Are Horses Making an Effect on Climate Change?


Hey there, partner. This is The Oxer by Pegasus. The newsletter that takes you out of your tack room and into the global equestrian industry.

🐴 Here’s what we’ve got for you today:

  • Are horses hurting or helping the environment?: It’s a bit more nuanced than that.

  • South Carolina is about to see more $ in their equestrian space: Horry County is trying to build a new venue.

  • The gig economy also exists in equestrian?: Yes it does thanks to ShowAssist, here’s our interview with their founders on The Pegasus Podcast.

  • What you’re feeding your horse is toxic: Mary Hartman and Olivia Sobczak of StableFeed join us on The Pegasus Podcast.

  • Final Foals: Check them out after the second story of this edition.

Before we get into it, have you signed up to try out Pegasus’s beta?

If not, head to Pegasus, click “get early access,” and sign up today!


Get ready for some great stories this week 👇

🔥 Are Horses Making an Effect at All on Climate Change?

What happened?

  • A global conference organized by World Horse Welfare explored the complex relationship between horses, environmental issues, climate change, and humans.

  • The event featured experts, politicians, and conservationists who discussed the role of horses in both causing and providing solutions to environmental problems.

  • World Horse Welfare is a UK-based charity headed by Princess Anne, The Princess Royal.

Our jump on the subject

One of the key subjects addressed at the conference was the impact of horse sports on the environment.

That subject adds more nuance to the question of the impact horses have on the environment.

Because horse sports are the industrialized use of horses for entertainment purposes, meaning that horses themselves may not be to blame, but rather our use of them.


It is true that horses can have a positive impact on the climate.

According to this 2020 article from the National Institutes of Health, horses can…

  • Prevent forest fires by eating plants that might help cause them.

  • Consume scrub in heathlands which protects the species living there.

  • Provide natural fertilizer which helps other plants grow.

When it comes to sport, however, that’s where the environmental impact can be damaging. It has less to do with the horses themselves and more to do with consumption habits related to horse sports, such as the accommodation and shopping that are necessary for producing a world-class horse show.

Megan Fellows of Carbon Hoofprint is one of the people in our industry who works with horse shows to make them more sustainable. She went into detail on her initiatives working with the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, among others, in our podcast we published in the summer.

How Equestrian Can Be Better for the Environment – Pegasus Podcast

Megan Fellows, the founder and head of Carbon Hoofprint. Carbon Hoofprint is arguably the only sustainable consultancy in the horse world making waves, so you’re going to want to listen to this.

Listen on any platform.


The conference featured talks from others such as Senator Pippa Hackett on how her home country of Ireland is trying to responsibly engage with horses from an environmental perspective.

You can view the whole conference on World Horse Welfare’s website.

🌴 All It Takes Is One Equestrian Center to Stimulate This County’s Economy

What happened?

  • Horry County, which is located in South Carolina, is planning to build a nearly $100 million rural civic center between Conway and Aynor.

  • County officials see the venue hosting rodeos, livestock shows, conferences, fairs, and weddings.

  • The massive project now shines a spotlight on the county’s equestrian industry, which caters to thousands of locals and tourists every year.

Our jump on the subject

A feasibility study conducted earlier this year revealed that Horry County’s equestrian engagement surpasses the national average.

However, the popularity of equestrian activities is growing in Horry County, but there are not many local competitions.

Stacy Smith, who owns Res-Les Farms, hosts an annual high school rodeo. She said that she started the rodeo because her daughter participated in high school rodeo and had to travel far for competitions.

Now they won’t have to travel too far.



The proposed venue has the potential to attract nearly half a million visitors annually to the Grand Strand, generating over $29 million in economic benefits for the local community, as per county projections.

The S.C. Department of Agriculture estimates that the proposed equestrian center could further contribute to the state’s thriving equine industry, valued at nearly $2 billion.

It isn’t surprising that the new equestrian center is making a big wave economically. Only two weeks ago we covered how the same thing is happening to Palm Beach County, all thanks to Wellington International.


🐴  This Week’s Final Foals

🇺🇸 Read our written interview featuring Katie Veltkamp and Croix Darwin of Equistaff to get a recruiter’s perspective on the triumphs and challenges of America’s equestrian industry.

🥵 The American Horse Council is asking you to answer their survey on how employees were treated during hot weather months.

🚀 We launched The Oxer by Pegasus on LinkedIn! Say hello, leave a comment, and tell us what you think of these stories directly on LinkedIn.

📱 Follow The Pegasus Podcast on Insta and TikTok.

Take your time to digest these stories and let us know what you think by replying.

Don’t forget it’s a two-stride,

The Oxer by Pegasus

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