Greening Your Barn With Bamboo

by Matt

As horse people, we all try to be good custodians of the land.

Our hobbies and sometimes livelihood depend on it, after all. Clean water, clean air, and clean soil are as important to the health of our horses as they are to our enjoyment of our outdoor lifestyle.

As many of us take up new composting techniques and other methods of easing our heavy footprint on the land, it’s time to consider how “green” we can make our permanent structures — such as our barns.

We are all accustomed to the predominate use of wood in horse barns. Even when the outer shell of a barn is constructed from metal, the interior — the stall walls, the doors, even the saddle racks in the tack room — is usually made of wood. Domestic softwoods (such as pine and Douglas fir) and imported hardwoods, often from South America, are common construction materials. They also take more than two decades to replenish once they’re cut down — if the forest is replanted responsibly.

Although it’s possible to minimize the harmful effect of deforestation by using lumber that is certified as sustainably-harvested, there’s no getting around the fact that once you’ve cut down a tree, it takes a very long time to grow a new one. And so more and more horse owners are opting for a more sustainable material for their barns; one solution is bamboo.

Bamboo is one of the most quickly-growing plants on earth, and it can be grown without the use of fertilizers or pesticides, for a double-dose of green agriculture and sustainability. And when it comes to horses, the stable-grade lumber manufactured from bamboo is a safe and tough alternative to traditional wood. It’s non-toxic, and just as resistant to those kicks and bites as hardwoods.

Is bamboo the right choice for your next stable renovation or new barn? It should definitely be on your list to consider. This hardy “weed” is the next great tool in the green revolution, and as horse people, we are all stewards of the land we love.

Equine Facility Design uses EquiGreen bamboo lumber. For more information on this product, visit

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