3 tips on how to become a planet smart rider

The equestrian world must step up its game and take way more responsibility when it comes to sustainability. There’s no plan(et) B. So, what can you do to become a planet smart rider?

We’ve met Jenny Blomberg, Climate Strategist, and Camilla Välimaa, Sustainability Strategist, from HållbarHäst, an organization that is working to increase knowledge about sustainable development in equestrian sports. Take a look at their best tips here!

Tip #1: Ask yourself ”why?” 3 times before every purchase

Everything you consume has an impact on the environment. Did you know that we buy 14 kg textile per person and year, and that we throw away 8 out of these 14 kilos? A waste and over consumption that affects our beautiful planet. So, when your desire to go shopping starts kicking in, and you start feeling like you just HAVE to buy that new saddle pad – ask yourself “Why?” at least three times. Why do I need that saddle pad? Why should I buy another one when I already have ten? Does it really have to be brand new? All of us must change our behaviour and make more sustainable choices to make sure that the next generation gets the opportunity to enjoy our beautiful planet as much as we do. We want all future horse lovers to be able to feel the freedom of cantering in full speed in green fields too, right?

If you really need something for you or your horse, think like this;

  • Make sure to look at second-hand options
    Maybe you could find what you’re looking in a Facebook group or on Sellpy? Or what if someone at your yard could sell it to you? Both the environment and your wallet will thank you!
  • Share things with your stable besties
    Maybe you could share stuff like raincoats or safety vests? A smart option, if you ask us!
  • Trade with a friend!
    It’s way more fun if that saddle pad you didn’t quite like or that bridle that didn’t fit get a second chance in the hands of somebody else. What if your friend could use it on his/her horsey best friend instead? Maybe your friend has a pair of awesome breeches that you could get in return? That’s what we call a win-win situation!

Tip #2: If you have to buy brand new – choose consciously and keep sustainability in mind

If you really must buy brand new equipment, there are a few things you can keep in mind to still make a sustainable choice.

Look for ecological cotton or recycled material. Don’t find what you’re looking for? Ask someone at the store. If they realise that there is a demand, they will offer it eventually. Use your power as a consumer!

Start by asking for vegetable tanned leather and ask where it’s coming from. Try choosing European leather. And last but not least – go for quality leather, since these products last longer and are worth fixing if they break.

If possible – avoid plastic and choose natural materials. Something as easy as what type of brushes we choose to use at the stable can make a huge difference. Go for brushes made of natural bristles. If we for example use a brush with plastic bristles while cleaning the stable, microplastics will be released. These microplastics end up on the dunghill and thereafter in the nature. This is something we would like to avoid!

Tip #3: Fix, reuse, recycle

All of us must do something to help decrease the amount of waste. If a product is no longer usable, it must be properly taken care of, which in the long run means that it will hopefully get a new life.

  • Do your best to fix, reuse or recycle the product. A skilled shoemaker could help you fix and adjust most of your leather products.
  • Could you trade, sell or donate the product? Give your old things the chance to live on in the hands of someone else.
  • Maybe you could use old textile to make polishing cloths? Get creative!

Instead of buying brand new things – spend your money on riding lessons and further education! Your equestrian life will be way more fun if you feel like you can develop your skills and improve with your four-legged bestie.

We hope that these tips have inspired you to become a planet smart rider! Thank you for contributing to a more sustainable world. Share this article with your fellow horse lovers – for a better future!