PROS: easy to clean CONS: not ab­sorbent; can make a horse’s coat gritty; not soft; need to feed hay out of racks or pans to re­duce in­ges­tion of sand

EQUUS - - Tack& Gear -

Although sand is not widely used as a bed­ding ma­te­rial, in ar­eas where it is abun­dant some horse­keep­ers make it work.

“I worked at one place where they bed­ded horses on sand,” says Nielsen. “There are plusses and mi­nuses. Stall clean­ing was very sim­ple and didn’t take long; the sand falls right through your ap­ple-picker fork. A dis­ad­van­tage is poor wa­ter ab­sorp­tion. It may stay a bit wet un­less you bring in new sand, but you are re­ally not tak­ing the sand out be­cause you can sift through it so eas­ily. Horses’ hair coats can be­come sandy, and an­other dis­ad­van­tage is that it’s not very soft for them to lie down on. It tends to pack and get hard,” he says. “In some places, it may work be­cause it’s avail­able and cost­ef­fec­tive. “Maybe in a dry cli­mate with low hu­mid­ity it will stay drier.”

If you do choose to bed on sand, it’s vi­tal to feed hay from pans or mats or racks---never di­rectly off the floor. Other­wise, horses may in­gest sand as they eat hay, lead­ing to an ac­cu­mu­la­tion in their gut and sand colic.

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