Going Green: Readers Share Tips

More than 500 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "What steps is your barn taking to stay "green" or eco-friendly?"

results of poll on green

Results were as follows: 

  • Composting manure: 77.53% (390)
  • Using energy-efficient light bulbs, automatic waterers, etc.: 58.45% (294)
  • Recycling used tack/equipment: 54.67% (275)
  • Using biodegradable and nontoxic products around the barn: 41.35% (208)
  • Using sacrifice areas in the pasture: 36.98% (186)
  • Using solar-powered fencing, lighting, etc.: 31.01% (156)
  • Other: 10.14% (51)

Readers shared what they do to be green in their barn in the comments below.

Results of weekly polls from TheHorse.com are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter. Published every week, this e-newsletter offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters using the form above or on our e-newsletter page.  

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  • tankless water heater, clear overhead panels
  • Giving composted manure to local farmer
  • wind and geothermal power
  • using finely ground cedar chips to lesson the amount needed for bedding- less waste.
  • spread manure on field
  • using fly predators instead of sprays and wipes
  • wheelbarrow and leg power,no tractor
  • We use feed bags as trash bags in the barn
  • fly pedators vs. chemicals
  • fly papers and parasitic wasps for fly reduction
  • Grey water system
  • pasture rotation
  • recycling shavings bags, reusing plastic grain/shavings bags
  • recycle feed bags, too
  • green or not , you just do it
  • I use goats to keep pastures mowed...saves on fuel and labor. no need to use chemicals on fencelines
  • Sweep hay barn & put all seeds on bald patches in fields to encourage grass growth
  • old stirrup leathers make great breakaway halter straps
  • We are in the process of installing solar on the barns and have a solar gate opener
  • By having the pasture to begin with - grass is great at converting CO2 to O2
  • solar hot water; extensive stewardship programs/projects
  • The bulbs were at a reduced price. Are more efficient.I don't believe all the Hype about going green
  • Oh, puhleez! Horses ARE eco-friendly!
  • grown our own treat
  • None of the above. But then we don't have a barn. Just 3 big lawn (field?) ornaments
  • nothing
  • Using lengths of well piping to enclose corrals. Placing used carpet in stall and feed trough areas
  • collecting water from roofs for use on farm
  • grass allergy
  • knit baling twine into door mats
  • Recycle plastic and paper.
  • not killing the greenpeace person who claims that by keeping horses i release CO into the atmosphere
  • Nothing is being done
  • usit it up wear it out make do do without!!
  • Have Guinea fowl and chickens to help with bug control and garlic for horses to replace most spray.
  • fly predators and purple martin hoses for pest control
  • turning off lights and water as much as possible.
  • I can't find an energy-efficient light bulb that works in cold weather.
  • most horse stuff is "green friendly"
  • A great deal of our building materials are from old buildings.
  • Just good horse keeping so called "green " practices are a scam.
  • picking stalls daily vs stripping;using pine instead of cedar so it will compost
  • Recycling shavings/manure at a plant that uses it for electricity.
  • I have used energy efficient light bulbs all through my barn for 3 years now.
  • Buying Hay Close to home.
  • horses kept in pens - no bedding used. Manure spread in dry lot / sand arena.
  • We use the composted manure on the garden
  • Use natural fly sprays and shampoos
  • Use feed sacks for trash bags and for sacking out tools.Ask myself what can I use this for?
  • Plan ahead, cut cost not quality, care of tack, & network.
  • fly predators instead of spray this year
  • reusing feed bags for storage
  • Green is over-rated. I have always tried to do the right thing in the past & will continue.
  • Not "Green" just simply smarter care
  • Something needs to be done about having the ability to recycle bailing twine; little options exist.
  • I use some solar electric fencing.
  • we added a recycling bin for cans & bottles
  • I pick up shavings directly from mill. Owner knows which woods work for horses.
  • Using old shavings in the roundpen. Shavings get rotated by horses training in roundpen. dries shavi
  • Bio-filtering contaminated runoff, regular de-worming, collecting clean run-off water to street,
  • Return our plastic feed bags to the feed store for recycling
  • almost everything is done by hand by us no tractors
  • recycle feed bags & baling twine, use natural fly defenses
  • Recycling, of course!
  • we installed a solar array on our barn to power the entier farm
  • enforcing recycling of trash
  • Use real horse power to drag arena, pull logs and a pony w/cart to feed all the other horses.
  • gutters, keeping grass on my pastures, protecting streams
  • minimize use of electricity - use lights sparingly
  • energy eff. bulbs dont work well in cold & cant be cleaned
  • No electric in barn, so very green!
  • We do a "barn" garden with the composed manure. Boarders, visitors are welcome to the produce grow
  • added windows - natural light, added trees - shade barn, planted native landscape - reduce water use

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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