One of the simplest ways to up the green stakes on your farm is to focus on its hedging. Growing a tall hedge (3.5m high and 2.6–4.2m wide) and trimming it every three years is good for the environment and for the health of your horse.

Good for the environment because a hedge this size stores the most carbon in the soil underneath it and contributes to its biodiversity. Over-trimmed hedges have a reduced ability for both. According to biochemist Carol Hughes of EquiBiome, the best hedge plants are those that store the most carbon and are impressively good for the health of the horse:

  • Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) – the highest ability to store carbon, full of antioxidants and phytonutrients to help with metabolism, inflammation and arthritis.
  • Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) – high in flavonoids to reduce inflammation, support metabolism and give strong protection against free radical damage.
  • Bramble (Rubus corylifolius) – strong immune system support and improves metabolism
  • Horse-Friendly Hedges and Trees

    The following plants can produce good hedges or as creative mixtures:

  • Acer campestre (Field maple)
  • Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)
  • Corylus avellane (Hazel)
  • Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn)
  • Fagus sylvatica (Beech)
  • Griselina littoralis (Kapuka or New Zealand broadleaf)
  • Rosa rugosa (Ramanas rose)
  • Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)
  • The following trees create good shelter and shade for horses:

  • Betula pendula (Silver birch)
  • Up to 30m tall and 6-8m wide
  • Populus tremula (Aspen)
  • Up to 30m tall and 6-10m wide
  • Salix alba (White willow)
  • Up to 25m tall and 8-15m wide
  • Tilia x europaea (Common lime)
  • Up to 40m tall and 10-15m wide