Another round of What Do is here!
First off, is it seriously almost Thanksgiving? Did another week really fly by? Did I really ride 0 times since the last post?
Also, B thanks everyone for siding with him on his clip job. He thinks he's too hot to trot.
Here's a picture of my mud monster since I did nothing else this week.
Even if you don't have horses at home, I want to know what your barn does! Because I am an idea thief. So tell me your secrets.
I've battled with what to do for bedding almost my entire horsey life...approx 16 years.
There are 7 things I take into account when I look at bedding:1) cost 2) durability 3) actual usefulness (this should have a coefficient of 2) 4) ease of cleaning 5) storage 6) availability
As new owners way back in the day, we naively bought bagged shavings.
WORST EVER. I hate shavings from a bag. Hate hate hate. Expensive as all hell @ $6/bag with a min. of 5 per stall. It also only looks pretty for a day. Absolutely useless in terms of soaking ability and cushioning power. Also sticks to everything, Impossible to muck & literally becomes part of blankets and tail hair. The only plus I give it is its storage superpowers. Can be stored outside or inside and stackable. Literally you can get this Satanic shit everywhere. TSC, Rural King, Walmarts, Pet Stores and other grain Stores. 2/6.
Then we started buying from the sawmill.
Which, hands down, is THE BEST. Not only is it cheap ($30 a trailer load), but it stays clean longer, absorbs more, doesn't stick to poop nuggets, easy to muck, provides adequate stall coverage/cushiness and brushes out of coats easily. Also downside is finding a place to store it. If you do not have an indoor area, storing it outside is miserable. More than 25% I would say gets thrown in the wind, literally, and gets ruined by moisture. Also freezes in the winter making it impossible to use. I do prefer this bedding though for summertime. Some people have issues with availability and finding random shit in the sawdust...but I've been lucky. 5/6
Other things I've dabbled with is the bagged pellet bedding.
Its very expensive for one. About $7/bag. It takes many many bags for one stall. I would say 4 wetted down and 2 dry, for a total of 6-7. The GOOD news is that this bedding last FOREVER, especially if you use 2 dry bags.
It absorbs like WHOA and one of the pluses is you can LEAVE the wet spots and stir it up. It reabsorbs into the dry bedding! You do have to wet the other 4 bags down, to get the bedding to plump up, which is a PTA. Overall though I love this stuff on limited use or used in tandem with sawdust. Brushes out easy, doesn't stick and is SO easy to clean. Storing it outside can be tricky- if their are holes in the bag the bedding will expand and get ruined before you use it! Best to store inside, but since its bagged, stackable! Also, it seems to be widely available at TSC, Rural Kings and other grain stores in the area. I would give this 4/6.
Lastly, I've recently discovered the holy grail of bedding when I can't use sawmill bedding.... Ground corn cobs.
Seriously. THE BEST EVER. Might be better than sawdust. $3/bag. Takes about 4 bags per stall, more if you want. Absorption level: MAXIMUM. You can also stir this bedding up like the pellets.
When it comes to cushion it is very "bouncy". My horses LOVE it. When it comes to cleaning, it is a BREEZE. Nuggets sift right out and you stir up the wet spots. It lasts ages and you only need to add a bag every so often and remove the super soaked spots after about a week. Store inside or out and stackable! Super duper light bags too. It sticks to blankets but brushes right off. Only downside: Bacardi sometimes munches on it. I don't know how available it is nationwide, but I get them at Rural Kings as they are not avail at TSC. 6/6 in my book! 5/6 for everyone else if you don't have Rural Kings.
So, dear readers...do tell, what do?!