Going Green

Being a good steward of your horse’s environment doesn’t have to require a massive overhaul. Small changes can make a difference.

By Abigail Boatwright

Urban sprawl and climate change have impacted the way we keep our horses. From water concerns to manure disposal to pest control, good horse keeping can only be improved by considering how you can take care of the environment, too.

This can feel overwhelming—what can one farm do in the grand scheme of things? The good news: many practical methods can help reduce your barn’s impact on the environment.

Why ‘Going Green’ Matters

Livestock and agricultural practices definitely play a role in climate change, says Alayne Blickle, a horse owner from Nampa, Idaho, and founder of the green-horse-keeping website horsesforcleanwater.com.

“The thing is, if we as horse owners—and there’s an awful lot of horse owners in the world—can make some simple changes in our properties, it can really go a long way to reducing impacts overall,” Alayne said. “If we each do a little bit, we each do our part, it makes a big difference.”

Regulations around farms and horse keeping are increasing, especially due to urban sprawl, says Ann Swinker, Ph.D., extension horse specialist and equine science professor emeritus at Penn State University.

“Before building anything or renovating on your property, you need to find out what regulations you need to follow so your place doesn’t get shut down,” Ann said.


This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Spring 2022 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.