Owning and riding a horse is a great free time activity. However, we must bear in mind that it has a particular impact on the environment. Sometimes the neighbors are complaining about the unpleasant odors, dust, or flies related to the horse property which is lowering the quality of their life. Well, there are measures to make the horse entirely environmentally friendly and keep the angry neighbors calm.
Animals often have an adverse impact on the watershed. The watershed is a valley or flat area of land where all the local water drains. Everyone who lives or works in its vicinity affects the quality of water in local streams, lakes, or other water bodies. If the effect is positive or negative depends only on us and our attitude towards the environment.
Horse owners must be extraordinarily cautious about their behavior to minimize the impacts on the environment. Let's have a look at the possible techniques that will help to survive the hot summer without spoiling the local water or air.
Create a Sacrifice Area
You should create a place where the pastures will be kept from becoming overgrazed, mainly during winter. The paddock should be located on the higher ground away from the water bodies. The sacrifice area keeps horses from destroying pastures, and it also helps to manage the amount of manure and urine since it is confined to a smaller and more manageable area. Use of a footing also helps to reduce problems in the winter months and makes it much easier to remove manure.
Divert Clean Rainwater
It is also helpful to install rain gutters and roof runoff systems on the barns, sheds, and other buildings that help to divert the clean water away from the high traffic areas. It will contribute to decreasing the number of nutrients from manure, urine, and sediments that are washed off into the surface water.
Keep Your Pastures Fresh
Overgrazing can be reduced by proper rotation of horses and cross fencing. For the fast regrowth of highly nutritious grass, you must keep at least three inches of leafy material. If done wrong the quality and quantity of the lawns are reduced, and it leads to increased soil erosion and nitrogen runoff. It also has an adverse impact on your bank account since the reduced pasture productivity increases feed costs and the poisonous weeds which start to grow there can harm the animal's digestive tract.
Manage the Manure
Manure produced by the horses must also be dealt with appropriately. You should start with the manual picking of it on a daily basis, mainly in the high traffic areas and all confinement places. The manure should be stockpiled far away from the water bodies, and it is a good idea to create a composting system since the compost helps to increase the growth of the grass.
It is imperative to keep your horses as environmentally friendly as possible. You have to be careful and evaluate all the possible impacts the horse may have on your surroundings. Maintaining the watershed is thus the most important thing of all.
Image credit: Eastforkstables.net