing is the greatest answer in this situation.

In this section, you will find a broad summary of all the options that are accessible to you, as well as the benefits and risks associated with each choice.

Wood Paddock Footing Products

There are several different types of wood products that may be used as footings for horse paddocks, and they are all available for purchase. This is often the least expensive choice available on the spectrum of footings, but it necessitates some consideration and has a few drawbacks.


Hogfuel is produced by chipping waste wood products in a wood processor known as a “hogger.” Hogfuel is a renewable energy source. This material is frequently inexpensive to get, however the quality and content of the substance might vary significantly. Due to the inexpensive cost of hogfuel, it is widely utilized to remediate muck on cow farm lands. Generally speaking, horses find it to be a very pleasant surface on which to lie, walk, and urinate. Filling and absorbing muddy places is an excellent feature of this product.

Despite this, it remains a popular choice due to its low cost and high efficacy, despite the fact that it is not a very long-lasting remedy.

Wood Chips

As a result of the tree pruning business, wood chips are frequently available for free. A tree trimmer operating in your neighborhood may stop and leave your contact information as a disposal location for the chipped wood if you ask them to stop and leave their information. This material is suitable for use as a footpath and landscape fill. We do not advocate it for usage in paddocks, though, because it can have pointed branches, powerful scents/oils, and toxic tasty-looking leaves, among other things.

Some trees are extremely poisonous to horses and should not be used near or in horse areas. Yew, red maple, all cherry trees, all plum trees, oleander, walnut, and oak are examples of poisonous trees that can be found in the wild.

Bedding / Sawdust

Indoor horse spaces, as opposed to outdoor horse areas, benefit from the use of sawdust, shavings, and bedding, among other things. Using wood items developed for horse bedding has the advantage of being safe for horses to be on while also working extremely well to absorb moisture and neutralize urine smells, which is quite important. However, when exposed to the elements, these absorbent wood products rapidly become saturated and turn into a mushy mess. It is preferable to utilize them in the stalls and pick a footing that is suitable for all weather conditions for your outside spaces.

Rock Paddock Footing Products

Rock materials, commonly known as sand and gravel, are an excellent alternative for paddock footing since they are extremely slow to decompose, do not retain moisture or germs, and may be reinforced to provide a more stable foundation for the animals. If correctly placed, this is often a more expensive footing choice, but the original investment will endure for a longer period of time. There are many other sorts of rock goods available as well. They differ depending on where you live and range from being mostly inappropriate to being great for horses.

Coarse Rock

In horse paddocks and gate areas, course angular rock is frequently used as a footing material, either as a basis or as the full footing material. This sort of rock often has particles that are around 1-2″ in diameter and are of a reasonably consistent size throughout its composition. It is created in a quarry by chopping up bigger rocks into smaller chunks and then blending them together. The hardness of this rock, once compacted, makes it relatively difficult to damage and it drains effectively.

As a result, the most popular application for this rock is as a base, which is typically 3-8 inches thick and covered with another 4-6 inches of a finer gravel.


Fine gravel is available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and most of them provide good footing for high-traffic horse areas such as paddocks, walkways, and gate areas. Regional variants exist, and some of them are identified by unique names or numbers, but the most significant differences include the following: In the case of gravel, particle size is often defined as the approximate diameter of the biggest particle. In the case of crushed rock, particles no larger than 3 4 inches in diameter can be found in a 3 4 inch crushed rock.

  1. Remember that if your horses are barefoot, small gravel particles can become stuck in the white line area of their hoof and, if not removed on a regular basis, can cause flaring, splitting, and even abscess if the particles are not removed on time.
  2. The form of your gravel particles is critical since it is the key to the stability of your gravel.
  3. The method by which the gravel is formed determines its shape.
  4. If it was created by humans at a quarry by crushing larger rocks into smaller ones, the particles would have an angular appearance to them.
  5. Round rock, such as pea gravel, is one example.
  6. However, it presents certain difficulties when used as a paddock footing.
  7. A tiny layer of it applied to a hard surface might be extremely slippery if the surface is not properly prepared.

It drains quite effectively, however water will need somewhere to go once it has passed through, or else it will pool under the pea gravel and cause pea soup!

If the Lighthoof panels are supported by the concrete, it produces a strong and clean surface that will last for many years and be simple to maintain.

The homogeneity of particle sizes within a mixture is referred to as particle uniformity.

This results in a surface that is extremely sturdy and smooth.

A “washed” or “clean” gravel has been sifted and washed to remove the particles from the surface of the material.

As a result, when it comes to mud protection in high-traffic horse areas, we often recommend the “minus” gravel since the increased stability exceeds the temporary increase in porosity.

If at all feasible, visit the quarry or obtain a sample of the gravel to examine it more closely. Once you have this information, you will be able to observe what is going on at the particle level and predict how it will function as footing in your paddocks.


Sand is a controversial choice for horse paddocks, with many people opposing it. Many individuals are apprehensive about using sand because they are concerned about sand colic, a potentially fatal illness that occurs when an accumulation of swallowed sand or soil particles forms in the horse’s digestive tract. This is something to be cautious of, but it is also something that can be easily prevented with proper management. It’s critical not to feed horses directly on sand when they’re working.

  • Picking up a dung ball while wearing a clear plastic glove is a fantastic technique to see if your horse is developing a sand accumulation in his intestines.
  • Shake it and compress it until the manure is completely dissolved in the water, and then hang it by the top with the fingers pointing down to finish the job.
  • If you have more than a teaspoon of sand in total, consult your veterinarian and/or consider providing a sand cleaning supplement such as psyllium to your pet.
  • Even allowing horses to graze on thin pastures with sandy soil might be detrimental to their health and well-being.
  • For horses, it’s a really pleasant place to lay down, roll about, and urinate in, and it’s extremely simple to keep clean – just like cleaning a little box!

Man-made Paddock Footing Products

When it comes to dealing with muck in horse paddocks, manufactured goods might be a smart option. However, there are also innovative solutions built expressly for paddock muck management that have emerged as a result of farm owners becoming creative with goods that were meant for other industries or applications.

Lighthoof Panels

In order to provide greater support for the footing, Lighthoof is a flexible plastic substance that contains pebbles in fist-sized cells that are joined together. This prevents hooves from mixing up the footing with the earth under them, and so prevents mud from accumulating beneath the footing. When combined with angular crushed gravel, Lighthoof requires less footing to maintain stability and provides a long-term solution that is both durable and cost-effective. It’s simple to set up, even on uneven or steep terrain, and it’s soft and safe for horses to ride on top of.

There are other hard plastic grids available on the market that provide a different approach to the problem of slipping.

Their purpose is to disperse the horse’s weight over the crushed rock under them, and they may be quite effective in instances when the ground beneath them is solid enough to sustain and keep them from shifting and falling apart at the seams.

Arena Footing

Frequently, I am asked if it is permissible or desirable to utilize constructed arena footing goods as paddock footing in their operations. Typically, the answer is no, and there are a variety of reasons for this. Arena footing items, such as crumb rubber, fiber or textile shreds, or other mixed materials, are intended to serve a specific function in the arena setting. Typically, this is done for shock absorption and/or dust cleanup purposes. Aside from being prohibitively pricey, these products aren’t very well suited for paddock footing.

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It will also find its way into your manure pile, preventing it from breaking down properly, whether you are dealing with trash on-site or having it taken from your property.

Rubber Mats

If you have portions of your paddock that require a smooth, impermeable, and simple to clean surface, rubber stall mats might be an excellent answer. They normally cost $30-40 for a 4’x6′ mat, and they may be placed in front of stall doors, beneath feeders, or anyplace else you need them to keep your horses comfortable. Nonetheless, because of the high expense, they cannot be utilized throughout the entire paddock; however, they can be effective in limited areas because they are transportable and reusable.

Maintain a watchful eye on the situation to ensure that humans or horses do not become injured when walking in the rain or near a water trough.

Play around with which side is up to get the right mix between slipperiness and ease of sweeping.

Carpet RemnantsConveyor Belting

I’ve heard a lot of stories of folks who utilize old scrap carpet or disused conveyor belting in their paddocks, just like they would rubber matting. A few people have even used it to cover the whole surface of their paddocks to prevent muck from seeping in and to provide a surface that is robust enough to withstand some hoof movement. The sole precaution is to ensure that horses do not become tangled in the edges of these materials and to keep a look out for ingestion or allergic responses to these materials.

As you can see, there are several advantages and disadvantages to the various footing alternatives, and your final decision will be determined on factors like as cost, availability, and your chosen farm care routine.

Do you have a question about paddock footing in particular?

Simply leave a comment below or email us with your thoughts.

Best Type Of Bedding For Your Horse

If you’re one of the many horse owners who maintains their horses on their own property, you’ve definitely spent a significant amount of time determining which sort of bedding is the most appropriate for your horse. In today’s market, there are a variety of solutions accessible, ranging from wood-based items like as shavings and wood pellets to straw bedding, rubber mats, and other alternative options that are available depending on your geographic area. Everyone’s horse is unique, and the sort of stall bedding that you pick will be determined by your horse’s special requirements, such as whether he has dust allergies or how much time he spends in his stall each day.

Some of the most popular equine bedding materials and factors to consider when determining which sort of bedding would be the most beneficial for you and your horse are listed below.


When deciding on the finest sort of bedding for your horse, one of the most important considerations is determining what possibilities are available in your local region. In some regions of the nation, wood shavings or pellets may be the most common bedding option, although rice hulls or paper bedding may be simpler to come by in other sections of the country, depending on geography. Inquire with some of your neighbors and check with your local feed shop to find out what is the most often utilized in your region of residence.

– It is possible that you have a dietary deficit.


In the event that you or your horse suffers from respiratory difficulties or allergies, you’ll want to select stall bedding that has little or no dust. There are a variety of dust-free items available, depending on what you can obtain in your region, including particular wood shavings that have been kiln dried and are dust-free. If your horse is suffering from respiratory difficulties, your veterinarian is a wonderful resource who can advise you on the best bedding material to use.

Storage and Disposal

The storage and disposal of stall bedding are also important considerations, particularly if you have a small amount of land or a small or restricted number of storage rooms available. If you intend to purchase your bedding in bulk, you’ll need to ensure that you have enough space for the materials and that they are kept in a location that is properly sheltered from the sun, rain, and wind. In the event that you choose to purchase your bedding in bags or bales, you’ll still want a storage space that is both quickly accessible and well protected from the elements.

Comfort and Absorbency

It is important for stall bedding to absorb urine and moisture as soon and efficiently as possible; otherwise, your horse will be soiled and exposed to ammonia smells when standing on wet bedding in the stable (this could be damaging to his lungs). If your horse is a senior or if he is confined to his stall for extended periods of time, you should ensure that his bedding is soft, cushioned, and pleasant for him. As a result, you’ll need to provide your horse with stall bedding that is highly absorbent as well as soft and comfortable, especially if he’s kept in a stall with little or no turnout area.


An additional consideration when selecting the ideal sort of bedding for your horse is how pleasant it will be to your horse’s taste buds.

Some horses will consume their bedding material, such as wood shavings or straw, while others show little or no interest in their bedding material. Before making your bedding choices, experiment with tiny samples of several types of bedding to observe what your horse is or is not interested in.

Common Types of Bedding

There are many different goods available that may be used to bedding horse stalls, but wood products such as shavings, wood pellets, wood chips, and sawdust are probably the most common. However, there are many more products available that can also be used to bedding horse stalls.

Wood Shavings

Soft, extremely absorbent, and easy to clean out of the stall, wood shavings are a particularly popular alternative for stall lining. The most common type of wood used in shavings is pine, and the size of the shavings can range from huge, fluffy shavings to smaller, finer shavings. Pine shavings are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from large, fluffy shavings to smaller, finer shavings. It is possible to save money if you purchase loose shavings in quantity, but you’ll need a big covered storage place where you can keep it properly stored away from the elements such as the wind, rain, and dust.

  • While wood shavings may be used for a variety of purposes, it’s critical that you use shavings in your horses’ stall that have been particularly made for horse bedding to ensure that they are comfortable.
  • You can get horse stall shavings on Amazon.
  • If you elect to use shavings in your horse’s stall, the wet shavings will need to be removed and cleaned from the stall on a regular basis in order to prevent the accumulation of ammonia, and you’ll need a way to dispose of the soiled bedding.
  • In order to determine whether or not your horse is interested in eating shavings, you’ll need to try him first before you decide to bed his whole stall with shavings.

Wood Pellets

Wood bedding is available in tiny packs that are easy to transport and store because of their light weight and compact design. Known as wood pellets, they are formed from kiln-dried wood that has been crushed into hard, compressed pellets that are extremely absorbent. For stall bedding, wood pellets are an excellent alternative due to the fact that the pellets are previously sterilized (which lowers germs) and that there is very little ammonia odor from the urine. As a rule, wood pellets are not dusty, and they are rather simple to clean out of a stall since you simply need to remove the damp patches and then replace them with fresh, new pellets to replace what you have previously removed.

This will assist soften the pellets and allow them to expand into soft, fluffy bedding.

Wood pellets, like wood shavings, may be used for a variety of purposes, so make sure that you are using wood pellets that are especially created for horse bedding when you are making your bedding.

Wood Chips

Petite-size bags of pelleted woodbedding make it easier to transport and store because they are lightweight. Typically, wood pellets are formed from kiln-dried wood that has been crushed into hard, compressed pellets that are extremely absorbent. For stall bedding, wood pellets are an excellent alternative due to the fact that the pellets are initially sterilized (which lowers germs) and that there is less ammonia odor from the urine. As a rule, wood pellets are not dusty, and they are quite simple to clean out of a stall since you simply need to remove the damp patches and then replace them with fresh, new pellets to replace what you have taken out.

If you want to utilize wood pellets, you must do so before they can expand and become soft and fluffy bedding.

Wood pellets, like wood shavings, may be used for a number of reasons, so make sure that you are choosing wood pellets that are especially developed for horse bedding, rather than wood shavings.


Another type of wood product that some people use for horse bedding is sawdust. Sawdust is often affordable and readily available in a wide range of geographical locations. It must be stored in a protected space away from the elements, just like the other types of wood bedding materials are. Generally, however, sawdust contains a lot of dust, which might irritate your horse’s eyes and nose, especially when your horse is roaming about his stall at full speed. Sawdust is not suggested for use by persons or horses who have respiratory problems, including asthma.


Straw has a long history of being used as bedding in horse stalls and is generally simple to get by in most parts of the country, especially in the southern states. Stall bedding is made of straw, which originates from cereal grains like as wheat, barley, and oat, with wheat being the most prevalent form of straw used in stalls. It is still a wonderful alternative for bedding for your horse, even if straw is not as absorbent as wood-based products such as shavings or wood pellets. Horse stalls that have been firmly bedded with straw can efficiently keep the moisture level down because they provide a protective barrier, or “mat,” between them and the horse’s urine.

In the event that you decide to use straw as bedding, make sure to choose straw that has a pleasant scent and is free of mold or foreign objects.

Stalls that are bedded with straw will need to be cleaned on a regular basis, and the soiled straw will need to be replaced with fresh, clean straw to ensure that your horse does not become exposed to ammonia, dust, or spores.

For those who have a mare in foal, straw bedding is ideal since it is soft and cushiony while also being non-adherent to the mare or foal.

First, you’ll want to experiment with a tiny bit of straw on your horse to see whether or not he is interested in eating it before deciding to utilize it as your bedding option.

Rice Hulls

Rice hulls, which are utilized in various parts of the world, can be obtained in bulk or in packed bags, depending on the location. Despite the fact that rice hulls are lightweight and not particularly absorbent, they are an excellent choice for use in stalls with adequate drainage or when combined with another bedding material such as wood shavings. Rice hulls are dust-free, soft, and cushiony, making them an excellent choice for bedding comfort for your horse’s bedding needs. As a result of their lightweight nature, they are not very efficient when used in open stalls that are subjected to windy weather.

Stall Mats

The use of rubber stall mats is common in stalls, however most people like to place a layer of additional bedding, such as shavings or straw, on top of the mats to provide added comfort. One of the most advantageous characteristics of stall mats is that they are simple to clean and offer a cushiony barrier between the horse and the hardness of the stall floor. Using stall mats is not recommended due to the fact that they are not absorbent and can become slippery when filthy and damp. Adding a little layer of substitute bedding, such as wood shavings, would be recommended if you prefer to use stall mats.

The usage of stall mats should be done on a regular basis, and they should be completely cleaned with soap and water after each use.

Paper Shavings

Horse bedding made of paper shavings is popular among horse owners since it is dust-free and extremely absorbent, making it an excellent alternative for horses with allergies. Paper shavings are available in both bales and bags, and they are simple to store as long as they are stored in a dry, sheltered spot away from the elements. A major advantage of using paper shavings as bedding is that horses are often not interested in eating this sort of bedding. However, just like with the other types of bedding materials, you’ll need to test a tiny pile to determine whether your horse is interested in consuming it before using it as bedding.

The disadvantage of using paper for horse stall bedding is that as it becomes filthy, the paper becomes heavy and slippery, requiring you to pay additional care to keeping your horse’s stall dry and clean.

However, there are several more materials that are regularly used in horse stalls that you can use as bedding for your horse in addition to the materials listed above and in the following sections.

The most important thing to remember is to provide your horse with nice, soft bedding that is clean, generally dust-free, and absorbent in addition to being comfy. Which sort of stall bedding is your personal favorite?

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