Horse Bedding Material

For any horses in a stable, a nice bed of dry, clean and warm bedding material is absolutely essential. This page gives you information on horse bedding materials and the benefits of each.

We all love a nice, warm bed, don't we? Well it's no different for horses. In fact it's more important for horses! Bedding provides them with comfort, warmth and a soft surface to stand on. These days there are quite a few choices for horse bedding materials.

Straw Horse Bedding

Straw is traditionally the first choice for bedding material for horses. It has been for many years. Straw is fairly cheap, easy to dispose of and is fairly warm and comfortable.

Wheat straw bedding is often favoured because it drains best and isn't too prickly. Straw however, can sometimes be full of fungal spores which can lead to respiratory problems for your horse. It can also get very dusty.

Wood Shavings

Wood shavings can be used as a horse bedding material. They are fairly easy to muck out and shaving are less likely to aggravate respiratory problems. Whilst they are warm and absorbent, wood shavings are an expensive horse bedding.

We recommend that you buy wood shavings specifically for horse bedding. If you buy any old wood shavings, they may be sharp, poor quality and dirty. Remember that you will need to dispose of your horse bedding regularly. Wood shavings can take a long time to rot, so this may prove problematic.


Hemp is quite a new bedding for horses and not as easy to get hold of as straw or wood shavings. Hemp is made from the chopped stems of plants. It is nice and absorbent and rots down more efficiently than wood shavings. Hemp provide soft bedding for your horse. Whilst it might cost more than shaving or straw, less quantity would probably be used in the long run.

Paper or Newspaper

Shredded paper or newspaper offers a totally dust free horse bedding option. However paper bedding isn't very absorbent and so can be difficult to muck out. As it isn't very absorbent, it can stay damp and become infested by fungi.

Rubber flooring

Rubber flooring can be a great base to a horse's bed. It should not be used on it's own as bedding as it doesn't provide a horse with much comfort or warmth. A rubber flooring will drain urine very well but your hygiene standard will need to be very high a it can become dirty very quickly. Rubber, or synthetic flooring, is most useful for areas where a horse does not lie down. It provides good grip.

Things to consider when choosing horse bedding

Comfort and warmth are of the utmost importance when choosing bedding for your horse's stable. Consider affordability, absorption, ease of disposal and availability when choosing your horse bedding. If you are unsure on which horse bedding is best, consult a knowledgable friend or someone at your yard.