Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Barefoot as the green option

While at the UKNHCP conference I saw a very gloomy headline in the Independent about the Arctic sea ice warming up and melting even faster than anyone ever predicted, and it got Mark Johnson, one of our farriers, and I thinking about the green aspects of going barefoot.

I am sure there are more, but here are the obvious benefits that we came up with over a pot of tea and some toast!

  • no steel used, so avoid the carbon emissions of producing shoes and nails and transporting them from Malaysia, where apparently most are made;
  • barefoot horses don't need glue on or plastic shoes, either, so fewer toxic chemicals as well as carbon;
  • reduced carbon emissions from gas too, as trimmers, unlike farriers who hot shoe, don't need to use gas to heat shoes;
  • trimmers travel lighter than farriers, so reduced fuel for vehicles;
  • on a track system, fields are less poached and have better biodiversity, and allowing grasses to mature for a hay cut is better for some rare insects too.
I don't know if we'd be allowed extra points for the fact that barefoot horses don't make quite such a racket when trotting down the road as shod horses do, but its worth something, surely :-)

1 comment:

sarahh said...

what a fabulous way of looking at it!