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Many horse owners go to great lengths to provide their horse with a safe and comfortable stall. Part of ensuring a horse is happy is the bedding you choose to use. Straw and wood shavings have been popular choices for quite a while now. Most stall cleaners have a preference when selecting between the two. It’s time to find out the advantages and disadvantages of each!


  • Readily available, which can mean reasonably priced
  • Dust-free
  • Natural and compostable
  • Provides soft bedding that encourages a horse to rest
  • Useful for newborn foals, as it can’t be easily inhaled
  • Does not absorb very well
  • Labor-intensive
  • Can be moldy if not stored correctly
  • Risk of impaction colic from horse eating it
  • Can shift and expose flooring
  • High volume must be used


  • Great absorption and less labor-intensive
  • Easier to pick through stalls
  • Can be dust-free and mold-free if stored correctly
  • Available in truckloads or bags
  • Disposal can be an issue
  • Must avoid certain products like black walnut
  • Needs to be cleaned daily
  • Products that are too fine can lead to breathing troubles
Selecting the right bedding takes proper research and an understanding of your horse’s needs. While shavings and straw are the most common choices, other bedding options also exist. Finding the right one can take time.