Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Cadillac of Poop

All poop is not created equal.

For example, I would rather clean up horse poop every day than dog poop once a week. There is something really beyond nasty about dog poop. It's smelly, it's ugly, and if you get it on your shoe it's next to impossible to get all the way off again.

Horse poop, though it's a long way from being pleasant (depending on who you ask), is at least not unpleasant.

Horse poop doesn't carry diseases. It doesn't have that same, offensive odor that carnivore poop has. Sure it attracts flies, but all poop attracts flies.

Of course, a dog doesn't produce a ton of poop in less than six weeks, either, so I suppose you have to balance all of those pluses with that one very huge minus.

Even so, I say horse poop is the Cadillac of Poop. It has many luxuries other poop doesn't possess--it is relatively inoffensive, it can be used as fertilizer, it breaks down quickly and it's safe to work around and yes, e-gads, even to handle.

And it's big, just like a Cadillac.

--Becki Bell
For more poopy ideas and horse manure trivia, buy The Little Book of Horse Poop.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Horse Diapers

The other day, my husband and I were discussing horse diapers. You know, those bags that carriage horses have to wear under their tails to reduce the amount of road apples that cars will have to plow through in touristy neighborhoods.

Yes I know, strange topic of conversation. But after all, I am the world's foremost expert on horse poop (hey we all get to be experts in something).

Anyway my husband wondered if you could engineer a kind of similar diaper for sheep, something that could inject the collected manure with some kind of chemical that would turn it into a fertilizer, then redistribute it on the soil. A perfectly contained system of lawn-mowing and fertilization. That way you could just buy a couple of sheep instead of a lawn mower, and you wouldn't mind your kids playing in the yard even though sheep live there (sheep, who don't produce as much poop as horses but still enough where you would worry your kids might track it in on their shoes).

A brilliant idea, if you ask me. Very green.

He wondered if you could do the same thing with a horse diaper, but of course that idea only works if your carriage horses are pulling carts on the lawn, which isn't really typical. Still, properly composted manure is as good as gold. I hope those many carriage drivers do something constructive with all that diapered manure. Otherwise it's a waste of good poop (not to mention all that embarrassment to the horse who is forced to wear a diaper).

--Becki Bell
For more poopy ideas and horse manure trivia, buy The Little Book of Horse Poop.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pony Poop

We're having a pony party for my daughter's 4th birthday. I elected to do it at a ranch nearby instead of at our house. Not because of the poop, mind you (we've got plenty of that here) but because we want to avoid California's ridiculous liability laws. It's not that I think anyone will get hurt, it's just that I know horses can be unpredictable and even the most bomb-proof pony is capable of utter stupidity under the right circumstances. Plus, we're inviting some of my daughter's school friends, and I don't know their parents.

At least one of our invitees, my neighbor's niece, is pony-crazy. She wants a pony of her own and I'm sure her mother isn't going to thank me for feeding her obsession.

Pony parties always involve grooming, tacking up and learning proper pony safety. All good things. But maybe they should also involve some poop-scooping. After all, pony crazy kids need a healthy dose of reality. Maybe a horse crazy kid will come home a little less desperate for her own pony when she realizes just how much work all that grooming, tacking-up, and yes, PONY POOP is.

Of course that's a short lived thought, especially when I consider what those kids will say to their moms when they come home: "Mom, we had a great time except that they made us play with the poop! EW!!"

--Becki Bell
For more poopy ideas and horse manure trivia, buy The Little Book of Horse Poop.