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Horse manure uses

ArticleHow to - General Equine AdviceWednesday 07 April 2010
Horse Manure

Horse Manure is a fact of life, if you have a horse you will find that you have a lot of manure to clear away. There are lots of things you can do with horse manure so you do not need to worry about it building up. 

From using it on your garden to repelling flies, horse manure has a large number of uses. So, we thought that we would help you all out and let you know just what you can use your manure for. 
Uses for horse manure
Fertilise your garden 
Fertilisation is one of the most common uses for horse manure. In order to make the most out of it you should compost the manure, then mix it up with potting soil and spread it on your flower beds. You will find that the composted manure will fertilise your land, hold moisture and also deter weed growth. 
Mix with footing 
Why waste horse manure and spend money buying bark when you can mix horse manure with footing in your arena. You can add manure to your arena, round pen and riding trails and it will do wonders, softening and deepening the footing. 
Make fly repellent 
If you have problems with flies around your horses then this is a great little tip for deterring flies and you use up that left over manure at the same time! Spread out the horse manure in a layer over a large area and let it dry out. You should turn the horse manure over a few times to make sure it has completely dried out. Once it is dry, light and papery then you can stack it in a pile and burn it. When burning your left over manure you will find that it creates a brilliant fly repelling cloud of smoke. 
Use horse manure as de-icer 
Decomposing manure creates a surprising amount of heat and you can cover your driveway and paths with the horse manure to stop them from freezing.
Fill up holes
If you have any holes that need filling then you can throw some manure in them with shavings and pack it down. Allow the manure to settle and top it up if needed to level out the land.  
Give it to friends 
Share your left over horse manure with your friends. There are so many uses for horse manure that they might be glad to receive some. If your friends have no use for it then you could consider donating it to farmers or landscapers. 
How to use horse manure as compost
Horse manure for compost is a preferred soil amendment for farmers and gardeners alike. Its nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content means that soil can be enriched well and improve plant growth. As well as this, using horse manure is good for soil structure and increases water retention. Horse manure compost can be used raw, but the benefits of aging it cannot be ignored. By composting horse manure, you ensure that weed seeds and pathogens in the manure are killed off, and the smell is greatly reduced too. Making horse manure compost is extremely easy. For a guide to using horse manure in this way, see the following advice.
First, you need a source of horse manure, if you do not have a horse yourself. This is not something that is hard to come by as farmers and horse owners know. It is probable that you can obtain some manure from anyone with a horse for free.
Consider a suitable area for your horse manure compost to age. Remember that at first it will smell quite strong, so make sure you place it far from neighbours. After a while the smell will die down. 
It is best to produce horse manure for compost in dedicated compost bins. This is much more efficient and simpler than just piling it in the open. Place your bins in the area you have decided on. 
Put fresh horse manure into the bins. Any bedding mixed in with it (like straw) is useful because it helps to compost and gets more air in. 
Make sure you turn the compost on a regular basis. Turning it every few days should be sufficient. The centre of the pile is where most of the composting action takes place. By mixing the pile up, you are ensuring an even composting process.
In the summer the process should be complete within 1 to 3 months. In the winter it can take up to 6 months. It is possible to extract some horse manure for compost before it has finished and begin to use it. However, when using horse manure, the best results are obtained if you wait for completion.
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