It's almost Earth Day but shouldn't it be Earth Day everyday as a practice? There's many simple things you can do around the stable to be more sustainably minded. We love our horses and offer them the best of care but for an animal that would naturally grazes 23 hours a day, many of us pull them from that environment, apply pesticides, lotions to make them shine, and spray chemicals on our pastures for improved quality of forage. Here's a few helpful tips that can reduce ur “hoof print” on the planet...

  1. Reuse/repurpose horse blankets. Horse blankets that have seen their better days will make a perfect barn cat bed. You might know someone who sews and mends blankets and can always use clean, old blankets for patching then give to a horse and their human companion that might not be able to afford their own. Horse blankets can even be wrapped around your water pipes for insulation.
  2. Set up recycling. Most stables have a trash can in or near the tack room area. Put a reusable container next to that trash can marked for water & other plastic bottles, soda cans, and cardboard products to be place into. This will not only reduce your trash bill but likewise you and your horses carbon footprints.
  3. Old water hoses. Winter wrecked some of your best water hoses? Don't throw them out... You can slit it down the side and place it atop a rail, wire or metal gate!
  4. Replace light bulbs the smart way. Every time one of your incandescent light bulbs burns out, replace it with and LED. The Light Emitting Diode option burns cooler thus helping reduce your AC bill, they last LOTS longer therefore you’ll have to replace them much less often! Yes they do cost a bit more but the lifetime of the LED makes them more cost effective than incandescents.
  5. New to you tack. Lost the love for some of your tack but not enough in the budget to buy new? Hold a tack swap! It will bring barn members together and recycle items that are no longer being used. Find a perfect piece that is new to you! Items left over at the end of the day?.. Donate them to your local equine assisted therapy program, local para-riding association, or horse rescue group.
  6. Use organic pest control. By using beneficial insects like Fly Predators at your stable, you’ll cull about 80% of the fly population before it starts. This means less spraying away flies that will only come back. In addition to Fly Predators you can do a little pick up, keeping your paddocks free of manure. To keep your mosquito population at bay, eliminate as many standing water locations as possible. You can dump water troughs every 2 days and try Mosquito Torpedos which are safe for use in horse waterers.
  7. Newspaper repurpose. Some of us still read the actual printed papers. Yep! It's true. :-) Most newspapers these days are printed with soy-oil-based inks so compost friendly. Shred it and mix it in with your stall bedding or use it for soaking up urine splatter in the alleyway. Then spritz down the remaining spot with some Bye Bye Odor to completely eliminate the ammonia.
  8. Be water conscious. Do you walk away from filling water buckets, end up forgetting and have an overflowing trough or flooded stall? This unnecessary water waste is easy to prevent by setting up an automatic shutoff timer on your spigots or installing automatic waterers in your stalls or pastures. Rain barrels can also help you cut your water consumption down by and that water used to clean your farm tools, equipment, or even for watering your arena.
  9. Lucky horse shoes. Surf the web for fun craft ideas you can create with your left over horse shoes. Contact local metal working artists as they would be overjoyed to repurpose them into art for you OR save them up over the year and deliver to your local metal recycler. Steel & aluminum buyback prices are kinda low but you can still get a few bucks.
  10. Plan a smart arena design. Natural shrubbery placed along the outside of your arena will block the evaporative effects of wind on your arena footing thus you’ll need to water it much less, saving water as well as saving your footing too!

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It's simple!

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