Stud manager, Katy Barr, explains how making the switch to Miscanthus horse bedding has brought significant benefits to her yard, including reduced stable mess and improvements in horse comfort.
Based in Gloucestershire, the yard has turned its operations around by prioritising the environment, and part of this strategy has included the introduction of our sustainable Miscanthus horse bedding. In this guest blog, Katy Barr goes into detail of how converting to Miscanthus has achieved great success for her Stud.
“We moved to Terravesta Equine’s Miscanthus Horse Bedding around a year ago, and we honestly haven’t looked back since!
Our yard is a converted dairy, so the floors all slope and aren’t particularly flat or helpful, and that causes issues fairly quickly if we don’t have the right bedding. The urine will run off through the doorways, or goes under the rubber matting and seeps out all over the place, so absorbency is a top priority for us.
Since moving to Terravesta Equine, we have been able to stop the run off altogether which obviously has huge benefits for everyone, and means the yard and stables are clean, dry and don’t smell. The difference since moving away from shavings has been most noticeable when it comes to how absorbent the bedding is, as we would be dealing with run off most days, now we know when a bed is getting too wet when we see any at all.
As well as absorbency, we have to use a bedding that is dust free, as the ventilation in our 100-year-old dairy barn is not brilliant, surprisingly! It means we have always been picky with what we use; alongside having an older mare with mild breathing problems and young racehorses, all who need the best quality air and bedding in their stables, we were so happy to find a horse bedding that says dust free and it actually is! The air quality is far better, we aren’t constantly wiping dusty, horrible stuff off the walls and the horses all have good, clean wind even in the depths of winter when they are spending more time inside.
Something I have really seen a change in, is how much our horses love to lay down on Miscanthus bedding. It makes a secure, firm and comfortable bed, and we find that horses that we’ve never seen lay down or seen evidence that they have been down overnight, are now hitting the deck regularly for a snooze.
For me, that speaks volumes and happy, well rested, safe horses are what we are striving for! We have two older mares that I have never seen lay down before, both are getting down every night now, and to me that shows a security in their beds and how they feel getting up and down on them.
Even with horses laying down more I never find messy beds, with bedding dragged everywhere and it all ages forever to sort out. Because the beds stay put so well, even with our bigger horses, they stay tidier and are quicker to muck out and being so absorbent, it means we aren’t taking out piles and piles of bedding every day- makes the job much faster for us, we use less bedding so it’s cheaper too and we don’t fill the trailers up as fast so we aren’t spending as much time carting muck around.
When it came to muck spreading this year on the farm, it was noted how even the fresher stuff that hadn’t been clamped long was still good enough to be spread and that meant we could spread more on more fields. Win, win!
We appreciate being able to recycle all the plastic used in the bedding, as that is important to us and we have cut our plastic usage by half, and only use companies that use recycled/recyclable plastic, so it was brilliant to find a horse bedding company that could keep with that.
We have been so impressed with Terravesta Equine since we moved to them, and we will continue to use the product and tell everyone about it!
Thank you Terravesta Equine!
The switch to our eco-friendly horse bedding, Miscanthus, has brought more than just environmental gains to Katy Barr’s yard. Horse comfort has improved with older mares now feeling secure enough to lay down, air quality is far better and the whole Stud operation has become more efficient as a whole. If these are goals you are striving for in your own yard or stables the change to Miscanthus bedding could work for you.