Sand Vs. Mattress … What is Your Horse’s Preference?

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Only if horse’s could talk, then maybe we could ask them the horse preference on sand vs. Mattress. When choosing a surface for your stalls, how do you decide which material is best for your horse and easiest on you? Here are some advantages and disadvantages of two common stall bedding materials: sand and mattresses. Even though your horse can’t speak, I’m sure after reading this article, your horse’s preference will be much more clear to understand.

 

Sand:

Advantages:

  • Sand is highly absorbent
  • Allows good drainage.
  • The surface is soft making it one of the most forgiving bedding materials for a horse’s legs.
  • Even when sand is wet it rarely gets slippery.
  • Sand is often one of the most affordable bedding materials.

Disadvantages:

  • Pure and newly laid sand does not compact well, creating potentially dangerous tracks and pockets.
  • Because sand does not compact well, stalls must be raked daily to assure a smooth, safe surface.
  • Sand can retain dampness in cold weather, which can be uncomfortable.
  • Sand tends to have a drying effect on horse hooves.
  • Sand mixed with other bedding material can be a hassle to clean and should be replaced frequently.
  • Horses could ingest sand which could lead to possible intestinal impaction and colic.

Mattresses:

Advantages:

  • Mattresses provide a comfortable surface.
  • Because mattresses provide a more level surface, they can reduce the risk of slippage.
  • Foam and rubber mats provide insulation for a more comfortable and warm environment during the winter.
  • Mattresses tend to have a long life with added ability to withstand continued use.
  • Horses bedded on mattresses are less likely to ingest sand or wood chips.
  • Mattresses with a waterproof top cover can reduce maintenance.

Disadvantages:

  • Foam mattresses without top covers may retain odor and moisture.
  • Mattresses can be expensive; however, many come with a warranty.

When it comes to choosing a stall surface for your horse, for the best return on investment and overall comfort, it pays to choose SmartStall™ by IGK Equestrian. In addition to all the advantages listed above, SmartStall™ features a waterproof, woven top cover which creates a “moisture tray” that allows urine and feces to be captured on top and removed with the bedding. This helps to reduce labor, disposal efforts and cost. Best of all, SmartStall™ comes with a 5-year warranty.

Let IGK Equestrian know which bedding do you prefer? Sand or Mattresses?