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So I finally get to have my horse on my own property...and I have no idea what to use for bedding. It needs to be able to stay fairly dry because her barn is over 100 years old, and in need of repair. her stall is fixed up roof and all, however there may be a few spots where the stall gets wet (especially here in OR where it rains constantly!). After doing some research, I came up with a few decent options:
-Sand(will have shavings or something on top)
-Dry Stall(Premium, expensive bedding, haven't found many dealers for it so it will probably need to be shipped, however it is very nice)
-Wood Shavings(this is probably the most likely as it's fairly cheap. It will need to be mixed with something though for easier cleanup and warmth)
-Wood pellets(I really like this, I need to do more research but I hope I will at least get to try these out. They are supposedly very absorbent and with a little water, they become fluffy and nice)

So, any experience or opinions with these as bedding? It might be used for goats as well.

PS: Any suggestions on how to fix a bad pasture? It has been stomped on by cattle through rain and wet, so there are half foot holes in all of our pastures that I'm terrified my mare will break a leg on. Is there something we can do? I was thinking maybe fill in with sand or dirt or something, but I've heard moles tear into that looseness pretty quick(I'd honestly rather have that than the holes though).
 

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My friend had the same problem and hand dug a little trench around her barn ro keep water out of it. It's not big enough to hurt horses. In fact it taught them to watch where their feet are a little better. You may also try putting sand bags down, and build the stall up with dirt and pack it in. Then I would put stall mats down on the dirt. After that it's really up to you on the bedding...

For the pasture, I'm not sure what to do on that one. I would get it ripped and see if that does anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh stall mats is a good idea! And we were going to rip the pasture but it's pretty pricey renting out the equipment to do it...
 

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I dont know how big your stall is, but the stall mats are the very best investment for keeping your horses feet in good shape.
We have 12 x 24 stalls and we built up each one - for drainage you want to layer the stall gravel, sand and the dg with stall mats over the top - we made a raised area in the front of the stalls where they eat and where the roof is and that is framed in with 2 x 4's and 2 inch wide and 10 inch long steel posts to anchor the wooden frame - we filled in that pad with road base and then did a mix of sand and dg over the top before putting in the mats. It works great and they always have a place to stand that is dry when it rains - I do have a couple that move the mats - but I just maintain the stalls regularly.
I use shavings on top of the pads, fine for the smaller stalls and regular for the larger paddocks, and the pellets on the pee holes or if I need to soak up extra moisture anywhere, along with food grade Diatomaceous earth which keeps down the smell and the flies.
Dont waste your time or money on Dry Stall - especially if you have to special order it. Not all horses do well with it and it will serve you better to use pellets and DE instead for odor and moisture control.
As far as the pasture - rip it and replant - your ag extension should be able to tell you where to get good pasture seed.
There is nothing like having your horse at home! How exciting for you!
 

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So I finally get to have my horse on my own property...and I have no idea what to use for bedding.

So, any experience or opinions with these as bedding? It might be used for goats as well.

PS: Any suggestions on how to fix a bad pasture? It has been stomped on by cattle through rain and wet, so there are half foot holes in all of our pastures that I'm terrified my mare will break a leg on. Is there something we can do? I was thinking maybe fill in with sand or dirt or something, but I've heard moles tear into that looseness pretty quick(I'd honestly rather have that than the holes though).
I would suggest stall mats, at least a bag of wood shavings, and pick the stall daily - no less than every other day - then add a little more bedding to keep the bedding at a consistent amount. The wood shavings will absorb the urine and the picking will remove the wet bedding, thus keeping the stall dry and the ammonia controlled. Do a thorough cleaning, remove all bedding, and sprinkle some PDZ and put down new wood shaving once a week or when needed. We have a horse boarding business and that is what we do.

Wood shavings will also work very well with goats, but if you don't clean the shed regularly they have a tendency to dry to a concrete type of consistency. Something else to consider when using wood shavings for goats is that they don't work very well when kidding as they tend to stick to the kids making Mom work harder to clean the kids, and can stick to the kids nose and mouth making it difficult for them to breathe.

As for the pasture, your horse will not break a leg in it unless you are racing around at roughneck speed. Even then, the chances of her breaking a leg are small but she could stumble and fall with you. I believe if it were my pasture, I would chain a fairly heavy gate or maybe an old metal box springs to the back of my pickup and make a few passes across the pasture at a moderate rate of speed. The gate/box springs should take off the ridges - especially if it has an angular frame - and deposit them in the holes, thus leveling out the pasture surface. I hope this helps,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you a lot for the bedding info! I think I'll use the mats if I can afford them myself, otherwise it's just shavings for them! I can't use shavings for my goats though, they eat them and my doe seems to be allergic to them(might just be the mites at shows though). I might be able to put straw on top though to prevent that stuff a little.

And I don't think I will be riding her in that pasture. Maybe in the smoother part but definitely not where it gets really rough. Thank you for the idea about dragging something across, I'll have to look into what we can use. Thank you so much!
 
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