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Last update03:36:23 PM GMT

Green Apple Horse Network

Green Apple Horse Network

As I prepared for this green issue, I spent a lot of my time online--documenting products and companies, supplementing my agricultural knowledge, and fact-checking. One site stood out as a resource for ideas: the Green Apple Horse Network. I’m a fairly savvy web visitor, but I work with lots of people in my life from family members to friends who aren’t, so I often approach a web site from the point of view of someone with less experience. This site is clean, easy to get into, and has many avenues for finding the information you require.

One of its best features is the Directory. Whether you are searching for a particular company or simply looking for ideas, the directory gives you several options. Enter the directory and click on the category Barn/Horsekeeping, and you are taken to a list of green alternatives from coast to coast. Or use the alphabetic listing at the top of the Directory home page and you can go directly to the S page to find out if SmartPak is a green company.

I only have one complaint with the directory. It seems that only companies that submit a listing are included. The good news is that it creates a lot more small business and “local” listings, which in and of itself is a very “green” concept--the bad news is that it could be more complete.

But the site doesn’t stop there. Click on solutions and not only will you find ideas for improving your own horse farm’s carbon hoofprint, but the option to address your questions directly to the owners of the site who are integrating environmental practices into their own horse activities. They also comb the web for news on the issues that impact the horse industry and they blog about ideas they learn as they go. They are very clear that these practices will not only help the environment, but that “going green” it is good for your wallet as well.

Two things bother me about the site. First, they could be more persistent with providing timely updates. The latest news and blogs are a year old. While that doesn’t negate the importance of the site, I would encourage the owners to update. My second critique is that the Resources section is almost completely empty--and that could be a very useful tool for those of us who are still in the learning stages.