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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2008
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    93

    Default Can anyone help me find a topic for an essay?

    I have to write an essay, and the topic must have something to do with the environment. All my friends are doing things like, noise or sound pollution, or fossil fuels and things like that, but I really want mine to be equine-related. Does anyone have any ideas?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,189

    Default

    How about Healthy Horse Keeping? Managing manure for watershed health?

    It ranges from putting it a dumpster and having it hauled away, (to where?) to composting and spreading back on the pastures, to burning in a special on-farm incinerator that heats the indoor arena.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 8, 2002
    Location
    Maryland
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    9,601

    Default

    I think investigating the actual environmental impact of a small horse farm could be very interesting - but there are so many issues at play!

    The farm lifestyle seems so "clean" but think about how grains are grown and produced - requiring vast amounts of energy, fertilizer (creating runoff problems, etc), shipping - just producing the feed for horses has a significant environmental impact. Then there's waste management, methane, runoff/land management issues that occur when you clear large amounts of pasture land, the shipping/movement of horses which requires the use of not-so-envirofriendly vehicles, the effect horses have on land maintenance (how heavy equestrian use can wear trails, etc).

    Lots of stuff there, I'd guess you have to pick one for your essay. If I was doing it, I'd probably look at all the issues around grain/feed production.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    6,190

    Default

    I agree, impact of manure runnoff to the water supply is a hot topic in my horse heaven area of the country.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  5. #5

    Default

    Something else you could look into is trail conservation and environmental impact by equestrian activities in parks.

    I know there are a lot of equestrian trail groups (and, come to think of it, foxhunters too, most likely) who work to preserve spaces where we can ride our horses off farms. And there's a lot of back and forth about the possible impact on these natural areas by hooves (erosion, etc) and manure and that sort of thing.

    Plus the whole issue of spreading urban areas encroaching on these green spaces, too.
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    5,882

    Default

    Suburban development encroaching on farmland? Like when people move into houses next to a horse farm, then complain about the smell...



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2005
    Location
    Central California Mountains
    Posts
    779

    Default

    And there's always Mustangs! Loads of aspects on impact to the environment from the herds in the wild, to those gathered, to those adopted out or a comparison of all them. So many angles there, you could write a Obamacare size essay!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
    Posts
    6,190

    Default

    A bit morbid, but there is also the issue of large animal carcass disposal and environmental impacts, particulary if chemical euthanasia is performed.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2001
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    3,799

    Default

    Restricting horse/cattle access to banks of rivers/creeks/streams and shores of lakes to decrease erosion and contamination of the watershed?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    South-Central PA
    Posts
    2,311

    Default

    What about the composting of an equine carcass? There's lots of environmental factors there...from the types of product used to compost (and how much), to the length of time it takes to break down each component, to the final end result. I think the process is fascinating, as long as I can detach myself from the emotional aspect.
    Cindy



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,142

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by analise View Post
    Something else you could look into is trail conservation and environmental impact by equestrian activities in parks.

    I know there are a lot of equestrian trail groups (and, come to think of it, foxhunters too, most likely) who work to preserve spaces where we can ride our horses off farms. And there's a lot of back and forth about the possible impact on these natural areas by hooves (erosion, etc) and manure and that sort of thing.

    Plus the whole issue of spreading urban areas encroaching on these green spaces, too.
    I was going to suggest the same thing. ELCR might be a good resource if you go that route!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2008
    Posts
    93

    Default

    Thank you guys so much! I've decided to write about proper disposal and storage of manure and its impact on the environment. Can you guys tell me a little bit about personal experiences and things like that about the subject? Thanks in advance.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    1,363

    Default

    On the manure issue, you could also touch on manure composting for use in home/hobby gardens. Not as easy for large farms where a lot of horses are stabled, but it's a possible solution for those with smaller facilities.
    Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2006
    Posts
    1,906

    Default

    I am in a suburban area with my small farm ( I was here first) I have 16 horses. I found a local farmer who will take the manure on a weekly basis to use to grow vegetables. I bought a dump truck and load it up weekly to be dropped there.

    I make sure the manure pile is "clean" We use shavings and don't allow anything in the pile except what is taken from the stalls. No hair, hoof clippings etc. That we dump in to the trash.
    I also use Fly Predators to help with the flies.
    Some towns do take manure and compost it but mine is not one of them.
    One larger farm put's the pile in an accessible area so people can take it for their gardens.
    "When you think you don't need a coach ...then you're in trouble" Don Imus 2012



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