When it comes to horses, what’s better than saving money? Saving money while also saving the planet! Being sustainable and savvy is easier than it appears and has major benefits for more than just you. The Tried Equestrian and many other companies were built on the goal of creating longer life cycles for tack and apparel, thus giving the equestrian community access to quality used equipment and the opportunity to contribute less waste to our already overcrowded landfills.
Taking sustainability into account ensures that we not only get to continue to enjoy riding and taking care of our horses, but that future generations do as well. It impacts the land that is available for us to ride on and the pastures that our horses graze, as well as our ability to transport our horses so easily from show to show and even across oceans. Here are a few ideas to get you and your barn started on a more sustainable, eco-friendly, and budget-conscious journey.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
I know we all hate to admit it, but we are hoarders. Who throws away a perfectly good spray bottle or a supplement container with a lid?! Now you have more excuses than ever to hang onto all that extra plastic. Old supplement containers can be reused as feed distribution buckets, wash buckets, or storage for your trailer or tack trunk. Those gallon jugs that used to hold liquid supplements make great travel water jugs if you save the caps! Hold onto empty fly spray and detangler bottles for when you need to mix concentrates - just don’t forget to relabel the bottle so you know what product you’re reaching for!
Embrace the Power of The Sun
Being conscious of your energy use in the barn can take a bit of effort, but it will make a huge difference for your credit card and your carbon footprint! Make sure to turn off the lights when you leave the tack room or when the sunlight is sufficient enough in your barn for the day. Give your horse a bath in the outside wash stall instead of the inside one so you aren’t tempted to turn on lights. They look better shining in the sun anyway! Air dry your horse blankets, sheets, saddle pads, towels, and polo wraps when you can, instead of using the dryer (this can prolong the life of them too). And when the temperatures finally start to drop, don’t forget to unplug those fans!
Look for opportunities to shop second-hand apparel and tack as much as possible! A new pair of white breeches for the upcoming show season is one thing, but scoring a great deal on a gently used pair of schooling breeches will make you (and your wallet) just as happy. Most places that you buy second-hand from also offer great consignment programs! The next time you find yourself wondering why you are still hanging onto that polo shirt you never wear or the bit that your new horse doesn’t like, consider consigning it for some extra cash so that you can continue to feed your saddle pad addiction. If you don’t have any local tack shops in your area that offer consignment programs, try an online one, like The Tried Equestrian! If you have some items that are a little more than “gently” used, there are plenty of horse rescues and non-profit riding programs that will gratefully accept your donations.
Conserve Water Where You Can
Conserving your water usage at the barn can be a major money-saver. It not only diverts water runoff which helps to keep the environment healthy, but it also reduces water treatment costs and the amount of energy used to treat and pump water. Consider installing a rainwater collection system at your barn, which can be as simple as setting up barrels or stock tanks under your barn roof’s gutter downspouts. If this water is cycled through consistently, it can be used for a number of things, including drinking water for your horses, soaking hay and grain, and giving your horses and their equipment a bath. Another easy and effective way to conserve water is to regularly check your barn’s spouts, faucets, and hoses for leaks. Fixing these leaks quickly can save you a lot of wasted money in the long run.
Ride Sharing for The Win
Next time you are getting ready to trailer your horse to a lesson, clinic, or show, consider sharing the ride with your fellow barn mates. Loading up more than one horse on the trailer will not only save you money by being able to split the cost of gas, but it also takes at least one other vehicle off the road, thus contributing to less pollution of the environment. It’s always more fun to go with friends anyway!
Practicing sustainability around the barn will go a long way for the longevity of the sport AND your wallet. The Tried Equestrian knows this first hand as they continue to provide an avenue for riders to access quality equipment at a price point that doesn’t break the bank, while keeping thousands of pounds of waste out of our landfills by expanding the lifespan of our tack and apparel. We challenge you to choose one of our ideas to get started on this journey today, then let us know what steps you’ve taken to become a more eco-conscious equestrian!