From Endurance to Dressage
RM has built a lovely barn that provides ample roof covering with two wind-blocking walls in the open air stalls, but they're not exactly typical. It feels funny to write a post about stall care since my stalls aren't very "traditional".
Even with the lovely barn, we still have the problems that come with traditional stalls: dust, urine spots, and wasted feed. RM has done quite a bit outside of the stalls to combat the dust problem: all around the barn there is grass, and down the barn aisle we now have a lovely layer of decomposed granite.
Click photos for larger view.
The horse runs that are on the outside of the stalls have plenty of fresh air and dust isn't much of a problem. Winter rain and summer sprinklers take care of that. And even though our stalls are open on two ends and across the top, the inside dust can be a bit of a problem. The dust problem is exacerbated when the horses spend most of their time inside away from the summer sun and winter rain. To deal with the dust, all of us at the barn use wood shavings or pine pellets.
The pellets that are marketed as stall bedding cost several dollars more per bag than the pellets marketed as a fuel product for pellet stoves. Since I have used both and cannot find a performance difference between the two, I set out to do a little research on the differences between the two products.
My first stop was Wikipedia. I wanted to see how wood pellets are manufactured and is there a difference in how they are manufactured based on intended use. Apparently, all wood pellets, whether for fuel or bedding, are made the same way out of the same materials. Click here to read more.
Although Wikipedia's article was rather encouraging, I dug a little deepr to see if I could find some kind of chemical or material difference between the fuel pellets and the bedding pellets. I stumbled on Marth, a company that manufactures wood products. They produce wood pellets as bedding and fuel. Here's what they have to say:
"Marth Wood Shavings makes valuable materials out of waste wood.
Some of these products are closer than you may think. [...] Fuel pellets made by Marth Wood Shavings are used to produce household heat and electricity. Bedding made by Marth Wood Shavings may even be lining the bottom of your pet’s cage."
"Refined in our pellet mill, Marth Pellet Bedding is made using pressure to bind small absorbent particles of wood together. The resulting pellets are super absorbent and make it easy to separate out animal waste, which translates to lower replacement costs."
"Marth Fuel Pellets are made of 100% pure renewable and sustainable wood fiber. These super efficient wood pellets are made by compressing wood particles. The compression creates heat, releasing the wood’s natural lignin, which then bonds the particles into pellets."
They're the same product!
Tractor Supply Company currently sells 40 pound bags of pine pellet bedding for $6.99. A 40 pound bag of fuel pellets are $4.99 - a two dollar difference! When buying twenty or thirty bags at a time, that can be a big savings! What do you use to bed your stalls?
11/28/2011 05:12:44 am
Oh wow! We use pelleted bedding, too.
11/28/2011 08:41:52 am
Val - that's very interesting. I sort of assumed easterners would be using shavings only. What's your experience with price and type?
11/28/2011 10:40:28 am
Where do you find the fuel pellets???? Shavings are more also. I was going to use shavings for where he lays and pellets for where he pees?
11/28/2011 11:05:58 am
Jennifer - Tractor Supply, Home Depot, Lowe's ... they all carry fuel pellets. So does OSH! Throw out the pellets, wet them, spread. They last quite awhile and are really soft and fluffy when they crumble a bit.
11/29/2011 06:26:47 am
My guys live out now, but I do prefer to use pellets as stall bedding when possible. They make life SO much easier than shavings or even sawdust, and are just as soft when they break down.
11/29/2011 09:49:08 am
Now THAT'S a Trot! - Interesting ... I haven't heard of straw pellets. Not surprising though as there is MUCH thatI've not heard of! :0)
1/18/2012 11:34:50 pm
funny thing! I just picked up a bag of the marth fuel pellets thinking that they look and smell the same...3.99 a bag (i live in wisconsin) i couldn't go wrong...Looked on the website and it appears that they are made of the same product :) that is music to my ears....or pocket book!!
1/19/2012 10:08:55 am
They're certainly cheaper than the pellets marketed for bedding. Thanks for reading!
1/10/2017 09:58:57 pm
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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
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Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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