How To Reduce Your Horse’s Carbon Hoofprint

Katie Allen-Clarke, Head of Marketing at Horse & Country, reflects on the sustainability of horse ownership and suggests a few easy ways to improve it.

In today’s environmentally conscious world, even our equine companions can lend a hoof in reducing their carbon footprint. From recycling products to conserving water, here are some small yet impactful ways to make your horse’s lifestyle more eco-friendly.

Recycle, recycle, recycle

Let’s start with the basics — recycling. Just like us, horses generate waste ranging from bedding to feed packaging. Instead of tossing these items into the rubbish bin, consider recycling them. Look for local recycling facilities that accept materials like cardboard, plastic, and even some types of bedding. By giving these products a new lease on life, you’re not only reducing waste but also conserving valuable resources.

Buy pre-loved

Who says your horse’s gear has to be brand new? Embrace the charm of pre-loved equipment by buying second-hand or participating in gear swaps with fellow equestrians. Not only does this reduce the demand for new products, but it also gives old equipment a chance to shine once more. Plus, selling your gently used items allows them to find new homes and keeps them out of landfills — a win-win for both your wallet and the environment.

Make your own pest repellents

Pesky flies and insects can make your horse’s life miserable, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to harsh chemicals. Get creative and whip up your own organic pest products using natural ingredients like essential oils and herbs. Here are two examples of organic pest products that you can make at home:

Homemade fly spray


  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle.
  2. Shake well before each use.
  3. Spray the solution onto your horse’s coat, avoiding the eyes and mucous membranes.
  4. Reapply as needed, especially before riding or turnout.

Herbal insect repellent sachets


  • Muslin or cheesecloth squares (approximately 4×4 inches)
  • Dried herbs such as lavender, rosemary, mint, and lemongrass
  • Cotton twine or ribbon


  1. Place a handful of dried herbs in the centre of each muslin square.
  2. Gather the edges of the square and tie them securely with twine or ribbon to create a sachet.
  3. Hang the sachets in your horse’s stall, on fences, or around the barn to deter insects.
  4. Replace the sachets every few weeks or as needed to maintain effectiveness.

Not only are these solutions gentler on the environment, but natural ingredients are also safer for your horse. Plus, you’ll have fun concocting your own potions while keeping those bothersome bugs at bay. Just be sure to thoroughly research each ingredient, as some essential oils that are beneficial to humans, such as tea tree, can be harmful to horses.

Compost manure

Manure. It’s a fact of life for horse owners. You likely have a mucking out system already, but if it doesn’t include composting, you’re missing out. Composting your horse’s manure not only helps reduce odours and flies but also creates nutrient-rich fertiliser for your garden or landscaping. Set up a compost bin or pile in a designated area, and let nature work its magic. Your plants will thank you, and you’ll be closing the loop on waste in a sustainable way. If you have more compost than you can use yourself, consider selling it to local farmers and gardens.

Save water

Water is essential for both horses and humans alike, so why not make an effort to conserve it? Simple changes like fixing leaks in troughs, installing rainwater harvesting systems, and watering paddocks strategically can make a big difference. Encourage your horse to drink from safe natural water sources when possible, and be mindful of excessive water usage during grooming and bathing. Every drop saved adds up to a greener future for all.

Reducing your horse’s carbon hoofprint doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By recycling, buying second-hand equipment, making organic pest products, composting manure, and conserving water, you can make a positive impact on the environment while still enjoying the wonderful world of horse ownership.