Earth DayIt is Earth Day, and as I think about the virtues of this planet, I begin to make profound connections between horses and the earth.

Caring for and riding horses must be among the most earth-dependent activities left to us (aside from farming and other such activities).

Here are the top 6 reasons why horse lovers love the earth:

6. The beauty of mother nature that never ceases to amaze.

What is better than a scenic view with horses leisurely grazing in a luscious green pasture? Or how about the trail ride you went on that wove its way through paths, up and down hills into unknown territory?

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From quiet sounds dampened with new white snow, to dripping icicles on a warming early spring day, to wildflowers blowing in a meadow breeze, to the scorching heat of the summer sun - each season brings its own marvels in the cyclical mystery that is life.

There must be millions of memories etched in our minds of beautiful horse-related scenes that stimulate the senses and feed the soul.

5. The trees.

Trees are essential to the very basic needs of life; they provide shelter and purify the toxins we emit into the atmosphere. If you are lucky enough to have a (safe for horses) tree stand in your pasture, you know very well about the functional shelter they can provide from all the elements. They are also useful as snacks and back scratchers for some of our horses! 

Trees are also master recyclers because of the very fact that they absorb the carbon in the air and release oxygen back into the atmosphere? We continue to have fresh air to breathe thanks to the trees that silently work their magic on the earth.

4. The crops.

One year, crops became a hot topic of discussion after a long, lingering drought that prevented the growth of most horse feed, including the basic staple of hay. Farmers were devastated by the lack of precipitation and although we were only somewhat affected locally, that small change in production was enough to highlight the importance of our farmers and food production networks.

Everything a horse eats can be traced right back to the earth - even the attractive designer bags filled with processed feed.

3. The air.

What we breathe provides us our very sustenance. Horses are as much affected by pollution as we are - maybe even more so. What we pump into the atmosphere stays in the atmosphere. While we expect our horses to perform athletically outdoors in the open air, we need to keep in mind our responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible.

2. The ground.

The earth itself provides foundation for so many equestrian-related needs. You know what it feels like to ride in good footing. You also know how necessary the earth is when it acts as a base for a barn or an indoor arena. The type of footing affects moisture absorption, rendering a riding surface useless if conditions are not suitable - from frozen ground to muddy bogs, riding can be restricted or enhanced by the ground.

1. Raw materials.

Absolutely everything we have comes from the earth. This includes the metal that forms a horse's bit, the trailers that haul the horses and the gasoline that fuels our vehicles. Our homes and barns are made from materials that come from the earth. Our electricity, natural gas and running water originate in the earth.

There is simply no getting away from it. We owe our existence to the Earth. And our horses depend upon it.

Let us know in the comments below: in what horse-related way do you love the Earth?


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More articles, just for fun:

A Recipe for Living: If life were a recipe, what would it look like?

Softly Determined – A Poem: I found this one on the Internet long ago, with no indication of the author. However, it has stayed with me, blending intensity with passion, being so eloquent and yet knowledgeable about the “path”.

Starting to Breathe Again: Written before Hickstead’s untimely passing, this post described what it felt like to watch his $1 million CN International winning round.

The Top 8 Perks of Horse Keeping: Here are a few positives that keep us going when everyone else is enjoying their leisure time.

Good Day For A Little Horseplay: Snort, snort, snort, SNORT! My gelding couldn’t tell me in any clearer terms how much he was enjoying the moment.