Horse Bedding

Proper horse bedding is extremely important. Their health and performance depends on them having the proper amount of rest.

Studies have shown that sleep can be divided into 2 stages,

• Slow wave sleep (SWS)
• paradoxial sleep (PS)

Horses normally fall asleep while standing up and they enter SWS during which the muscles gradually relax.

If the horse is feeling comfortable in its environment it will lie down and drift further into SWS with further relaxation of the muscles.

The horse may then lie down flat to enter PS where the muscles are totally relaxed, that is, there is virtually no muscle tone.

An important point about sleep cycles is that the horse must lie down flat to complete a sleeping cycle that includes PS. If a horse cannot, or chooses not to lie down then it can rest in SWS but cannot achieve the total relaxation of PS.

Paradoxial sleep is sometimes termed the sleep of the body because of the general muscular relaxation.
SWS is known as the sleep of the mind. for references

And so with that in mind I started researching the different types of bedding for horses. Here are the various types of sleep materials for horses I have found.

Straw Bedding

Saw Dust Bedding

Wood Shavings

Wood Pellets

Hemp Bedding

News Print Bedding

Peat Moss

Rubber Matting

Like any other bedding, the amount of material you will need depends on the type of horse being housed, how many hours the horse spends in the stall, weather conditions, and the size of the stall.

Also be aware that stabling is not natural for equines, so measures must be taken to ensure a healthy, comfortable, and happy environment is created.

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