3 Types Of Stall Beddings For Horses: Pros & Cons Of Each Product


There are all kinds of different types of stall beddings on the market today. These types range from wood based products like shavings to other products like paper and straw. These are the 5 best types of stall beddings you can buy your horse, and the pros and cons of each product:

In this guide, I will discuss:

  • Pros and cons of pine shavings as bedding
  • Pros and cons of pellets as bedding
  • Pros and cons of straw as bedding
  • Pros and cons of wood chips as bedding
  • Pros and cons of sawdust as bedding

Types Of Stall Beddings:

3 of the most popular types of stall beddings on the market are straw, pine shavings, and wood pellets. All of these different beddings have their own pros and cons. One example would be that shavings offer a really soft choice for bedding, but it also can be really dusty and cause some respiratory issues. Another example would be that straw is a fairly clean choice for bedding but it is harder to clean and its less absorbent than wood products. There are many things to look into before selecting a specific type of bedding.

3 Best Stall Beddings For Horses:

1. Pine Shavings

Pine shavings is by far the most popular type of stall bedding used on horses. The reasons that it is so popular as a bedding are many! I personally like to use this type of bedding for my horses because of the cheap price and how low maintenance this bedding is.

Pros of Using Pine Shavings as a Stall Bedding:

There are so many different pros to using shavings which help explain their popularity as a stall bedding. Some of the main pros and positive things about using this bedding include:

  • It is soft for the horses to stand on and lie down on
  • It looks nice
  • The cleanliness of this product doesn’t compare to other products
  • They are fairly easy to separate from manure
  • They are absorbent
  • They are easy to store
  • This type of bedding is very affordable
  • This type of bedding is easily accessible and it is sold at most feed and tack stores
  • Horses rarely have any allergic reaction to pine shavings
  • These shavings are thought of as the safest type of bedding to use for horses

Cons of Using Pine Shavings as a Stall Bedding:

Though there are many great things about using shavings for your horse’s stall, there are also some other things that aren’t so great about this type of bedding. Some of the negative things and cons to using shavings include:

  • Horses can get a reaction to the shavings if they are not dried properly and if they still contain sap
  • Horses who ingest their shavings can suffer from colic or gastrointestinal blockages and obstructions
  • These shavings are soiled rather quickly due to their high-absorption levels and need to be replaced often
  • With shavings, and most wood-based beddings, there is a lot of dust

For the most part, pine shavings are one of the safest types of bedding that you can use for your horse’s stall. Not only is it soft and good smelling, but there is also a low risk of injury, illness, or complication when using this bedding for your horses.

2. Wood Pellets

Wood pellets are another extremely popular type of stall bedding used in the equine industry. This unique type of bedding works in an interesting way. Though these pellets are pretty small, once they absorb water they break apart and turn into a sawdust-like material. They are great for horses who make a mess of their stall or if you have a horse that just needs that extra absorbency in places like near or under water buckets or in their favorite pee spot.

There is a reason this bedding is so popular. People love the absorbency of these pellets so many people will buy them over and over again for that reason.

Pros of Using Wood Pellets as a Stall Bedding:

There are many pros to using these absorbent pellets for stall bedding. Some of the positive things and pros of this bedding include:

  • They are super absorbent
  • They can help reduce the time you spend mucking out your horse’s stall because of the reduced levels of moisture
  • They are clean
  • This bedding is really easy to store
  • Horses rarely have an allergic reaction to this type of bedding
  • This bedding is pretty clean
  • It is easy to separate from manure
  • Long lasting
  • Low dust level compared to shavings

Cons of Using Wood Pellets as a Stall Bedding:

Though there are many great things about this type of bedding, there are also a few negative things and cons to this product that you need to be aware of. These include:

  • If ingested, horses can colic or suffer gastrointestinal blockages and obstructions
  • It can be hard to find this bedding for sale
  • This bedding isn’t a very good option to be used in an entire stall as you will need to buy a lot of it to bed even a small stall
  • They look like some types of grain so some horses may try to eat it

If you are looking for a type of bedding to use with the bedding that you are already using, I recommend these pellets to help absorb some of that moisture and reduce your poop-scooping time.

3. Straw

Straw is a more traditional type of bedding that has been used in the stalls for both horses and cattle for hundreds of years. There are many reasons why straw has been such a popular choice as a horse stall bedding. These reasons are why straw is still being used as a bedding today.

Pros of Using Straw as a Stall Bedding:

There are so many great things about straw which helps to explain why it has been so popular for so many years. Some of the best positive things and pros about this bedding type include:

  • Straw is clean
  • Low dust level
  • It is a soft bedding, especially if cut a second time after harvest
  • Its softness encourages horses to lie down more often and get proper rest
  • It is the ideal bedding for foaling because of how clean it is
  • It allows urine and other liquids to pass through it and drain away making a dryer cleaner living environment for the horse
  • It is really warm, especially in winter
  • It is really affordable

Cons of Using Straw as a Stall Bedding:

Though you may be caught up in the pros of using straw, there are also some cons that you might need to know before jumping into purchasing this specific bedding.

  • It resembles hay so horses may eat it
  • Straw can accumulate in the stomach and cause colic, and gastrointestinal blockages and obstructions
  • Horses are known to choke on straw
  • It is difficult to clean manure off of

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Hailey Johnson

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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