Maryland Horse Foundation Launches $1 Million Capital Campaign to Establish the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center
Renovation will honor the history of horses in Maryland, while looking to the future to serve as a hub for learning and collaboration.
(HAVRE DE GRACE, MARYLAND) – February 25, 2021 – The Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF) is now accepting applications for its 2021 Dr. Ronald J. Seibel Scholarship, providing up to $1,000 in tuition funding to qualified college students.
Offering no-guarantee seasons for 19 Maryland-based stallions.
Are horses good for the environment? With good management practices, horse farms can be champions for a clean environment. There are now more horses in the US than ever in history. In Maryland, where I chair the Farm Stewardship Committee of the Maryland Horse Council, there are more horses per square mile than in any other state in the country. About one quarter of Maryland’s agricultural land is in horse farms. With increasing interest in environmental action and a strong commitment to protecting the health of the Chesapeake Bay, there is an ongoing discussion of how our horse industry does and could do more to contribute to a “greener” world.
Horse farms have some great environmental features. Unlike cows, sheep and goats, horses are not ruminants so do not produce the powerful greenhouse gas, methane. They are grazing animals and thrive on healthy pastures. The grasses of a well-managed pasture filter water, fix carbon in the soil, provide open space and wildlife habitat. Woodlots on horse farms fix carbon and support the bird population. Horse manure that is composted and used as a soil amendment is a natural source of locally-produced nutrients. Barn and arena roofs are ideal places for solar panels to generate renewable energy. Barns with natural light and natural ventilation are good for horses and reduce energy use.
Trail riders connect to the natural world and promote the protection of and access to public lands. The large horse farms with plenty of pasture are great for the environment. Smaller farms are a plus if the pastures are not overstocked and get regular mowing, overseeding, dragging and fertilizing as needed. Soil samples are a great guide to targeting needed nutrients.
Keeping horses near population centers benefits the general public by enhancing the visible landscape and preserving open space, but it can be challenging as open land is scarce and expensive. Extra care and investment are needed to avoid overstocking fields and paddocks, managing manure and controlling run-off from barns, arenas, parking lots and riding rings. There are three strong reasons for making this investment. First and foremost is the health of the horses. Sufficient space to move around supports their circulatory and digestive systems that are designed for regular movement. Elimination of mud prevents thrush and scratches. Proper manure management reduces the parasite and fly population. Fresh air reduces the transfer of pathogens and allergens. Well-drained and springy riding surfaces protect tendons and ligaments. Second, horse owners, stable clients and especially the younger generation are increasingly serious about the environmental impact of their activities. How “green” are equestrian sports, and all sports activities, is now part of the discussion for managing practice and competition venues. Putting sound environmental practices in place on a horse farm and celebrating this achievement is good for business and a positive image for people in the horse community. Third, good relations with the horse farm neighbors is essential for riding establishments to remain accessible to recreational and competitive riders in cities and towns. Proper manure management, including proper storage and hauling off, can avoid complaints of leaking piles and flies. Water control is important to minimize erosion and run-off onto others’ property. Of course, quality fencing and a neat appearance is welcome in any community.
Yes, horses can be champions of a clean, green environment. Horse farms can help fix carbon, clean water and provide wildlife habitat. Horses connect us to the natural world and provide outdoor sport and recreation. And they are beautiful creatures. A well-managed horse farm, with rolling green pastures and grazing horses, is a wonderful sight for horse lovers and passersby alike.
Jane Thery founded the Maryland Horse Council Farm Stewardship Committee in 2011 to promote environmentally-sound practices for horse health and the natural world. During these difficult pandemic days where meetings are either virtual or not at all, the Maryland Horse Council uses social media to send out her weekly tips on farm stewardship to our horse community. Ms. Thery’s company, Green Horse Enterprises ( www.greenhorsellc.com) supports the “greening” of horse farms and competition venues in the mid-Atlantic.
More Articles ...
- Maryland Horse Foundation Online Silent Auction: Oct. 21-26
- Hope’s Legacy: A Virtual Movie Premiere on the Equus Film Channel Raises Money for Equine Charity Brooke USA
- Harford County Public Library Hosts Jennifer S. Kelly, Author of 'Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown'
- Governor Hogan proclaims October ‘Maryland Horse Month’
- October is Maryland Horse Month!
- Enter to win a brand new John Deere mower!
- Maryland Horse Industry Partners
- COVID-19 Update: 2020 Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program
- Canceled - 3rd Annual Egg Hunt on the Farm
- 2020 Maryland Horse Industry Day - Annapolis
- 2019 MTCP Participants Announced
- Maryland Horse Forum 2019
- Celebrating 30 Years - Jan. 2019 Update
- Horseland at World of Pets Expo!
- Maryland Thoroughbred Renaissance Awards Dinner News 2019
- MHIF November 2018 Program Update
- Equus Film Festival - Maryland Tour at World of Pets Expo Jan 25th, & 26th
- 2018 MTCP Video Recap
- Thoroughbred Career Program set for second installment in 2018
- College Day at The Races!
- Building a Pipeline for the Future - April 2018
- Maryland Horse Industry Day 2018
- MHF Launches Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program
- Maryland’s Horse Industry Turns a Corner
- Media Advisory: SAGE POLICY GROUP ANNOUNCES MARYLAND HORSE INDUSTRY'S ECONOMIC IMPACT NOVEMBER 21 AT GOUCHER COLLEGE
- Horse Industry Day Brings Hundreds of Marylanders to Annapolis
- My Maryland State Fair to Host Inaugural My Maryland Horse Festival