Worried That Horse Keeping Hurts the Environment?


Manure Pile

It’s natural for responsible horse owners to worry about the impact our horse keeping has on the environment.


Green Horse Brands is proud of products that support the health of the horse, their people and the planet. Our foundation product, dust-free Airlite bedding is a game-changer in the manure management component of environmentally friendly horse management.


Our Thymox all-natural disinfectant kills disease-spreading bacteria, viruses and mold spores without leaving toxic substances behind.


Airlite Dust-Free Bedding – Less is More


An average 1,000-pound horse produces approximately 31 pounds of poop every day, plus 2.4 gallons of urine. (It could be worse – elephants produce about 300 pounds of poop every day!)


And these numbers don’t include bedding that goes out with the manure and urine. Bedding can add 8 to 15 pounds of waste, per horse, per day, according to Penn State Extension.


That’s a lot of waste to haul away, with fuel consumption and cost escalating with quantity.


Made of pre-consumer cardboard, dust-free Airlite bedding reduces waste for three key reasons –

  • Less is Needed – Airlite is up to 5X as absorbent as traditional wood shavings, so less is needed in the first place.
  • Less is Wasted — It’s easy to pick out the manure bits from Airlite and to isolate and remove Airlite bedding that clumps together to absorb urine. So there’s less to remove.
  • It’s Easy and Excellent Compost!


A Composter’s Dream


Horse manure is loaded with nutrients that make fertile soil for grass pastures, farming and home gardens.


Made from chopped, pre-consumer cardboard, Airlite bedding creates airflow in a composting bin, which is essential for creating nutritious soil. And the resulting compost is pH neutral dirt. When it’s spread on pastures it will not cause the grass to turn yellow.


As a general rule, composting can reduce a typical household’s waste stream contribution by 20 to 50%. Adding in horse keeping factors like soiled stall bedding, the impact of composting is even more significant.


Composting can be a money saver, too. Nutritious soil is sought by food growers and gardeners, large and small. Letting them haul away compost saves you the trouble and cost of doing it yourself.


Beyond the stable, using this Airlite bedding prevents the cardboard source material from entering the energy-greedy recycling process. Recycling a ton of cardboard, for example, requires 390 kWh of energy, 1.1 barrels of oil and 6.6 million BTUs of energy.


That one ton of cardboard equals two pallets of Airlite bedding, or 56 bags of our Standard cut or 96 bags of our Sport and Micro cut.


Keeping contaminants out of the water supply is key to the health of the environment. Composting is a big part of that and Airlite can make it easy to comply with watershed management requirements in many areas.


Non-Toxic Disinfectant


Disinfectants are critical to maintaining a disease-free horse or other animal habitat. Yet, they can damage a lot more than the bacteria and viruses they target.


Bleach, quaternary or hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectants can hurt the skin and eyes, irritate the respiratory tract, trigger allergies and corrode the surfaces to which they’re applied.


Spilled or washed away onto the ground, they can eventually take their toxic effects into the water supply.


Thymox all-natural disinfectant uses thyme oil – from the plant thyme – as its active ingredient. It is EPA-registered to kill 99.9% of all viruses and bacteria, including those that transmit highly contagious diseases like COVID-19, EHV-1, strangles and equine influenza.


It has no phosphates, chlorine or other chemicals that hurt the environment.


Thymox is safe on all surfaces. Rated in the EPA’s safest to use Category IV, Thymox does not need to be wiped off after application. That means less water required in the barn cleaning process.


True for Other Animals, Too!


What’s true for earth-friendly management of horses applies to the care of farm animals and pets, too. Choosing bedding and disinfectants with the environment in mind goes a long way in helping the planet – and all its inhabitants – stay healthy.

Horse in green field


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Dust-Free Bedding Helps Young Horsewoman Help Her Horse

Young rider Abby North finds dust-free bedding to help her horse


“Where are tomorrow’s true horsemen?” is a lament often uttered at horsey gatherings. Some worry that young people don’t take the care and knowledge part of horse ownership seriously.


Fourteen-year-old Abby North contradicts those concerns. She takes complete care of her 8-year-old Off The Track Thoroughbred, Raven, even when the going gets rough.


And the going got rough In November of 2023. That’s when Raven returned from a hunter/jumper competition with a virus. His stablemate, Abby’s mom’s horse, caught the virus, too, but recovered promptly.


Raven did not.


“He had a runny nose, very thick yellow discharge and he kept coughing when I rode him,” explains Abby. “I could ride him, but he just wasn’t himself.  Then he just spiraled.” The symptoms got worse as he sunk into pneumonia.


Raven is a normally energetic Thoroughbred who likes to work. “When he’s not happy, he’s not easy to deal with,” shared Abby’s mom, Cindy North.


On their veterinarian’s recommendation, Abby stopped riding Raven in January as his symptoms intensified. “She had to manage him when he was feeling onery because of not getting work,” Cindy says. “Abby did a good job of finding activities that helped them bond without riding, but it wasn’t easy.”


A Cough’s Progression


Raven’s cough was particularly troubling. It began with a few coughs while ridden and progressed to full-on fits in the night. During Raven’s lay-off from ridden work, Abby noticed that he was only coughing when in his stall.


The Norths monitor their horses with stall cameras and hearing him struggle several times through the night was scary.


One early incident was especially frightening to Abby and Cindy. “It looked like some kind of respiratory spasm,” recounts Cindy, who is an experienced horsewoman. “His respiratory rate was 40 and he was pawing the ground. It almost looked like he was choking.”


A veterinarian suspected the initially mild coughing was related to Raven being a cribber and wearing a cribbing collar in his stall. Pursuing that possibility was a dead end.


“We had vets look at him and we just couldn’t figure it out,” Abby shares.


So Abby hit the internet to research possible causes and cures. She came upon Inflammatory Airway Disease as a coughing cause. “It’s basically horse asthma,” she explains of this condition on the mild or moderate end of the Equine Asthma Spectrum.


Reducing Dust


“Raven stopped coughing within 2-3 days of me putting Airlite in his stall,” Abby reports

“I learned that it’s important to have a dust-free environment, and especially to have dust-free bedding.” And that led Abby to Airlite dust-free cardboard bedding. Wood shavings were removed from Raven’s stall and replaced by Airlite.


“Raven stopped coughing within 2-3 days of me putting Airlite in his stall,” Abby reports. “My vet recommended that to get the dust out, along with steaming Raven’s hay.”


Reducing dust in the horse’s environment is veterinarians’ urgent consensus on protecting their respiratory health.


Bedding and hay are the biggest contributors of tiny airborne particles that irritate and inflame the lining of the respiratory tract. This constricts the airway, leaving less room for air to get in and for carbon dioxide to get out.


Plus, the tiniest particles can get through to the lungs, where they can impede the transfer of oxygen to the bloodstream. Horses need oxygen for every cellular function, so restricted oxygen supply equals restricted well-being. Even mild inflammation can seriously impair performance at the high levels.


Inflammatory Airway Disease Diagnosis


An endoscopic exam and a tracheal wash confirmed Raven’s case of Inflammatory Airway Disease. While some cases of mild IAD can be reversed, Abby acts on the assumption that Raven will always have the condition. It will be a matter of managing it effectively to keep him happy, healthy and breathing easy.


As such, Airlite dust-free bedding will be part of Raven’s management for the long term.


Happily, the bedding has additional benefits, starting with super absorbency.  Airlite neutralizes the ammonia odors related to urine accumulation. This is another respiratory irritant, for horses and people. Generally, if this familiar barn odor is noticeable, ammonia levels are already at a harmful level.


As the family’s main mucker, Abby appreciates that Airlite is true to its name – it’s light. “With shavings, the parts that are soiled with pee are so heavy. With Airlite, it’s so nice and easy to take out the pee spots.”


Yet, it’s heavy enough to stay in place when a fan is needed in the stable to counteract the dampness that accompanies wet weather conditions.


Back To Work

Abby North and Raven are back to work in good health


As of March, Abby was bringing Raven back to fitness. They had been competing in 2’6” jumping division before his illness and Abby aspires to work back to that level and higher in time.


“He’s my first horse and he’s still kind of learning things, so we go slow.”


In addition to caring for Raven, Abby helps pay some of his bills. She cares for the family’s chickens and sells their eggs and chicks. And she helps cover the cost of lessons by riding and starting some of her trainer’s ponies.


Cindy is proud of her daughter’s initiative in pursuing help for her horse. Raven is lucky to have an owner so proactive about and devoted to his health. And the future of horsemanship looks bright with Abby in the picture.




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Equine Disease Prevention — What’s The Deal with Disinfectants?


COVID taught us the importance of doing everything possible to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.


Making sense of disinfectant claims can be confusing!

Along with that, advertising claims about cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants spread as quickly as COVID.


COVID may be relatively under control now, but EHV-1, strangles and influenza are among the bacteria and virus-borne diseases we worry about for our horses and pets. Especially when traveling to shows and exhibitions where contact with other people, horses and animals is a risky reality.


Making sense of claims about what cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectant products actually do continues to be a challenge for us horse and pet owners.


Thankfully, the Environment Protection Agency has a helpful information. This includes what to look for in products for both effectiveness and safety for humans and animals. The EPA tests and regulates products that “sanitize” or “disinfect.”


Definitions and Distinctions



Per the EPA, “sanitize” means to “kill bacteria on surfaces using chemicals.” Whereas the EPA defines “disinfect” as meaning to “kill viruses and bacteria using chemicals.”


A disinfectant “is a substance, or mixture of substances, that destroys or irreversibly inactivates bacteria, fungi and viruses, but not necessarily bacterial spores in the inanimate environment – such as hard surfaces.”


Disinfectants are the broader, better option to prevent disease spread.


“Chemicals,” by the way, can be plant-derived compounds or synthetic.


The Agency does not regulate “cleaners” that simply remove dirt and organic matter from surfaces using soap or detergents. Many disinfectants and sanitizers contain cleaning agents, so they can do double duty at home and in the stable.


Read The Label!


The EPA regulates disinfectants to ensure they meet specific standards before they can be used by the public. The EPA clarifies that disinfectants are pesticides and can be harmful.


Reading product labels carefully and using as instructed are critical. Products registered by the EPA have been evaluated and the wording on their labels approved for accuracy. This includes whether the product needs to be diluted, how long it needs to stay on the applied surface to be effective and in what forms in can be used – sprays, wipes, etc.


Choosing Efficacy & Safety


Thymox is distinct in the disinfectant category because it is EPA registered, proven to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria and rated in the Agency’s safest category for use on humans and animals.


Thymox enhances the antimicrobial power of thymol, from the plant thyme, with a blend of botanical soaps and additives. It is effective and easy to use, while also being safe.


The active ingredient in other disinfectants with similar efficacy can be toxic. These include hydrogen peroxide, bleach and quaternary ammonium compounds.


The Environmental Protection Agency has four categories of toxicity for hard surface disinfectants – from Category I, which is “highest toxicity,” to Category IV, which is the lowest toxicity and defined as safe for use.


Toxicity levels usually correlate to harshness, too. Bleach, quaternary or hydrogen peroxide-based products can irritate or damage skin and eyes, trigger allergic responses and/or corrode the surfaces to which they’re applied.  


Typically, masks and gloves are recommended when applying products based on these active ingredients.


Thyme for Thymox


Thymox - EPA registered, safe disinfectant

Thymox is an EPA-registered disinfectant that’s super effective, safe and easy to use.

Thymox is an EPA category IV product. As such, Thymox can be confidently used on any surface in the stable or home. Its label has no warnings or special handling directions. It is non-abrasive and non-corrosive.


The efficacy of thymol is enhanced by Thymox’s delivery mechanism – a “nano emulsion” that allows accurate and stable dispersion of the active ingredient.  In practice, this means that Thymox delivers billions of nano-sized droplets with each spray, for superior killing effect.


Unlike many disinfectants, Thymox is a ready-to-use product. It does not need to be diluted or mixed before application. It does not need to be rinsed or wiped off after use – even on food-contact surfaces. 


As a bonus, Thymox has a pleasant, natural scent.



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Dust-free horse bedding and Thymox disinfectant help busy horsewoman Jennifer Coleman live the dream.


Jennifer coleman and Palantir

Jen and Palantir competing in Indiana Event Association Horse Trials.


Jennifer Coleman is busy.


She works full time in her own graphic and website design business and manages the stable where she rides and cares for her own five horses and her son’s pony. Based in the Lexington area’s Paris, KY., Jen trains a few students and competes in eventing as often as she can.


With her horses’ health and time management atop her priorities, “Jen” relies on stable products that work as hard as she does.


Which is why she’s a big fan of Airlite cardboard bedding and Thymox disinfectant spray, from Green Horse Brands.


On the recommendation of event organizer and fellow stable manager Mary Fike, Jen tried Airlite bedding a few years ago.


Cardboard Bedding? Really?


Initially, the idea of using cardboard was unappealing.


“In my mind, at first, I thought ‘It’s cardboard.’ It looked odd in the muck pile after I cleaned the stalls.”


But it didn’t take long for Airlite to prove its benefits to her horses, herself and the overall stable environment and horsekeeping routine.


“The lack of dust is amazing,” she says.  Made of pre-consumer cardboard, Airlite settled into the stalls beautifully to create a lofty, cushioned and super-absorbent surface atop rubber mats.


Jen suffers from allergies and Airlite’s no-dust, no-contaminant qualities “have been great for me.”


Reducing breathable dust in the stable environment is veterinarians’ top advice for preventing and/or managing respiratory issues in horses. Jen’s horses do not struggle with such problems, and she trusts Airlite to help keep it that way.


In addition to improving barn air quality, Airlite helps with other aspects of a truly clean stable.


“I was surprised how easy it is to clean the stalls,” Jen reports. “Urine goes to the bottom layer of bedding, and it has a clumping quality to it, like cat litter. So it’s easier to get the dirty parts out.” She loves that Airlite pieces don’t stick to manure, so less the bedding is wasted with manure removal.


It doesn’t stick to horse’s coats or get into their nostrils and eyes, either.


Jen leases her stables on 150 beautiful, privately-owned acres. The property’s owners are “absolutely delighted” with Airlite because of its composting properties. It breaks down quickly, supports healthy soil and has the appealing look of dark mulch.


Jen Coleman riding on property

Enjoying the beautiful property, where composted Airlite bedding is used throughout as mulch.

Bedding and Hoof Health


“It’s been a huge benefit to their feet,” Jen adds. Most of her horses are Off The Track Thoroughbreds, who often have trouble with hoof health. She typically keeps them in the barn for half the day, depending on the weather, to help maintain their hoof structure and integrity.


“Since I started using Airlite, their feet are in much better shape because they’re not standing on soaked shavings, which can break down their feet.”


Long-term structural integrity of the bedding itself is another benefit. One of Jen’s mares is an easy keeper when it comes to daily muckings. She rarely urinates in her stall, so very little bedding needs to be removed. Conversely, wood shavings can break down into dust long before they become soiled with urine, prompting frequent stall stripping and re-bedding.


Jen doesn’t leave home without Airlite bedding. It’s essential for trailer travel, when air whizzing in would whip up shavings and their related dust.


Several shows in her Kentucky area have adopted the bedding, Jen observes. When she’s at show stabling with Airlite, she recognizes occasional knee-jerk resistance to the idea of bedding made of cardboard. It’s still not the traditional choice in a sport that’s often bound by traditions.


“A lot of people don’t like change,” Jen notes. Yet, change is often what’s needed to provide a clean, healthy and easily maintained stable.


Disease Prevention


More recently, the professional horseman added Thymox botanical disinfectant and cleaner to her horse keeping routine.


With the past years’ bouts of EHV-1 and strangles for horses and COVID for people, Jen is keenly aware the risk of communicable diseases.


Disinfectants have been on her to-do list, but she didn’t want to use “gross chemicals” or a product that required a few hours’ wait between application and when her horses could safely interact with the treated surfaces.


When Airlite manufacturer Green Horse Brands introduced Thymox earlier this year, Jen jumped on it. It kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses yet is non-toxic. It’s safe to use on surfaces touched by horses, people, kids and pets.


She uses Thymox to clean out horse buckets, on bits after she rides and even to clean out the cat litter box at home. At horse shows, Jen sprays down the walls, floors and fronts of the stalls to ensure that anything her horses touch will be free of disease-causing bacteria, viruses and fungi.


Living The Dream


Jennifer Coleman and Tommy's Pop Gun

Jen and Tommy’s Pop Gun at Southern Pines Horse Trials

A life with horses is what Jen always dreamed of. Living that dream, along with parenting and paying the horse bills with her Solstice Marketing and Design is an impressive juggling act.


She’s excited to compete this season on a string including a Preliminary eventing partner and in-development youngsters.


Jen does all the stable labor herself, except for in the summers when her college-enrolled son, Leigh, is home to help. It’s a life of early mornings at the barn, sometimes jumping into graphic and website design assignments on her laptop in the barn office.  Then, it’s riding, teaching and general to-do list items throughout the afternoon before evening feedings and barn chores.


Airlite bedding and Thymox disinfectant make Jen’s busy days easier. Equally important, they contribute to a healthy, comfortable environment for the horses who’ve made her life’s dream a reality.




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Cardboard animal bedding helps University of Auburn care for mares and their babies

foal on airlite bedding at Univeristy of Auburn

A newborn delivered at University of Auburn starts life on Airlite bedding

Cardboard bedding made immediate sense to Aime K Johnson, DVM, DACT. She is an Associate Professor, Equine and Small Animal Theriogenology, at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.


Theriogenology is the veterinary medicine specialty focused on animal reproduction, and Dr. Johnson works primarily with mares experiencing high-risk pregnancies. Her patients range from Warmbloods and Quarter Horses to Arabians and even Minis.


Placenta infections or separations and colics during gestation are some of the conditions pregnant mares are coping with when they arrive.


Whatever their health issues, a healthy, clean environment is a top priority at Auburn’s mare and foal care facility.  Conventional options of wood shavings and straw do not support that priority.


“I don’t like shavings because they get in the foal’s eyes and mouth and it’s dusty,” Dr. Johnson explains. “And straw does not provide good absorption. With straw, the fluids from parturition (the birthing process) go straight through to the floor.”


Dr. Johnson was open to trying cardboard bedding when it was introduced to her several years ago.


Better Animal Bedding 


It was love at first use, she recalls. “It’s very absorbent and there’s no dust like there is with shavings. It really soaks up all the fluids and urine.”


At first glance, Airlite bedding looks a little different than shavings or straw. But the mares in Dr. Johnson’s care seem to love it right away, too. “I’ve never noticed any reluctance when the horses walk into a stall with Airlite. They certainly don’t try to eat it, like they often do with straw.”


Because of its no-dust nature, Airlite cardboard bedding is also used at Auburn for horses with conditions on the Equine Asthma Spectrum. Reducing dust in the equine environment is veterinarians’ top recommendation for preventing or managing respiratory problems. The dust in conventional stall bedding is one of the biggest contributors to unhealthy environments for all horses. That is not the case with Airlite.


Airlite also neutralizes ammonia odors. These arise from “urea,” a byproduct of digestion and metabolism of protein in the horse’s urine. A basic rule of thumb is that if ammonia odors are noticeable to people, they are already at levels harmful to themselves and to horses.

As one of the top-ranked veterinary medical schools in the country, Auburn excels in all aspects of caring for their horses – from cutting edge medicine to basics like providing the healthiest stall environment possible. Airlite cardboard bedding is an Auburn advantage all owners can adopt for their horses’ health.




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What does “clean” mean in our horse’s environment?

Horses count on their humans to keep their environment truly clean.

Tuesday, March 19 is the first day of spring and the topic of “spring cleaning” will likely be in surround-sound mode.

For horse owners, it’s a great time to think about what “clean” means in the context of our horses’ environment and their health.

Clean Air 

Clean air is critical to horse’s health, happiness and performance. But it’s challenging to maintain in the equine environment, especially in the horse’s breathing zone.

Our horses’ lungs function as air filters. But the stabled environment is loaded with microscopic particles that can clog those filters.

Even before these bits of mold, mites and various allergens – aka “respirable dust” — get into the lungs, they can settle in the lining of the upper respiratory tract. There, they cause irritation that triggers mucus and inflammation. And that restricts the flow of oxygen in and out. Hence the name Inflammatory Airway Disease, for conditions on the mild and moderate end of the Equine Asthma Spectrum.

It’s a spectrum we don’t want our horse on.

Living outdoors is ideal for equine respiratory health. (Unless, of course, there’s extreme air pollution or wildfire smoke increasing particulate matter in the area.) But outdoor living is not a full-time reality for most horses, Many spend the majority of their day stabled inside.

Living in a stall, horses are exposed to the two biggest sources of dangerous dust – bedding and hay. These have a double whammy effect because hay is often fed on the stall floor, so the horse spends much of its day with its nose in the area that has the highest concentrations of dust particles. The nostrils are the entry to the respiratory tract, so this is not good for respiratory health.

While commercially produced ammonia is often used in spring cleaning tasks, urine-related ammonia concentration is another invisible threat to horse’s respiratory health.

It’s a major irritant that triggers inflammation. If we can smell ammonia, it’s already at a level that can be harmful to horses and humans.

Better Bedding  



Airlite bedding

Airlite animal cardboard bedding is dust-free, super absorbent and neutralizes ammonia.

A stall bedded deeply with fresh, aromatic wood shavings may look like an ideal, clean environment. In reality, wood shavings can be loaded with respirable dust particles, fungi and bacteria — all of which link to respiratory disease.

Traditional wood bedding does a poor job of absorbing ammonia and straw bedding is even worse.

This study shows how shavings and straw contribute to unhealthy air quality. It was conducted by the University of Delaware, in conjunction with the University of Florida.

Bedding made of cardboard improves stable air quality and Airlite stands out in this category. It’s virtually zero-dust. It’s made of pre-consumer cardboard, so it has no contaminants. Airlite is up to 5X as absorbent as wood shavings and it neutralizes ammonia.

Plus, it’s ideal for composting, helping horse keepers reduce our environmental hoofprint the planet.

Healthier Hay 



Hay is a double edge sword when it comes to horse health. It’s ideal as the main source of their needed nutrients, but even great looking hay can be loaded with respirable particles. Steaming hay in commercial equipment proven to reduce particles is the best way to feed hay that won’t pose a risk to respiratory health.

Soaking hay will dampen down the dust, making it less likely to be inhaled. But soaking can increase bacteria and mold content, so it has its drawbacks.

Better Cleaning Practices 



feed room and buckets

Everything our horse’s nose and mouth touches should be disinfected regularly.


COVID in the human world, and EHV-1, strangles and other diseases in the horse world, have heightened awareness of how easily diseases are spread. And the importance of preventing spread.

An effective disinfectant is critical to daily and deep cleaning practices that help prevent disease spread.

Traditional disinfectants like bleach, hydrogen peroxide and those classified as “quaternary” or “quats” all have serious downsides. Corrosive, irritating, allergenic – even toxic – are some of those negatives.

An effective, plant-based product is perfect for the stables. Plant-based, “botanical,” disinfectants have not been as effective as their chemical-based counterparts in the past. A thyme-based product, Thymox, is changing that.

Registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, Thymox kills 99.9% of the viruses and bacteria. This includes the bugs that cause EHV-1, strangles, influenza and other diseases. plus COVID-19 and mold and fungi. Yet it’s safe and easy to use on any surface.

Tack, feed and water buckets, and brushes should be on the long list of things to clean and disinfect. The list includes anything that our horse’s nose and mouth come into contact with.

Before a new horse comes into a stall, the walls, floor, water troughs, feed holders, etc., should get a thorough disinfecting. Thorough means ensuring that the entire surface is covered by the disinfectant.

Choosing a product that’s effective on contact and safe enough to leave on after application makes this potentially time intensive task relatively easy and fast.

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Cardboard bedding is best for Black Watch Stables’ breeding.

healthy young horse

Casanova BWS, one of Black Watch’s award-winning babies! Photo by Kathy Swear Schultz


Cardboard bedding came to Kate Dressel’s attention by way of a disgustingly clogged air conditioner filter.


Kate’s warmblood breeding farm, Black Watch Stables, is in Danielsville, Georgia, where summer temperatures can top 100° with humidity kicking the heat index up to 115°. These temperatures can be difficult for keeping any horse hydrated.


For nursing mares and young foals, they can be catastrophic. 


Black Watch’s mares are the foundation upon which their operation is built, and their foals are its future. So, Kate does everything she can to keep them healthy, happy and comfortable. Experience showed that investing in heat and air conditioning for the stable was less expensive than vet bills incurred due to extreme temperatures.


Wood Shavings? No Good!


Wood shavings were Kate’s initial bedding choice when the stable was constructed. “But the dust was incredible,” she recalls. Mamas and their foals came inside the enclosed, air-conditioned barn to beat the heat, but the dust negated those benefits.


Unhealthy, inhalable dust is a reality with most wood shavings. Seeing the dust particles build up and clog the air conditioner filter in only a few days shocked Kate. Veterinarians describe a horse’s lungs as their air filters. It was scary to imagine that dust accumulating in the “air filters” of her own horses – not to mention in her own respiratory system.


Unlike an air conditioner filter, new lungs can’t be had at Home Depot.


Better Horse Bedding


young horse on Airlite cardboard bedding

Beltini colt, Sazerac BWS, is immediately at ease on Black Watch Stables’ Airlite bedding.

Looking for a better bedding solution, Kate considered straw. “But the only straw we could get locally was terribly dirty stuff. I don’t want my babies breathing and laying in that.”


Even clean straw is not ideal. A 2018 study found that horses bedded on straw were more likely to have fungi in their respiratory system. Fungi correlate to conditions on the equine asthma spectrum. (The study was published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine and can be found here.)


Kate’s search led to Airlite Bedding by Green Horse Brands. Made of pre-consumer cardboard, it’s a virtually zero-dust option. It provides 4X the absorbency of wood shavings, and deactivates ammonia present in urine. Airlite is free of contaminants, toxins and mold, making it ideal for year-round disease prevention.


A clean environment is especially critical for newborn foals. Their umbilical cord is a “super highway into their body,” Kate explains. “If that gets bacteria in it, it can very quickly lead to serious infection. Especially for foaling, you want to have the cleanest environment possible.”


A Pregnant (and Unusual!) Pause


The Black Watch horses love the cardboard bedding, too. At presstime, the Oldenberg mare, Luna BWS (in foal by the Holsteiner stallion, Central Time), was days away from delivering.


“She’s as big as a house,” Kate shares. “When horses are heavily pregnant, they’re very round and it’s not comfortable for them to lie down for long, let alone lay flat. They’re so exhausted that they want to, but rarely do so for longer than a couple minutes.”


pregnant mare lying down on Airlite bedding

Luna BWS gets much-needed rest on Airlite bedding

Monitoring the foaling stall camera footage, Kate saw that Luna was lying down flat for an unusually long time – and several times through the night. Five or six inches of Airlite cardboard bedding creates a deep, cushioned surface. Luna is apparently so comfortable, she has been “laying out flat for 20 minutes at a stretch,” Kate shares. “I attribute that to this bedding,” she asserts. At Black Watch, Airlite is used on top of rubber mats on compacted footing.


Airlite gives Luna the rest and relaxation that’s critical to all horses — especially those in foal. “It’s very clean and springy,” elaborates Kate. She has lain down on it herself to confirm why Luna and her Black Watch barn mates like it so much.


Problem Prevention


Airlite is Kate’s year-round preference for all the Black Watch horses.


Oodles of outdoor time and free choice between the indoors and the outdoors are key to Kate’s healthy horse keeping. But winter temperatures can sink to single digits. When that happens, horses come inside and enjoy radiant heat through the barn’s cement floor areas.


Cardboard bedding’s insulating effect helps maintain the 45°-50° temperatures ideal for most horses in the cold season. And it assures that dust and ammonia odors aren’t an issue even when the barn is sealed up for warmth.


Stable air conditioning and heating are expensive, Kate confirms. But not as expensive as treating the issues that arise from unhealthy, uncomfortable environments. Colic, dehydration and respiratory problems are some of those issues. All are serious, costly to treat and – worst of all – hard on the horse.


Kate prefers to prevent problems in her horses, from their first breaths and throughout their lives. Airlite cardboard bedding helps her do exactly that.





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Where to get Airlite ? Here are our Re-sellers by State

Now you know that Airlite is the Healthiest bedding for your animals, your barn and Your health, so where to get it?  Below is a listing of where to get Airlite from re-sellers by state.  If we do not have a re-seller near you, don’t sweat it,  give us a call and let us know and we will work it out with a feed store near you or we can ship farm direct for orders over a certain quantity.  Give us a call to see just how right Airlite it is for your barn.  It will dramatically change the air quality in your Happy Place!


Helena Hardware – Helena, AL  –  256-496-2009
– https://www.facebook.com/HelenaHardware/


Danbury Agway – Danbury, CT  –  203-743-7500
– https://agwayct.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/pages/Agway-of-Danbury/155511394485922

Blue Seal Feeds – Litchfield, CT 06759  –  860-482-7116
– http://www.bluesealstores.com
– https://www.facebook.com/blueseal.litchfield/


Antioch Feed and Farm Supply – Thonotosassa, FL  –  813 986-5611
– https://www.facebook.com/Antioch-Feed-Farm-Supply-1456020994667904/?ref=br_tf

Audreys Feed – Vero Beach, FL  –  772-567-47499
– https://www.audreysfeedandtack.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/AudreysFeed/

Berrettini Feed – Ocala, FL  –  352-629-1447
– http://www.berrettinifeedspecialists.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/berrettinifeedspecialist/

Boyette Grain Feed and Seed LLC – Lake City, FL  -386-752-2740
– https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boyette-Grain-Feed-Seed/1232265143455943

British Feed – Loxahatchee, FL (wellington area)  –  561-633-6003
– http://www.britishfeed.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/british.feed/

Central States Feed – Lake City, FL  –  386-755-7443
– https://www.facebook.com/od360/

Circle H Ag Sales – Newberry, FL  –  352-727-1423
– http://circlehagsales.com/
   – https://www.facebook.com/CircleHAgSalesLLC/

Farm and Pet Outlet – Orlando, FL  –  407-368-8485
– https://www.facebook.com/farmandpet

Farm city Apopka – Apopka, FL  –  407-899-2822
– http://www.farmcityfeed.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/farmcityapopka/

Farm City Orlando – Orlando, FL  –  407-843-7470
– http://www.farmcityfeed.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/farmcityfeed/

Feedin Time – St Augustine, FL  –  904-825-1782
– https://feedintime.weebly.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/itsfeedintime/

Finish Line Feed –  Dania, FL  –  954-920-1414
– http://www.finishlinefeedinc.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/finishlinefeed/

Florida Farm and Feed – Tallahassee, FL  –  850-877-0932
– http://floridafarmandfeed.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/FloridaFarmandFeed/

J & J Tack – Lakeland, FL  –   863-859-0655
– http://www.jjtackshack.com/

Labelle Ranch Supply – Labelle, FL  –  863-675-4240
– https://www.facebook.com/Labelle-Ranch-Supply-172429552951503/

Lewis Feed and Garden – DeLand, FL  –  386-736-8518
– https://www.facebook.com/LewisFeedGarden/

Midway Farm and Ranch – Land o Lakes, FL  –  813-996-3317
– http://www.midwayfarmandranchsupply.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/midwayfarmandranchsupply/

Osteen Feed – Osteen, FL  –  407-322-8383
– https://www.facebook.com/pages/Osteen-Feed/142089122494922

Red Barn – Loxahatchee, FL  –  561-790-0004
– https://redbarn1.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/redbarn.feedandsupply/

Robbie’s Feed and Supply – Miami, FL  –  305-247-1256
– http://robbiesfeed.com/ 
– https://www.facebook.com/RobbiesFeedSupplyInc/

Smelt Feed and Pet Supply – Tampa, FL  –  813 248-2359
– https://www.facebook.com/SmeltFeed/


Cherokee Feed – Ball Ground, GA  – 770-887-0440
– http://www.cherokeefeedandseed.com/
– https://www.facebook.com/CherokeeFeedandSeed/

Helios Equine – 1500 McCormick Highway, Lincolnton, GA 30817  –  Ed David / 832.858.1392

Equine Rehabilitation – Helios Equine Rehabilitation Center (hserc.com)


WestLake Ace – Lenexa, KS  –  913-227-0562


Dr. John O’Brien DVM – Bowling Green, KY  –  270-935-8282


Core Feed – Folsom, LA  –  985-796-3970
– https://www.facebook.com/Core-Feed-150084431849975/

Tri-Parish Feed – Slaughter, LA  – 225-654-2727

Home – Tri-Parish Co-op & Wilkinson Farmers Co-op – Tri-Parish Co-op & Wilkinson Farmers Co-op

South Carolina

Aiken Saddlery – 1044E. Pine Log Rd Aiken, SC 29803  –  (803) – 649-6583

Home – Aiken Saddlery | Facebook

 Aiken Saddlery | Facebook


Fierlis Enterprises, LLC   Pet Waste Management Service  –  Knoxville, TN  –  (865) 369-5900


Fierlis Enterprises, LLC | Facebook


Lab Supply – Ft. Worth, TX  –  800-262-5258  (supplying the triangle, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston)
– http://www.labsupplytx.com/


Foxwire Farm – Toano, VA  –  757-218-4520
– https://www.facebook.com/foxwirefarmalpacas/

Farm and Home Supply – Kilmarnock, VA  –  804-435-3177

(5) Farm and Home Supply | Facebook


CANADA – Ontario

Equine Solutions – Saint Agatha Ontario  –  519-504-6969

Equine Solutions

Equine solutions ontario | Facebook

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Evidence based solutions to Unhealthy dusty stalls. Here is the science behind the bedding.



  • The University of Vermont tested water absorbency rates of cardboard bedding at four to six times greater than dry sawdust and ten times greater than straw or hay.            (click chart)
  • Colorado State University Department of Animal Science’s study of cardboard versus sawdust as bedding for horses concluded that “cardboard bedding was more absorbent, had a cleaner appearance and had lower aerial ammonia levels than the sawdust bedding.”
  • A University of Florida Horse Research Center study comparing cardboard bedding material against straw and wood shavings stated, “The horses on straw required an average of 17.9 lbs. per day.  Those on wood shavings required 39.5 lbs. per day, while those on cardboard required only 12.2 lbs. per day.”
  • The University of Delaware in conjunction with The University of Florida showed that cardboard bedding had much lower ammonia levels than straw or pine shavings. (click chart)                                                                                                          Laurent Couetil – Purdue University wrote:  To main approaches can help reduce exposure of the horse’s airways to respirable particles. The 1st approach is to use feedstuffs and bedding that generate low dust and endotoxin concentrations.  The 2nd approach is to increase removal of airborne particles and noxious gases by improving ventilation in the building.                                                                                                                                 Changing bedding material to cardboard can cut respirable dust concentrations in half and reduce concentration to negligible concentrations. Replacing hay feed, straw and wood bedding to cardboard bedding and a complete pelleted diet  was shown to decrease the respirable dust burden by 97% and to decrease aeroallergen challenge.                                                                                                                                                               
  • The chart below is a comparison of how most bedding substrates compare with each other in many market factors.  Now that you have the information you can best choose which is best for the health of your barn.  Not just your horses, but YOU, your dogs and cats.  Breathing is not overrated.      (click chart)                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


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How Bad is Dust; Really? Sure you want your horses breathing it?

More about Dust

Do you know how harmful dust really is? Have you ever read or researched what dust can do to both humans and horses? AIRLITE™ is designed to eliminate dust and particles that are harmful and protect both the horse and rider.

Take a look below!  We hope you find this information useful!

Kentucky Equine Research Center Archives: Small Airway Disease & Equine Respiratory Health

“During competition, the horse’s lungs move over 2,250 liters of air per minute […]even a small increase in the amounts of mucus in the airways & minor degrees of airway thickening in the airway lining will adversely affect performance”.

PENN State-College of Agricultural Sciences Agricultural Research: Riding Arena Footing Materials Selection & Management – Page 8—-Dust Management

“Most arena, stall and barn environments are plagued with dust problems. Dust causes eye and nose irritations and contributes to respiratory damage in both horse and rider. It is estimated that an idle horse inhales 16 gallons of air per minute and during strenuous exercise can inhale up to 600 gallons per minute. Minimize the amount of dust in this area should be a primary goal…”

Bay Area Equestrian Network February 2007 via SteinBeckEquine.com – Your Horse’s Health-Silicosis in Horses Veterinary Medicine with Matt Durham DVM

“Prevention of Silicosis requires limiting the amount of inhaled dust……..”

American Lung Association – Fighting for Air-Understanding Silicosis

“Silicosis is a chronic lung disease caused by breathing in tiny bits of silica dust. Silica is the second most common mineral in the earth’s crust. It is the major component of SAND, rock & mineral ores……..”

OSHA FACT Sheet-USA Governmental Agency – Crystalline Silica Exposure Health Hazard Information

“Crystalline silica has been classified as a human lung carcinogen. […] use all available work practices to control dust exposures…”


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