Most horse owners know perfectly well how to make a good bed for their horses in the stable. However, we come across many different ideas and theories about this that vary from the skimpy to the downright dangerous, so we wanted to outline what the experts tell us are the key points in making an ideal bed, and why this matters.
Vets and equine professionals agree that horses in stables need a good covering of at least 15 to 20 cms (6 to 8 inches) of bedding across the whole stable floor. This depth of bedding should be provided on all stable floors, including rubber matting. Coverage should extend across the whole stable, and it’s better not to leave a free space around the stable door because this is where your horse will spend a lot of time standing.
Your horse will probably spend a minimum of 12 to 15 hours out of every 24 in the stable, normally overnight. For periods as long as this, the bedding you provide needs to be deep enough to give the support your horse needs under its feet and when lying down.
The right depth of bedding will also help to cushion joints – especially hocks – when your horse is lying down or rolling, and this depth of bedding is also required to either absorb urine effectively or drain it down away from the surface.
It is important for the bed to be comfortable and supportive not just to be kind to your horse – although that is a very good reason – because horses need to lie down to get the deep, REM sleep they cannot get standing up. Horses need an average of 60 minutes of REM sleep every 24 hours, or like humans they will become tired, grumpy and ultimately exhausted.
How to make a Bedmax bed
Obviously we recommend Bedmax or Littlemax as the ideal type of bedding for your horse. This is because we have designed it specifically to help you avoid as many of the health risks as possible that threaten horses in stables:
- Risk 1: Airborne dust
This is the big threat to your horse in the stable. Bedmax is low dust.
- Risk 2: Hygiene
Bedmax is made from antibacterial pine and dried at sterilising temperatures.
- Risk 3: Hoofcare
Bedmax is dried to a controlled moisture content to prevent hooves drying and cracking, and our larger flakes give ideal support under the hoof.
- Risk 4: Ammonia:
Can damage lungs and hooves. Our pine shavings reduce ammonia; just smell a Bedmax bed and you’ll find out.
- Risk 5: Rest:
Horses need to lie down and sleep, but the quality of the bed you provide also has an impact on your horse’s mental well-being.
But even Bedmax won’t help safeguard your horse’s health and well-being in the stable unless you make the bed and maintain it properly. When you do, you’ll find that it works to your advantage as well as to your horse’s. A good Bedmax bed made to the recommended depth will not only provide all the health and well-being benefits for your horse, but it will also be easier for you to manage and maintain, with less wastage and minimum replacement, which maximises its cost effectiveness.