There is bedding and there is bedding!

Well the memories of a glorious summer have begun to fade. Autumn is suddenly upon us and there is talk in the house of Winter activities and even Christmas. The central heating has been on a few times already and we even discussed switching the summer quilts for the winter ones. Something about a better tog rating for the children apparently?

But all this talk of our bedding made us think here at W Burtons about the needs of our horses and in particular their bedding.

A Bewildering Choice Of Horse Bedding

There is a bewildering variety of horse bedding on the market — from traditional favourites to the latest materials.

We all have different budgets and our horses have different needs and likes, but we all want the best we can get.

If you’re struggling to decide which is the best horse bedding that suits you, your pocket and your horse, our expert guide to the pros and cons of each type of bedding could help you to decide.

Is your bedding unhealthy?

In a survey carried out this year it was shown that UK horse owners face big problems in keeping their horses healthy in the stables. Over 40% of the participants said their horse received veterinary treatment or rest during the winter months with the biggest causes of this being respiratory and hoof diseases.

The survey identified that the two most widespread equine health problems faced are directly related to the stable conditions they are kept in, with the biggest cause of respiratory problems being due to dusty airborne diseases.

These can that can be prevented by using the right bedding.

When a horse is stabled more than 12 hours a day they can become susceptible to infections and hoof diseases as it’s a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. The right bedding can help alleviate these problems and reduce the likelihood of expensive treatments.

Every horse owner wants to keep their horse as healthy and happy as possible, and it is clear now that when looking at the types of bedding you use is essential. We all know how expensive it is looking after a horse is so why risk expensive vets bills for hoof disease that could have been avoided.

Take some time to research the best type of bedding for you and your horse, it might just save you money in the long run.

We have put together a short summary of some of the most popular bedding types that we stock here at W Burton and Sons to help you choose the best bedding for your horse.

What’s the right bedding for your horse?

With winter looming its time to start thinking about bedding and weighing up what will work best for each individual. There are so many different types of bedding available on the market it makes choosing which one is best for you difficult so here is a list to help you choose:

Wood shavings

This is a popular choice in horse bedding as it’s very absorbent and easy to muck out.

You should check though that it has been specifically produced as animal bedding as shavings from a mill for example, may contain sharp pieces that could cause splinters.

Wood shavings are usually dust free, so is more beneficial to horses with dust allergies. The only downside is that it can be more expensive than straw, but it does make a good deep litter that is comfortable and warm.

In general wood shavings are:

  • Highly absorbent
  • Wet drains to bottom stays dry on top
  • Bio-degradable
  • Dust extracted reduces respiratory issues
  • Make a nice looking bedding
  • Looks clean

One of our most popular shavings that is always in stock is from Bedmax.

Bedmax Shavings have been specially developed for the needs of the stabled horse. Preferred by many horse owners due to their large cut, these wood shavings are also double screened for dust to help reduce the risk of your horse respiratory problems through being stabled. Bedmax Shavings have one of the lowest levels of dust on the horse bedding market.

Bedmax are a large flakes pine shaving tailor made for horses and ponies. It has one of the lowest levels of dust and spores on the market. The larger shavings help to drain away urine from the surface which are then absorbed by the smaller flakes this keeps the surface dry reducing the ammonia risks to your horses lungs and hooves. There are 30 bales on a pallet which makes storage outside easy. Available for just £7.80 for a 20kg bale and available to deliver in pallets direct to your stable this is a good choice.


As an alternative we also have in stock Snowflake Softchip shavings.


Snowflake Softchip is a popular and cheaper alternative to traditional wood shavings.

Manufactured from premium softwood to the same exacting standards as other products in the Snowflake range.

Snowflake Softchip is the perfect bedding choice that enables you to spend less time mucking out or grooming and allow for more quality time with your horse, whether riding for pleasure or competing at the highest level.


Wood Pellets

These pellets are usually made from whitewood fibre that has been compressed and is environmentally friendly. This dust free solution is highly absorbent and is claimed to soak up nine times more liquid than regular shavings. Wood pellets compost quicker than other bedding options, but you do need to add water when you initially lay down the bedding to ensure it fluffs up.

Snowflake Premium Wood Pellets are made from 100% virgin softwood, the wood is compressed in a pellet which are the soaked to form a warm fluffy bed. They are highly absorbent being able to soak up to 3 times their volume in water. They are biodegradable and rot down quickly give an economical alternative to the traditional woodchip bedding. They are in 20kg bags meaning easy to handle and store and are available on a pallet of 50 which can be stored outside.

Wood Pellets:-

  • Absorb 3 times its volume in liquid
  • Bio-degradable rotting down within 6 months
  • Quick to muck out
  • Protects horses’ joints
  • Not as much topping up required





Clean straw is preferred for mares and very young foals. Some horses will eat straw bedding-a problem if you are trying to keep your horse on a diet.

Oat straw is more absorbent than wheat straw but it is also tastier. Any straw you use should be dust and mold free.

Saturated straw is heavy to clean out and it is difficult to separate the manure from the clean bedding, which can slow down cleaning.

Two bales should bed a box stall adequately. You might want to add extra during cold weather or in anticipation of a foaling.

Bliss bedding is a finely chopped rape straw bedding which is dust extracted and economical to used rotting down in around 6 months. This is a highly absorbent bedding packaged in recyclable bags but easily stored in 20kg bales. Bliss basic is the same quality chopped straw but without the added essential oils which can be found in the Bliss Eucalyptus. There are 40 bales on both the Bliss Basic and Bliss Eucalyptus pallets.


Our Chopped Oil Seed Rape Straw is : –

  • Dust extracted
  • Economical
  • Highly absorbent
  • Added oils can helps keep flies away
  • Keeps odours at bay



We keep a number of brands and types of bedding here in stock at W Burton & sons, try out the best suited to you at affordable rates! You can order online securely and safely and can either collect in store or enjoy low cost delivery direct to your stable.


If you still have any questions please give our team of bedding experts a call.


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