If your horse is allergy-prone, picking bedding can be a bit of a head scratcher. Brent Adamson of Bedmax fills us in on his advice for picking the best bedding for your horse.

Allergic reactions can be caused by a number of factors, but equine vets cite dust and spores as the biggest culprits, responsible for the most widespread health problem that horses in the UK suffer from — respiratory disease.

More specifically, it is tiny particles of airborne or respirable (breathable) dust and spores that cause the biggest problem.

Even small quantities concentrated in the horse’s breathing zone in a loose box can cause an allergic reaction, or even a non-allergic irritation that can cause an inflammatory response in the respiratory system.

The most important factor is to ensure that your bedding contains the lowest possible levels of dust and spores.

For allergy-sensitive horses in particular, beddings that contain additives of any kind are best avoided, so opt for natural products.

Look out for manufactures that use mostly pine timber because this offers anti-bacterial advantages in helping to maintain hygiene in the stable.


  • Always take your horse out of the stable when you’re making a new bed or mucking out.
  • Remember that traditional dry hay is full of airborne dust and spores and may benefit from steaming or soaking.
  • Be aware that if your allergy-prone horse is stabled next to a horse who is bedded on straw and fed hay, your horse could be affected by dust and spores from next door.