Horse & Hound

A STATUS SYMBOL?

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HOW I agree with Lorna Johnstone’s letter (10 September) bemoaning the ignorance all too prevalent in today’s horse world. My daughter and I often discuss this subject, she with many years working in hunting, racing and event yards and me owning, riding and competing for over 45 years.

It is depressing to see examples of ignorance first hand, with many appearing to get their knowledge from social media from equally ill-informed horse people, paying scant attention to vets, physios, chiropract­ors et al.

Unfortunat­ely, it appears that for some reason, owning a horse is seen as a status symbol. However, many of these owners have little interest in furthering their knowledge and think that the solution to any problem is to throw money at it.

Susan Harrower Inverness

RECENTLY, I have noticed how much plastic packaging horse and general pet owners use. Chaff-based products are in plastic, bedding too; haylage is shrink wrapped with plastic; the supplement­s and treats are boxed, bottled or bagged in plastic and even hoof oil is now in plastic tubs or bottles, not tins.

When I started working with horses in the 1980s, feed was supplied in hessian sacks, and chaff consisted of hay and straw hand-chopped using a shredding machine, and straw was the only bedding option.

I’m not suggesting we go back to doing things by hand, but in light of the amount of plastic waste in our landfills and oceans and the microplast­ics damaging our planet, it’s time manufactur­ers looked at alternativ­e packaging.

I will be doing my bit by reusing what I can as rubbish bags and avoiding products that are in single-use bottles, tubs or bags. I will bed on straw or mats if possible and feed hay or paperbagge­d hay replacemen­t cubes instead of plastic-wrapped chaff.

Olwen Turns

Corby, Northants

H&H magazine editor Pippa Roome replies: “A number of equestrian companies have made efforts to be more green over the past few years – among others, we’ve reported on supplement companies cutting back on plastic packing in favour of biodegrada­ble options, eco-friendly bedding, and breeches and rugs made of recycled plastics. We look forward to continuing to report on the industry’s efforts to become more sustainabl­e.”

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