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How much straw for a horse's bedding?

after many many years without a horse, and never one that was stabled, I find myself looking after the horse of a neighbour who was called away unexpectedly. She has a stall that the horse uses at night, but rarely during the day. It's about the size of a loosebox.

She has only left two bales of straw behind which doesn't seem enough for about ten days of bedding. I wonder can anyone tell me what constitutes a suitable quantity of straw for use on the floor.

At present the floor has only half a bale of straw on it (have not seen how that went, as i will be over later today), but I seem to remember that on the odd occasion I have been involved in mucking out, there was more than one bale of straw involved.

Feeling a little helpless.

I can get more straw if it is required, but it is at some distance from here so limiting the number of trips to get it would be useful.

What's the floor made of?

It's what we call crusher dust - finely ground bluemetal which compacts and provides drainage. I added another bale today when I cleaned out and it seems a bit deeper now.

Bit of background - she bought the horse and three days later her husband died. After her daughter stayed with her for a week she seems to have gone off with the daughter for further recovery time. She left my neighbours in charge as they own horses, but while they own horses, they appear not to have a clue about caring for them, so I have taken over maintaining the stabling facilities in her absence, to avoid her returning to find her horse suffering from thrush.

Dredging up teenage memories... you don't need to cover the whole floor and if it's comfortable for you to kneel on then it's padded enough? Unless the horse is thin or old etc.
wellington womble

if it's comfortable for you to kneel on then it's padded enough? Unless the horse is thin or old etc.

In that case I might chuck some in the greenhouse.

A new and interesting alternative for housing a horse, wellington womble!

OK, thanks guys - I seem to be doing OK then. Yesterday's cleanup was a lot easier with some actual straw there also!

The mare is not old, nor thin - she's in good nick and a nice mare at that. Just not been ridden for over 12 months as she has been recovering from an injury. I too will be dredging up teenage memories as we teach her how to be ridden again.

I was thinking of lunging her with the saddle on for about half an hour before attempting to mount. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
wellington womble

I was thinkng of my knees. I'm no help with horses, I'm afraid.
Ty Gwyn


I was thinking of lunging her with the saddle on for about half an hour before attempting to mount. Any suggestions would be appreciated.[/quote]

Long reigning is a good method to get a stale horse back into action,
Don`t use a bit,reign off a heavy headcollar nose band.

Will do, thanks Ty Gwyn. We actually have a bitless riding group in these parts, so I will be encouraging her to participate and talk to those who do it. It seems a lot kinder way of working with a horse as it relies on building a relationship with the horse so it wants to do things rather than being forced to do them.
Ty Gwyn

I don`t know that i fully agree with this bitless riding,as a bit in a properly mouthed horse is the only brakes there are,
But for getting a stale horse back to working,reigning off the noseband won`t damage a horse`s mouth and can be done while a raw horse is being mouthed or re-mouthed if need be.

True. This horse has been a race horse and a polo pony in its earlier career. She had a back injury that was treated by a chiropractor and has not been ridden since (about a year out to pasture then on-sold. She is a nice steady mare, but not one I would choose to re-learn to ride on (my neighbour is four years older than me, and I am pretty darn old!)

will chat with a few folk and see what we come up with for her.
pink bouncy

How are you getting on with her Cassandra? Have you made any headway with going bitless?

I ride all three of mine in english hackamores and have no trouble with brakes. They all seemed to "get" them instantly too, with no need to re-educate them.

What is her breeding? The more flighty her type, the more preparation for riding they need after some time off. I have a Fell pony you can leave over winter then saddle up and go for an hour's hack with no problem but the Thoroughbred my friend owns needs lunging every time before she is ridden.

Pics are nice... Wink

She's a thoroughbred (galloper) and has been used for racing and polo as far as we know. She is not mine, but belongs to her over the road. A few days back them next door (who claim to a lot more horse knowledge than is evident in their treatment of their own horses) insisted on getting Judy up on the mare, in a western saddle (like me, Judy rides English style), led her across the road, down the lane (flanked on one side by agitated horses and a stallion at the bottom of the lane where they had to get through a complicated gate) and out onto the oval.

The saddle (whose girth had been lengthened by a few bits of webbing) slipped and Judy fell off. So there have been no further attempts at riding her since.

I have urged Judy to borrow the lungeing gear and arrange to come out on the oval with me (and a proper hacking saddle) so we can lunge the mare for a while till she settles down, before mounting. I was unfortunately unable to see the performance out on the oval as the grandstand is in the way, but I did remind him next door that we had agreed not to put Judy up before lungeing.....

Going bitless will be a way down the track I suspect as it will first be necessary to see how she handles both on and off the lungeing rein.

The good thing is the horse has a lovely steady temperament, so even though she was obviously stressed by the carryon from the horses adjacent to the lane (she had a steamy coat by the time I got to her) she was nevertheless not jigging or jibbing around.

Tricky thing is I work alternate days to Judy (in the same job that we share) so being at home at the same time seems to be problematic.
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