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Anthony on Tordeio II, photo by Meredith McKenzie
Anthony on Tordeio II, photo by Meredith McKenzie

Take some time to think about how to take care of your horses and your landscape at the same time. Here’s how to get eco-friendly feng shui for your stable or ranch.

DIY Upgrades

  • After it rains, evaluate the flow of water on your property.
    Does water drain from the manure pile? Is it pooling in certain areas?
    Is water running into the creek? Any of these can potentially create pollution in our waterways. Always control runoff from your facility.
  • If water, sand, dirt, bedding or manure is traveling off-site, look to the source. Can manure and used bedding be stored elsewhere?
    Are they properly covered and maintained? Can the water be diverted to a vegetated, sand or gravel filter?
  • Follow building codes and regulations about stream setbacks, stream alteration, landscaping and manure management.

Plant Biofiltration Strips
Make sure you have biofiltration strips – planted areas of two feet or wider – between areas where horses live and anywhere else. These planted areas will capture equine runoff and keep excess nutrients out of our streams. Make sure to plant non-toxic plants around horses and livestock.

Keep Livestock Out of Creeks
Keep livestock out of streambeds and seasonal or year-round creeks. Put in exclusionary fencing in pastures and corrals. Keep smaller livestock (such as chickens, ducks, and goats) indoors at night in enclosed stables or secure corrals to protect them and to keep coyotes and mountain lions from becoming accustomed to easy pickings.

Setbacks for Corrals
Use a setback for stables and corrals from the high water mark of creeks. This will keep your livestock safe in most storm conditions and protect water quality.

Corrals on Hillsides
Do not build corrals on areas with a slope greater than 7% to avoid erosion issues.

Consider Rotational Grazing
Even chickens can over-graze a yard. The concept of rotational grazing applies to all domesticated livestock.

Wildlife Friendly Fencing

Fences make good neighbors – and for local wildlife, good fences make better neighbors.

Jump moving in corral, photo by Sarah Lyon
Jump moving in corral, photo by Sarah Lyon

Horse Owners in Los Angeles County
Is It Legal?
Find out about the County’s Urban Agriculture Regulations. According to this report provided by UCLA, horses are permitted in 65 cities. Be sure to check with the local planning department for current rules for animals on your property.

Resources for Planning and Building

  • Los Angeles County Regional Planning 213-974-6422
  • California Coastal Commission Ventura Office 805-585-1809
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 213-452-3425

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