Bed Green

Bed Green

Bed Green

By Ruthann Smith
© Ruthann Smith, All rights reserved.
Originally Published in The Plaid Horse

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Bed Green

Nothing like a good night's sleep. Bed to win by picking frequently to save time, money and resources. Plus, greatly reduce waste!

These green-conscious times are bring forth new information, but: heads up. Some claim pellets and mats save on bedding. That may be true, but there are other important issues to consider in order to fully understand the impact of your choices on not only the environment but also horses’ soundness. This article will consider hidden costs, with the ideal being to go green and be most cost-effective.I watched horses sleep as well as studied and conferred with world-class grooms for 20 year, usually 18 hours a day, from atop a ladder. I could see many horses in their stalls at anytime. Teaching Top Turnout Clinics, I travel to farms around the continent and have witnessed care patterns inconsistent with established truths.

If you want to conserve resources, reduce waste, lower vet bills, require less work, and enjoy horses with bigger hearts, please consider this:

Holes- Digging can indicate discomfort that can quickly lead to colic. And, while banks can reduce the number of horses that get cast, if a horse paws a gulley, it is apt to get stuck/cast.

Circling- Stall walking can also indicate discomfort.

Manure- Always note a stall’s condition as you enter it. If a horse has not been passing enough manure, he is getting or already sick. I’d make sure he is drinking and take him for a walk, and consult with your trainer or vet.

Bedding for Big Hearts and a Green Earth

Here are tips for greatly reduced bedding costs and disposal:

Skip Out- Pick stalls several times during the day. The more often, the better. It’s easier! The stalls never get dirty. No work and much less removal.

Coop- If every one picks another’s stall, the shavings never get dirty. With most horses, you only need to take the wet in the morning.

Clean Best- In my experience, proper process can reduce the amount of shavings you are using. You can have fluffy fresh shavings always by only taking out half a small wheelbarrow in the morning and a few dumps without bedding throughout the day and before bed. I see that as the best way to save on shavings: Never let them get dirty. The misconception is that this requires more work. It’s less! Especially if the horses are handled well.

Skipping Out

Take Less- Only take out dirty shavings. Separate manure buns by sifting off shavings with the fork. Turn bedding daily by throwing it against the wall. Manure separates itself out as it rolls off the bank. Then, spread and bank the shavings.

Use Less- If you bed light, you need to re-bed daily. If you bed deep, remove only dirty shavings and all manure, you only need to add only .5-1 bag a week. I like 10 bags in a standard stall.

Win More- Picking saves shavings and allows for your horse to love his life. Nothing like a good night’s sleep! Especially, when he is not stiff! Not enough bedding can inhibit circulation. Imagine it: the big body is pressing on the ground. Without enough bedding, circulation is inhibited. Tired and sore parts are not replenished. Lactic acid stays in the muscle. Horses get sore- same as if the blankets don’t fit: Tight in the shoulders makes horses stiff. If they can’t get comfortable or move, they get sore. Disagreeable, even.

Pick lots! - You’ll love the results. It only takes a minute. Save, conserve and reduce. In my experience, for the average barn, bedding well could reduce needs by 70 to 90%. And, even make horses hearts’ big. So, bed to win.

Bio Pic

Ruthann Smith has spent a lifetime studying sound horsemanship- both as a groom for top international horses and as a renowned braider. Quietly twisting manes atop a ladder, she watched and learned in some of the best stables in the world.

As her passion for great grooming grew, Ruthann became focused on researching, collecting and sharing the best practices of the world’s keenest horsemen. Ultimately, Ruthann used her vast experience to develop exceptional equine grooming products to help raise the bar of horsemanship.

The knowledge she dispenses and the products Ruthann developed solve age-old grooming issues. Making quality horse care easier, they have received the highest honors in the equine industry*. Her Lucky Braids for Top Turnout coat care and braiding products are the best, most versatile, cost-effective and easiest solutions available on the market today.

Now Ruthann offers her LOVE, LOVE Guarantee. If not totally thrilled with a product she developed, Ruthann will refund you in full, regardless of where you purchased it.

It’s her life’s mission to empower horses by educating, motivating and equipping their people to be true horsemen. You can access Ruthann’s tips at: The Grooming Resource on, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and her Horsemanship Clinics.

*After testing 350 products, Lucky Braids All-In-One Horse Shampoo was named product of the year by Horse Journal, the “Consumer Reports” of the industry. They also named Lucky Braids Shampoo and Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.