From Endurance to Dressage
California Barn Life: Composting
A few months ago, I shared a few photos of what life was like around my barn, including some photos of how we deal with our manure. In February, RM was working the manure compost heap and I happened to be around so I took some quick shots of her working. I completely forgot about the photos until this weekend.
The reason these photos were so interesting is that RM happened to be working the manure heap on a chilly afternoon and I happened to glance over and catch just how much steam was pouring off the recently turned pile. When the manure pile was described as "cooking," I had no idea how much heat was actually being generated. In fact, RM had asked me to pile old hay in a separate pile as my current habit of tossing old hay in with the manure was a recipe for burning the place down (my words, not hers). It gets that hot.
Here are some photos of RM turning over the manure pile. Click photos for larger views and captions.
This may sound weird, but I LOVE compost! Fantastic for the garden, good for the planet, and is a point in the horses-are-still-useful-to-society argument. My new barn uses manure to help fertilize the orchards, though they don't properly compost it first. Also, there was an article in the LA times not too far back about the city of Norco (largest horse population in So Cal or something) which is looking into a manure power plant through Edison! Talk about horse power. =D
4/11/2012 10:36:05 pm
Go, Norco, go!!!!! They used to host an endurance ride that I've done a few times. Very horse-friendly community.
4/11/2012 12:24:01 pm
Microbes hard at work. Love it!
4/11/2012 10:36:53 pm
Reduce, reuse, recycle! RM tries to run a pretty green barn. :0)
4/11/2012 08:16:07 pm
so where is the rest of the manure? i missed your other post about it; ( i cannot imagine a box that small being large enough for a riding stable - maybe you have several of these around the property? i have one box about that size and a real problem - no tractor. i try to turn my manure with a shovel but it's pathetic. i honestly don't know what to do about this problem and need help. shovelling partly cooked manure back into a wheelbarrow and spreading it by hand is something i have to do regularly (every 2-3 months) and it's ridiculous to do it all shovelful by shovelful. ideas?
4/11/2012 10:35:03 pm
Lytha - my barn has only four horses. More horses make a bigger pile for sure. RM doesn't use the tractor very often, maybe once a month (?). She turns it over into the second compartment. When the empty stall is full, she uses the tractor to spread the cooked dirt around the property which is several acres.
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
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