From Endurance to Dressage
Yesterday's post about dusty stalls and bedding created some interesting discussion. I feel like I need a bit of a disclaimer here. The choices I make for my horses are MY choices for MY particular horses. You might disagree with MY choices and if you do, I urge you to follow YOUR choices and do what you think is best for YOUR horses. I frequently ignore the recommendations of others and stick to what I think/know is best for my situation. On the flip side, I also seek out advice from others and use it if it seems like a sound practice. So there you have it - my disclaimer: do what's best for your horse regardless what anyone else thinks. Unless it's your vet. It's probably best to do what she thinks!
So with a bit of hesitation, I wanted to continue the stall care discussion by addressing the urine problem. As you know, my stalls are very open so ammonia is not a big deal. Even so, I don't want my horses sleeping in wet bedding. Unfortunately, Sydney prefers to pee indoors.
We scoop the wet bedding and toss it outside to dry, but he continues to pee indoors. The dirt outside is plenty soft enough to absorb the urine, but his habit persists. Speedy is currently peeing outside, but as soon as it rains and the outside gets muddy, he will also pee inside. Yuck! In the past I have used a few different products to combat the ammonia odor and wetness, but it's been quite a while. As with the pellet issue, I decide to do a little research.
As before, I visited Wikipedia to find out more about hydrated lime. You can read that article here. [Val, of Memoirs of a Horse Girl, will no doubt enjoy the scientific nature of the article.] The first part of the article describes its low toxicity and goes on to list the many ways hydrated lime is used, including as a food additive. Ah, good! I was feeling very encouraged. But then I read the last line of the article, Unprotected exposure can pose health risks and exposure should be limited. It can cause severe skin irritation and chemical burns/blindness/lung damage.
I went with the Sweet PDZ, available at Tractor Supply
As before, I felt a serious need to dig a bit further. A few Google clicks later and I stumbled on Equus Caballus: Cutting Edge Health and Nutrition for the Modern Horse. The article sounds very scientific and even throws around a few scientists' names and references a few government agencies. In short, the author confirms that hydrated lime causes irritation and burns and should be used very cautiously. I am not interested in using a product that I must use cautiously. I want to toss it around willy-nilly which means I need a different product.
The article goes on to describe products "such as Sweet PDZ, Stable Boy, and Stall Dry, [which] are composed of substances like diatomaceous earth, clay, and natural minerals, such as zeolites, that are non-toxic and won’t irritate your horse’s mucus membranes or respiratory system. These products, especially diatomaceous earth and clay, are considered highly moisture-absorbent, and the minerals trap ammonia within tiny channels in their structure, eliminating odors and noxious chemicals from the stall and the air. [...] Research has shown these products to be highly effective in ammonia and moisture absorption, and their all-natural content makes them an excellent alternative to hydrated lime."
In short, these products work, don't need to be used cautiously, and can be used in a willy-nilly fashion. My kind of stuff! Even better, these products can be safely dumped into our composting site!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%