Horse magazine have 3 tips to help reduce your horse's carbon hoof print.
1. Diversity is the key
Healthy, varied pasture is vital for a thriving horse and the best grazing contains a range of plants and herbs. Nettles are rich in iron and vitamins and have anti-inflammatory properties providing medicinal benefits for laminitics and are also adored by butterflies. Thistles should be allowed in moderation because they provide vital food for goldfinches. To get a weed/grass balance designate part of the field as a wildlife area, which you leave for nature, as well as equine culinary interest and self-medication. Sow yarrow seeds (for healthy hooves and circulation), some tasty birdsfoot trefoil and some nutrient-packed black medick. Avoid rye grass mixes when seeding paddocks as they are high in sugars and only suitable for Thoroughbred youngsters and broodmares. Use artificial fertilisers sparingly as the encourage grass that is too rich for most horses. Only worm when you need to by carrying out regular worm egg counts and seeking advice from your vet. This will reduce harm to the environment from the chemicals in wormers.
2. Waste not, want not
Water is a precious resource, yet at the yard we chuck away buckets of left-over water or leave the hose running between jobs. Instead, reuse drinking water to soak hay, fill a butt for watering yard plants or even to keep a bird bath topped up.
3. Reduce and Reuse
While most horse bedding choices are fairly green the plastic bags bedding often comes in are not. Rather than putting them in the bin check with your local authority recycling centre if you can take them there. If not, open them carefully and they can be re-used for rubbish sacks or to store rugs in. If you have lots of plastic tubs from feeding supplements or other horsey supplies, get creative. Small containers are ideal for storing your plaiting kit or equine first aid kid in. Larger containers can be used as dressage markers- fill them with sand and then paint letters on the sides. Bailer twine is incredibly useful; it can be used to repair haynets, replace fillet strings on rugs and for tying your horse up so always have some handy in your tack room.
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