Horses are powerful, majestic, and bring joy and various health benefits to those of us who are lucky enough to have them in our lives, but so much goes into the care of our favorite companions.
From maintaining green pastures to disposing of waste, sustainability becomes a priority for responsible equine enthusiasts.
Instead of multiple strands of electric wire that will increase your power bill, or even vinyl fencing that can harm your horses if they chew on it, opt for wood fencing with one or two strands of electric wires.
Wooden fence posts are highly visible, strong, and easy to repair or replace if they get damaged.
In addition to this, choose essential oils, roots, herbs and other natural remedies over chemical-filled drugs and medicines whenever possible.
Provide Opportunities for Grazing
Whether you place your horses in a pasture with other grazers (such as cattle or sheep) or give them their own natural paddock in which to roam, grazing offers horses a chance to exercise, socialize with one another, and find their own food as they would in the wild.
Moreover, this is a great time-saving tip that will also save you a bit on hay and pellets, which further reduces the carbon footprint of your equestrian friends.
Just remember, they usually still need pellets and other dietary supplements to give them necessary protein and fats.
Also, ensure you keep your beloved horses from chewing on apple trees and other harmful plants by placing fencing around this foliage.
Source and Use Water Economically
If your property has an above-ground water source, such as a stream or pond, consider building your pasture around this. Providing your horses with unlimited access to cool, fresh water not only mimics their wild habitat but it also prevents the need for electric pumps.
If you don’t have a creek or small pond, install hand-pumps to bring the water up from the water table and into a trough or buckets with zero electricity.
Another eco-friendly horse keeping tip is to use a bucket of water to wash your horses, rather than running the hose throughout the bath.
Manage the Muck
Removing waste from pastures and stalls is vital for keeping your horses healthy. But what on earth should you do with it? Well, why not use it as a natural fertilizer?
If you have a garden or crop fields, adding nutrient-rich horse manure to them is a win-win! Just be sure to age the fertilizer (ideally under a tarp to trap moisture and heat) for a couple of months to avoid burning the roots of your crops or flowers.
Love Your Horses … and the Planet
Whether you have one or two horses or an entire ranch, sustainable equine care is important. When you set up eco-friendly sources of food and water, you lower your direct and indirect consumption of electricity, pesticides, gasoline, and more.
Moreover, you save money on things like hay and power. Finally, and most importantly, you create a healthier, more natural environment for your horses when you maintain sustainable practices.
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and horse enthusiast. She works closely with Equine and Wines and covers developments in sustainable agriculture and equine care. In addition, she also enjoys writing about travel, events, and home trends.