By Blain, Equine Enthusiast and Sustainable Farming Advocate
The push towards sustainable and environmentally-friendly options in every sector hasn’t left the equestrian world behind. Hemp bedding for horses is gaining traction, with more and more horse owners making the switch from traditional straw or wood shavings. So, why is hemp becoming the bedding of choice, and how can you set it up for your equine friend? Let’s delve into it.
The Benefits of Hemp Bedding for Horses
High Absorbency: Hemp bedding can absorb up to four times its own weight, making it highly effective at keeping stalls dry.
Odor Control: Due to its natural properties, hemp effectively neutralizes ammonia odors, ensuring a fresher-smelling stable.
Low Dust: Especially beneficial for horses with respiratory issues, hemp produces minimal dust.
Biodegradable: Hemp is fully compostable, turning into a rich soil additive when decomposed.
Durable: It lasts longer than straw or wood shavings, meaning fewer change-outs and less waste.
Step-by-Step: Setting Up Hemp Bedding for Your Horse
Clear out the stall of old bedding and waste.
Ensure the stall is dry to start. If it’s wet, wait for it to dry or use absorbent materials to soak up any moisture.
- Lay Down the Hemp:
Start with a layer of hemp pellets or coarse hemp material. Typically, for a standard 12×12 stall, 1-2 bags (33lbs each) should suffice for the initial setup.
3. Spread the hemp bedding evenly, ensuring coverage of the entire stall floor.
- Add More Hemp as Needed:
Over time, as you muck out soiled portions of the bedding, you can add fresh hemp material. Remember, due to its durability, you won’t have to replace it as frequently as traditional beddings.
- Regular Maintenance:
Remove droppings and wet spots daily.
Every week, turn over the bedding to ensure the bottom layer gets aerated and maximizing the bedding’s lifespan.
Tips for Using Hemp Bedding
Transition Slowly: If your horse is new to hemp bedding, introduce it gradually by mixing it with the old bedding type.
Storage: Store hemp bedding in a dry place.
Composting: Due to its biodegradable nature, used hemp bedding can be added to compost piles, turning waste into a resource for your garden or fields.
Hemp bedding for horses not only underscores a commitment to sustainability but also ensures premium comfort and health benefits for your equine companions. As the equestrian world continues to evolve, embracing eco-friendly choices like hemp bedding can pave the way for a harmonious blend of horse care and environmental responsibility. Give hemp bedding a try, and witness the difference for yourself!