Tips for Greener Horse Trails

Even out in the great wide-open there are things we horse owners can do to reduce our impact on the environment and take care of natural resources. Here’s what to remember.
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greener horse trails
How we as horseman treat the privilege of trail riding determines how well we can maintain existing trails, as well as open new ones. | Photo: iStock

It’s summertime, and we’re hitting the trails! But even out in the great wide-open there are things we horse owners can do to reduce our impact on the environment and take care of natural resources. Here are some tips to get you started down the right path toward greener horse trails.

Carry a manure fork in your trailer. Take home everything you and your horse brought or produced, including manure, old hay, and spilled bedding. If possible, throw a bucket of water on urine puddles to help dilute them. Smelly piles of manure and urine attract flies and can leave a mess for other trail users.

Teach and then encourage your horse to keep walking when he defecates on the trail. This helps prevent piles from forming and spreads manure out. If a group of riders stops for any length of time and a manure buildup occurs, dismount and kick the manure around to disperse it before riding on

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Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

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