Use fewer shavings at the barn and save some dough.
***Big disclaimer so internet strangers don’t yell at me. This only works AT SOME BARNS. Remember that many horses live in stalls more than others, and some don’t get any shavings, ever. But you may be able to save some dough. ***
Ways to save on shavings
- Tempt your horse to urinate outside! This works well if you have a run or in-and-out for your horse. Plant the seeds of peeing outside by stashing some shavings out there. You may also want to put some urine-soaked shavings. They will smell like a nice place to pee, and the sun will dry them out, so your dollar gets stretched a little further.
A few shavings in a turnout or in-and-out can teach your horse to urinate outside, instead of in his stall!
- Try different varieties of shavings! Maybe mix them up! You want your horse to have super fluffy and huge shavings, but they may not absorb as much as the pellets that get big when wet, or rice hulls, or even super fine shavings. Layer the super absorbent shavings on the bottom and the fluffy goodness on top.
- Try a new method of keeping a clean stall. You can go for the deep litter bedding system, which allows you to only pick out the manure and urine while adding layer upon layer by pulling the sides down. Some folks swear by carefully picking and covering, instead of tossing up daily and then picking out. More on the deep litter bedding system here.
Some horses do well on a small number of shavings! A lot of turnout helps.
- You can also consider using minimal shavings if you have the setup to make it work. Stall mattresses are a way to make minimal shavings work, as there are no seams for urine to infiltrate. You may also get away with minimal shavings if your horse has lots of turnout. More on using tiny amounts of shavings here.
- Try a whole new shaving style! There are tons of options out there – paper, coconut husks, rice hulls, traditional shavings, sawdust, you name it. You may have better luck with one type over another. Tons of bedding options are discussed here.
Make the shaving that you use last longer.
- Clean the stall or paddock more than once a day.
- Try to uncover the urine spots instead of sifting through everything. Use zeolites to absorb urine and nix ammonia, which gives your shavings a longer lifespan. Put these fancy zeolites under shavings. Aim for the most popular urine areas of the stall when you are spreading zeolites.
No barn and no nose should be without zeolites!
- Buy in bulk! You may be able to share a load with a horse neighbor if your barn doesn’t have so much storage. You may also be able to buy half a load, it depends on the supplier.
Bulk shavings are more bang for your buck
- More turnout! Even a simple sand or dirt lot is a great way to let your horse have a change of scene and save money on shavings. Just be sure there’s a spot with enough sand or fluff that doesn’t let any urine spray his legs, so he’s encouraged to urinate outside.
- You may also find that your horse likes to urinate at certain times – after his breakfast, after a ride, etc. Knowing this, you can train him to urinate with a whistle, as they do at the track. This will allow you to train him to urinate somewhere else. For example, after a ride, when you know he normally likes to urinate in his stall, lead him to a turnout or other appropriate location and give the signal. More on this technique here!
If you want to try some zeolite ammonia-eating goodness, you can pick some up here! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, no extra charge to you. I thoroughly appreciate it! Order here: