Sustainability in the Horse World - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 05-04-2019, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Question Sustainability in the Horse World

Hey everyone,


I am super passionate about sustainability, and am so curious if anyone within the "equestrian world" focuses on this within their lifestyle? Do you take sustainability, your carbon footprint, "fair trade", organic, ect, into account in your daily equestrian decisions? Would love any input, or thoughts on this topic.

Thanks, and I can't wait to hear ya'lls thoughts.
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post #2 of 53 Old 05-04-2019, 07:59 PM
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Yes, absolutely.

I would not buy hay trucked from out of state unless desperate. I actually buy hay from my next door neighbor's field. I am trying to both conserve and improve my pastures -- I would not keep more animals than the carrying capacity of my summer pastures. I am raising some chicks right now with the idea of using them to follow the horses in the pasture rotation, to spread the manure piles, and pick up ticks and fly larvae.

There are few options for organic feed for horses where I live. I'd have to mix my own, which would be worth it for one small horse and a pony.

One of the main reasons I bought this property is the trails which are accessible right from my barn, keeping trailering out to a minimum.
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Short horse lover
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post #3 of 53 Old 05-04-2019, 08:05 PM
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Less with my horses than I do in daily life. I do try to buy used first, I also seem to be the only one at the barn who doesn't turn all the lights in the middle of the day. I don't buy organic, I actively do the opposite.

If I owned or managed my own place it would be different. I'd use horsepower for more tasks, use all the land for materials and turnout, ect. I had a trainer who was really good at instilling that type of work.
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post #4 of 53 Old 05-04-2019, 08:16 PM
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We try. I mean, we moved an entire barn, covered arena, and several miles of fencing so my farms new owners wouldn’t dig a hole and bury it...

I am considering switching to an organic, locally milled(by Mennonites, using horse power) grain, but it is a good drive from my farm...I will have to really plan ahead.
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post #5 of 53 Old 05-04-2019, 09:35 PM
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I operate in a couple very different locations. Each with it's own challenges and perks.

One is a pretty large place (18,000+ acres) where we have both cattle and a couple dozen horses. The other is just a paddock that I lease to keep my personal horse and whoever else I'm working with.

On the ranch, we jealously protect the forage and water for our livestock and the wildlife that shares the area. I think we do a good job, but in addition we've gotten two awards from conservation groups for improved forage, decreased erosion, and developing wildlife habitat. We don't do commercial hunting, but do hunt for our own is and that of employees.

In the paddock I lease, it was automatic for me to improve the water and protect the stream bed from the damage the flat hooves of horses do. It cannot support horses with forage, but I can reduce erosion and provide cover for birds and ungulates that live in the area by protecting and encouraging the growth of trees and brush.

I enjoy improving the land. Ranchers are nothing but "grass" farmers, really. No forage. No feed.

I also use a 3-horse bumper pull for most transportation (which is pretty rare) pulled by a 1/2 ton truck. Less that what I observe at many events.
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post #6 of 53 Old 05-04-2019, 10:39 PM
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Hello, yes!

All our herbivores (horses, donkeys, beef cattle) free range, getting >90% of their food off the sustainably managed 30 acre pasture. We rely on minimal feed trucked in - just a few oats and a bit of chaff and canola. We rarely buy or cut hay because we planted tree fodder to get us through the summer drought and the winter feed gap. We live in an off-grid passive-solar strawbale house with compost toilets that make great garden fertiliser instead of pollution, and grow much of our own food too. I'm a trained Biologist / Environmental Scientist, worked in land capability management and sustainability before switching to education, and I write for the public on matters like this in a couple of Australian magazines. You can see photos and information on our place, plus the kind of articles I write, here:

Red Moon Sanctuary

Some of the articles are also on my HF journal. Just search for "Grass Roots" or "Owner Builder".

Also, please feel free to contribute to this thread on a related topic!

https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tal...-horse-802109/

SueC is time travelling.
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post #7 of 53 Old 06-04-2019, 12:13 AM
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Ranchers that keep the land in balance, for cattle AND wildlife, and keep the water clean are heroes of the environmental world. This is the only way, going forward; tying our success with that of the native animals, not seperating them in totality.
Only small areas of this world can be protected as wilderness, and I support that, but if every small farmer and rancher keeps their precious land in a fair balance, then the environment benefits and can adapt quite a bit.
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post #8 of 53 Old 06-04-2019, 01:37 AM
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I have to board my horses and feed is included so I go with whatever the barn owner gets. However, I am careful about what kinds of things I use on the horses like only natural fly spray, tea tree oil for mud fever, vinegar water for thrush, sunlight (UV rays) for rain rot, an herbal gel for cuts/scrapes, etc.

As for me personally I only buy organic fruit/veggies and mostly organic with other foods, too. I also buy natural laundry/dish/hand soap and even organic shampoo. Recycling is big for me as well and has been for years.
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post #9 of 53 Old 06-04-2019, 02:03 AM
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My hay comes from out of state. Trucked in. My saddle has a Ralide tree, is made of Cordura Nylon and my horse has plastic hoof boots. Human food arrives here on trucks and on trains. Otherwise we'd all starve. My veggies come frozen and my chili canned. I sometimes eat at McDonalds. And like it. My farrier drives a big truck and drives a long way to get here. Oh - and earlier today, an exterminator poisoned some bees who moved inside my house's wall yesterday. He'll be back in a couple of days to cut open the wall and remove the remains of the hive. I sleep well at nights regardless.

I shave with a Double Edge razor, if that helps.
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post #10 of 53 Old 06-04-2019, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
My hay comes from out of state. Trucked in. My saddle has a Ralide tree, is made of Cordura Nylon and my horse has plastic hoof boots. Human food arrives here on trucks and on trains. Otherwise we'd all starve. My veggies come frozen and my chili canned. I sometimes eat at McDonalds. And like it. My farrier drives a big truck and drives a long way to get here. Oh - and earlier today, an exterminator poisoned some bees who moved inside my house's wall yesterday. He'll be back in a couple of days to cut open the wall and remove the remains of the hive. I sleep well at nights regardless.

I shave with a Double Edge razor, if that helps.

And . . . .?
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