Use these drawings to help build a simple manure composting bin. | Image: Horses for Clean Water

Summer is the perfect time for construction projects and a key management component for horse properties is having something useful to do with horse manure. Composting is my favorite technique and while there are many bin designs and ideas for how to compost, here is one low-tech option, best suited for small properties with one to three horses.

Look for a high, level area on your property — don’t put your composter in a low-lying area or it will turn into a soggy mess. Remember you must locate your composter far away from creeks, ditches, wetlands or other water bodies — you can check with local authorities for specific regulations on this. Choose a location that’s convenient to your stall and paddock areas to make the chore of cleaning up easier and less time consuming.

1. Select a site

You will need at least two bins, maybe a third for convenience. A two-bin system works by piling manure and stall wastes in one bin. When that bin is full allow it to compost and start filling the second bin. Once the first bin is done composting you can start using the finished compost material. For convenience or if you have several horses you may want to consider going to three bins. This allows one bin for the daily stall wastes, another bin that is full and in