Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Five steps to successful bedding this summer!

The warm weather brings longer turnout time, but for a large proportion of horses they are still stabled overnight. This means despite the summer sun some horses can still spend more time in their stable than in the field, making bedding choice crucial to their health and comfort. With the many different options on the market it can be a minefield to decide so Lisa Cooper, Managing Director at Nedz, offers up her trusty ‘five-steps-to-consider’ rules to help owners choose wisely…

Absorbency. Ammonia can be incredibly damaging to the strength and integrity of horses’ hooves and as hoof health is fundamental to both comfort and performance, good bedding must be absorbent. Wet bedding can cause problems such as thrush and can soften and weaken the hoof leading to cracks. Ammonia also has both hygiene and respiratory implications as it can be very irritating to sinuses and the respiratory system, as well as attracting flies and other insects.

Cost. In the current climate horse ownership is tough so considering your usage may save you money. A cheap price per bale may look attractive in the short term, however you may end up using more product, which soon bumps the cost up. With bedding you get what you pay for, so a more expensive product is likely to be better quality and last longer than a budget alternative. Look at the whole picture when choosing bedding, for example, will it rot down quickly? If the answer is no your muckheap removal costs could make your product choice an expensive one!

Support. For those horses suffering from ailments such as laminitis or having to endure a period of box rest, bedding which gives support is vital in order to keep painful feet away from hard surfaces and prevent brushes or knocks to the limbs causing problems such as capped hocks and elbows.

Mucking out. Time is precious and a product that is quick and easy to muck out is essential. Choosing a bedding which is absorbent means wet patches can be easily found and removed, choosing a product that does not stick to muck and rugs will also make life easier and produce less wastage.

Dust. The dust content of your bedding is one of the most crucial aspects to consider when choosing bedding. This is because the horse’s ability to respire (breathe) is vital to their performance. Dusty bedding limits the horse’s ability to respire as the harmful dust particles can result in excessive mucus production and inflammation in the respiratory system in an attempt to dislodge dust.

For bedding that ticks all of these requirements consider Nedz. With three different types to choose from every horse’s needs can be catered for. Nedz Original, Nedz Pro and Nedz Advance all embody the Nedz sentiment of minimal dust, maximum absorbency, cost effectiveness, springing support and with all three products being produced from high quality chopped straw they rot down quickly and efficiently. For more information visit www.nedz.co.uk or tel: (01254) 677 762.

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