By Christina Keim for Premier Equestrian
Since 1999, Premier Equestrian has prioritized sourcing high quality, horse-safe materials for their products, resulting in an industry-leading reputation for excellence and reliability. But what you might not know is that this commitment to clean, affordable materials has also made Premier Equestrian one of the most eco-friendly horse arena companies in North America. “We take our environmental responsibility quite seriously and we are proud of our achievements so far.” says Heidi Zorn, president of Premier Equestrian.
Below, check out these Premier Equestrian top-selling eco-friendly horse products made from repurposed materials that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill. Not only does using “green” materials make sense for the Earth, but it also makes good financial sense. By purchasing clean virgin material waste supplies from manufacturers, companies like Premier Equestrian can acquire quality ingredients to build their own items at a fraction of the cost of processed finished materials—savings that are passed on to the consumer.
Textile Arena Footing Additives
A large category of popular products made from repurposed materials is the Premier Equestrian Textile Footing line up, including Premier ProTex, ArenaAid, and All Purpose. These footing additives come with an SDS (Safety Data Sheet) report, which tells buyers what the additive is made of and whether it is post-consumer or industrial waste. What may surprise you is that despite its name, industrial waste is the cleaner, healthier option.
“Industrial waste is something that comes right from the factory,” says Zorn. “It’s new, it’s pretty, it’s not dirty. It is as clean a material as you can get. We never use post-consumer waste in textile footing because we can’t be sure of where it came from and how clean it may be. Our main product criteria is safety first.”
When it comes to creating non-woven textiles, which are commonly used in padding, and lining layers, such as roofing felt, and other types of rugged fabric materials, the manufacturer goes through a multi-step process. Individual fibers of polyester or nylon are combined in a machine, creating an irregularly shaped piece of material. Another machine trims the edges, leaving scraps (industrial waste) behind. “We buy that scrap and turn it into horse footing,” says Zorn. “Keeping it out of landfills.”
A Purpose for Plastic: OTTO Sport Base Mats
Premier Equestrian is proud to be the official North American distributor of OTTO Sport Base Mats; when installed under your footing of choice, these mats provide increased drainage and stability to any equestrian arena surface. Not only are OTTO Sport Base Mats a smart choice for your arena, but they also happen to be made from recycled synthetic materials.
“OTTO Sport Base Mats are made from recycled plastic materials such as milk jugs, wire insulation, rubber products.” says Zorn. “What the recyclers do is take the materials, put them in a grinder and grind them into shavings. They put the shavings in a machine, where it gets remelted and reformed into the mat.”
Consumers can have confidence in the safety of the German-made OTTO Sport Mats; materials are regularly tested by the German Association for Technical Inspection, which monitors for compliance with laws for soil and groundwater protection.
Plastics can spend hundreds of years in a landfill with little degradation; finding ways to repurpose these common materials is increasingly critical. Products like OTTO Sport Base Mats provides a “win-win” for horse owners and the environment alike: a safe, quality product and reduced waste entering landfills.
Recycled Rubber Equestrian Products: Stall Mats and Footing
It was not so long ago that old tires were carelessly dumped roadside or piled up in landfills, leaving unsightly, unhygienic heaps that sometimes caught on fire and smoldered for days. Thankfully, increased awareness of the environmental consequences of these actions—as well as the interest of companies like Premier Equestrian—meant that rubber recycling programs surged in popularity. Today, recycled rubber is in everything from children’s playground equipment to yoga mats to equine barn and footing materials.
Premier’s popular Red Barn Stall Mats are made from 100% recycled, non-toxic vulcanized rubber. These easy-to-install mats are 3/4-inch thick and provide cushion, traction, and bacteria and odor control while reducing the amount of bedding required for your horse’s comfort—saving trees while helping you keep money in the bank.
Premier ProStride Footing is another footing product made from repurposed rubber, specifically recycled tires. This crumb rubber footing is added to sand and helps to reduce compaction while increasing shock absorption and rebound. ProStride is low-maintenance and suitable for indoor or outdoor riding arenas, turnouts and lunging areas.
One common consumer concern regarding recycled rubber—particularly from tires—is that it might contain metal. But Zorn says Premier’s rubber goes through multiple processing steps before it ever reaches a horse arena, and recyclers are highly motivated to get every scrap of metal out which brings a hefty price.
“The metal is worth a lot of money, so the recyclers have magnets, shredders, and rippers to ensure all the metal is completely taken out of the rubber,” says Zorn. “The metal is actually more valuable than the rubber.”
Final Thoughts on Eco-Friendly Equestrian Products
When it comes to being a green company, actions speak louder than words. Premier Equestrian is proud of its commitment to providing customers with a high quality, eco-friendly equestrian products whenever possible. “We’ve never touted the fact that we are big green recyclers, but we are,” says Zorn. “We’re conscious of the resources and materials we bring into our line of footing products. We are using millions of pounds of waste that would have gone into the landfill.”