Saturday, February 9, 2008
A Good Bag of Shavings
All shavings are not created equal. I am very fussy about what kind of bedding I put in my horses’ stalls. It needs to be soft and fluffy, but not too fine. There are some inferior bags of shavings that melt away in the stall moments after I throw them down. If I talk to other people with horses, they always have very definite opinions about which shavings are best.
So, my personal favorites are U.S. pine, made by a company called Hancock Lumber. They are just the right consistency, contain a little more per bag than most others, and last about 3 days. I can split a bag between the two stalls, so I get away with between two and three bags a week.
The problem is that my local feed store often runs out. At first, the boys in the back acted like I was crazy to insist on this particular brand. I will make them schlep all the way back to the tractor trailer where they store the shavings to get them if they run out in the main barn. Last week, when I told the young man that I prefer the Hancock shavings, he replied, “What’s with them? Everyone always wants that kind.” I felt better. Unfortunately, they had run out.
If the weather is bad, the horses really appreciate a fresh layer of shavings in their stalls. At bedtime, they lie down and roll around in them. Siete greets me with little pieces of “confetti” in her mane and her forelock in the morning. I always joke that she’s had a party in her stall last night.
I wish I had the space to have big loads of shavings delivered to me, but I don’t. I like to put a few bags of wood pellet horse bedding down first and then top it with shavings. In California, I was able to get pellets from a company called “ABM” (Advanced Bedding Management) that were terrific. I could also buy cedar shavings, which smell great. On the East Coast, I can’t find either so I use the pine ones.
Who cares? My horses do. I do. The King of Compost, my good husband, does because it matters how the shavings break down. I’ll bet that anyone who reads this who owns a horse knows exactly what I’m talking about and also has an opinion about it.
For those of you who don’t have a horse, please think of this: Awareness and care about each and every little thing that you do on a regular basis brings greater harmony and an appreciation of the art of living a meaningful life. Now, excuse me while I go fluff some shavings.