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Reducing your carbon hoofprint: 5 ways to become a more environmentally-friendly horse owner

reduce your carbon hoofprint

Horse owners are increasingly looking for more sustainable practices to reduce their carbon hoofprint. In this article, Katie Allen-Clarke, Head of Marketing at Horse & Country, shares with us five ways we can have a more positive impact on the environment.

In the age of climate change and environmental awareness, more and more of us are looking for ways to incorporate sustainable lifestyle changes to decrease our carbon footprint. But as a horse owner, have you considered how you can reduce your carbon hoofprint? Horse owners can negatively impact the environment in a number of ways you may not have even considered, from transporting horses to high water usage.

The good news is that horse owners also have ample opportunities to make environmentally conscious choices in the care and management of their equine companions. From cutting down on transportation to choosing eco-friendly everyday products, here are five actionable ways to become a more environmentally-conscious horse owner.

Transport your horse in shared loads

Transportation plays a significant role in many people’s carbon footprints, but this is especially the case for horse owners. From competing in events to taking your horse on trail rides further afield, the environmental impact of transporting your horse can add up over time. Rather than driving your horse to these events individually, why not consider sharing transportation with other owners? By coordinating transport arrangements with fellow enthusiasts, you can decrease fuel consumption and minimise the environmental impact of horse travel.

If you’re looking for ways to make shared transport more convenient, this is something that HayNet can help you with. This horse transport network offers shared loads for their customers, allowing horses going to the same destination to travel together to reduce the impact of the transport.

Carpool your visits

It isn’t just your horse’s transport that can have a big impact on the environment – it’s important to consider your own too! Frequent trips to the yard or stable can quickly add up in terms of fuel consumption and emissions. This is especially the case for self-care boarding, as owners must visit their horses every day to feed them, muck them out, and all other daily responsibilities.

To mitigate the effect of these high levels of fuel consumption, try to organise carpools with other horse owners for your visits. Whether it's feeding, grooming, or exercise sessions, sharing rides reduces the number of vehicles on the road, thus lowering carbon emissions. Additionally, carpooling can be a great way to get to know your fellow equestrians and provides an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences.

Buy local

The choices we make as consumers have a profound impact on the environment, and this goes for your horse care products. When purchasing feed, bedding, and other supplies for your horse, try to opt for local suppliers whenever possible. Buying local reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation, plus it comes with the added bonus of supporting the local economy.

Furthermore, it’s also a good idea to buy your horse care essentials in bulk. This doesn’t just minimise packaging waste and reduce the number of journeys needed to transport the products, but it also will likely work out much cheaper for you as well. If you want to lessen your environmental impact even further, consider forming buying groups with other horse owners at nearby stables to purchase larger quantities of essential items.

Choose eco-friendly products

From grooming supplies to stable management products, there is a growing range of eco-friendly horse care essentials available to horse owners, so try to opt for environmentally friendly alternatives when you can. A good place to start is to look for products that use natural ingredients and sustainable packaging, such as biodegradable shampoos and sustainable bedding materials. By choosing environmentally friendly products, you are lessening the ecological impact of your horse care routine.

Another way to make more eco-friendly purchases is to research horse care product brands. Some companies have adopted more sustainable practices in recent years, such as donating to environmental charities, using completely renewable ingredients, or even having the goal of becoming carbon neutral.

Prioritise your horse’s health

A healthy horse is not only happier but also more sustainable to care for. This has a positive effect on the environment in a number of ways, including requiring fewer vet visits, meaning less vehicle emissions. Plus, a healthy horse is often more likely to engage positively with its owner, so prioritising their health may even strengthen your bond.

To keep your horse in top shape, you should invest in preventive healthcare measures such as regular vaccinations, dental care, and parasite control. You should look at ways you can help your horse lead a healthy lifestyle as well, from their diet to keeping them active. Supplements can also be helpful when it comes to keeping your horse in top health. It’s best to discuss this with a vet first though, who will help you figure out the additional vitamins and minerals your horse needs the most.

Becoming a more environmentally friendly horse owner is not only beneficial for the planet but also for the wellbeing of your equine companion. By making more conscious choices, you can reduce your carbon hoofprint and take a step in the right direction to make the equine world more sustainable.

"...a great site I've used often - especially for my brood mares to go off to studs and long journeys - every person I've used has been professional, reliable and done a great job - it's saved a lot of time and money!"

Yvette 

"...used this site for a journey from Berkshire to Lancashire and was quoted a great price from a transporter who needed to fill an empty box on a return journey. Highly recommend!"

Claire

 I've been so impressed with HayNet. Transporters on your website are so geared up to enquiries and when I have used HayNet I have had lots of responses very quickly and appropriately, giving me the chance to research the company as well as comparing prices before making a decision. The one I chose offered an individual run which suited myself and the vendor as we were both shielding due to COVID. 

Alison

 

 

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