Resourceful recycling: Smart Ideas for the Barn


We are always happy if we come across clever ideas that save you some bucks and are good for the environment, too. Recycling combines both, and that's why we are writing about the best recycling ideas for your barn.


The Recycling Ideas

In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, many of us are quite conscious about recycling compared to other countries, which is wonderful. Germany even occupies the leading position across Europa measured by the mass of recycled municipal waste. Switzerland's recycling rate of domestic waste is also quite high, and so is the percentage of air pollutant reduction.

Recycling is all about separating recyclable raw materials from waste and converting them into usable materials again.

Here are our ideas that we have established in our stable:

Plastic bottles

We collect all our plastic containers such as spray bottles or feed buckets. You can use them as storage space for brushes, bandages, etc.. Or you can store smaller amounts of horse feed which comes originally in paper bags, to protect it from mice. As for spray bottles, we mostly reuse the sprayer, but usually, the whole bottle can be recycled.

Waste disposal

We separate the feed paper bags from the plastic interior lining and recycle them as paper. Our stable also collects aluminum cans, glass bottles etc. and disposes of them properly. Adequate recycling containers are freely accessible at our stable and our barn rules specifies for everybody to use those containers for recycling.

Similar rules apply to out-of-date medication, which shouldn't be discharged as domestic waste. Talk to your vet, usually they take unused and out-of-date medication back.

Bear disposal instructions in mind

Rests of chemical grooming products and fly sprays shouldn't be poured into the drain or dumped into a regular garbage container . They contain substances that are super harmful to aquatic life. Collect rests in a container and dispose of them according to the instructions on the bottle at a waste disposal site that offers recycling. If the stable owner provides appropriate containers and disposes of them once a month, the effort is manageable for everyone.

Horse hair

Horse hair often ends up on the manure heap. However, this is not ideal because horse hair doesn't decompose as rapidly as manure in general. The manure heap is often "emptied" several times per year and used as fertilizer on the fields. The horse hair doesn't rot as quickly, therefore it ends up staying in the field for a long time. Also, the worms that help decompose the manure heap don't like hair at all. Better discharge the hair with the domestic waste.

Other Ideas

Stable mats

Recycled stable mats are obtained from rubber granulate, which is made of old car tires. If you are purchasing new mats, make sure to buy recycled mats.

Old juice or milk bottles

Do you need a new feed scoop? Take an old juice or milk bottle with a sturdy handle and cut the bottom off. It is best to use rectangular bottles.

Mane and tail hair

Bosals or Mecates, for example, are made of tail or mane hair. You can also pick some hair off the brush and make your own fly frond. Take an old whip and glue the hair to the end of the stick. Better than any other old frond and the kids also love it. Alternatively, you can collect the mane and tail hair and make a lovely bracelet.


Let's get creative: Upcycling

Upcycling is the process of creating something awesome and creative out of discarded things or all sort of scraps. We like the idea and have actually found many upcycling ideas for the horse stable. Our top picks:

Rope halter

It takes some time for a cord halter to be finished, but if you have lengths of ropes that you don't use anymore, why not create a unique halter. It looks really pretty. Watch this step-by-step tutorial on Youtube.

Old stuff for ground work

Your horse needs a challenge every now and then? Then make a bottle curtain for your training. Take old plastic bottles and straw cords and simply attach the bottles to the cord. A good challenge for most horses, especially when it's windy.

Use old car tires for ground work. You can build a tire passage, and work your way through it with your horse. For some horses, it's really difficult to step into those tires. If you want to get even more creative, you can build a small platform out of an old truck or tractor tire.

Pool noodles

I had no idea how versatile pool noodles are. Check out this blog post or some Youtube Videos.

Maybe you are already inspired now and you can find even more ideas on Pinterest. The link covers ideas to reuse everything from old horse shoes to socks and even old horse rugs and tack.

What is your favorite idea for horsey upcycling or recycling? We appreciate your comments and shares!

Happy re- and upcycling at your barn, Nicole

#recycling #upcycling

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