As we deal in second hand riding gear we often get asked what the options are for re-cycling those items that are no longer fit for use but should not end up in landfill.
Some suggestions are practical, some are silly and some you should not try at home! We will keep adding to our list and would love it if you also added your thoughts.
Alternative Uses For Old Riding Hats
Assuming the hat is too old or damaged to be used as a spare around the yard or used for in – hand use, how about these ideas: –
Nesting Boxes – Hang by the straps in a safe and secure spot away from cats and small garden birds will occupy it
Drill a few holes in the top, fill with compost and use as a planter for small flowers, or strawberries…you can also contain mint by planting it in the hat before sinking into the ground
Find a secluded spot in the garden, prop up at a slight angle and it’s a lovely cosy home for hedgehogs or maybe voles
Drama groups ,including the local schools, may want them as props
Nursery groups and playschool children can use them in dressing up games
Use to help create an equestrian themed bedroom for a pony crazy child, can then be used as storage for small items – very pretty if you use coloured hat covers and hang upside down in a row under a shelf
Pubs, restaurants and coffee shops can use them as room or theme decoration particularly if they are involved with any equestrian event…close to a racecourse for example
Fill with sand and use as outside ashtrays
Riding schools, instructors etc can use them in a “show and tell” to demonstrate the need to wear one – easily achieved by smashing it with a big hammer!
Use as edge markers up a drive, this is effective when there are lots either side of a drive leading to an equestrian establishment
Use as hanging baskets around any property but again effective when used in numbers in an equine environment
Last but not least – use as an emergency toilet or sick bucket in any vehicle…have seen this implemented in a horse lorry! When you gotta go…you will use just about anything…
Old Leather Bridles | Martingales | Saddles | Driving Harnesses | Head Collars | Bits & Stirrup Irons
Well cared for leather will last for years but there will come a point when using worn out tack could be dangerous and uncomfortable for your horse. So what do you do with these old equestrian items?
Reins can be reused as dog leads – useful as an emergency spare in the vehicle
Apprentice bridle and saddle makers may be able to hone their skills with it as practice material or even create a recycled item e.g. a purse or bag
Interesting items could be offered to a collector or museum, for example there are collectors of military tack and the former mining communities that have a museum may want old items used by the pit ponies
Pubs and restaurants often have old equestrian items as part of a theme
Tack shops, saddlers, and theatre groups could use them as window and stage props
Old bridles arranged together on a board make an interesting display for any equestrian establishment – identify the parts & use as a teaching aid
Donate as play items to local kids play groups
Add some authenticity to a rocking horse
Group together a collection of old bits, stirrup irons and buckles and display on a outside wall – saw this once at a stud farm in Wales and it’s very effective
Oiled leather burns really well so as a last resort – put it on the fire!
Horse Rugs | Numnahs | Saddle Pads | Girths
Well cared for equestrian items should last for years but everything gets to a stage where its no longer viable to use it for its original purpose so what else can you do with old, tired rugs and fleeces? Or numnahs with rips and stains?
Turnouts make a great insulator for small animal hutches and dog kennels, just wrap around the outside to add a protective layer when temperatures drop
Will work with poultry houses too…
One idea that worked well last winter when it was really cold was to cover the engines of the vehicles overnight, particulary older horse lorries and boxes, with an old horse fleece or stable rug and then a turnout as warmer engines will always start better. Ensure the bonnet is closed overnight but remove the rugs before starting the engine!
Rugs can be cut into patches for rug repairs keep all straps, buckles and surcingles for also repairing other rugs
Offer them to your local rug cleaner/repairer in lieu of a small discount off any you have in for cleaning, they can use them for repairing other rugs
Keep the trunks of young trees protected from grazing stock by wrapping them in an old rug, secure with girths or leather items too old to use
Log piles can be protected from the elements with a turnout
Use turnouts as emergency covers for tables at car boots, being quite heavy they will not blow away as easily
Stable rugs and fleeces make great dog and cat blankets –animal rescue homes may also be glad of them
Any old rugs can be used to protect vegetable beds through the winter, heats the earth up ready for planting and needs less digging as the worms work harder
Compost heaps work better when covered as the heat generated helps the breaking down process, old turnouts are perfect for this
Or use them to line the car boot to give protection from muddy boots etc
Numnahs and pads make lovely soft lining for cat & dog baskets
Cut to shape and roll up in old leggings or tights etc to make door draught excluders, tie each end with nice ribbon to secure – works better with stable rugs and fleeces, adding smooth pebbles will make it heavier and work better