Little Bit Site- Built Earth Flow System installed in 2015
The Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center is one of the largest full time, internationally accredited therapeutic riding programs in the country. Founded in 1976 with one horse and five riders, the center has grown to own its facility, Dunmire Stables, and run a program that has 22 horses, 230 riders and patients, over 40 staff members and 350 volunteers. With the desire to see as much of every dollar raised be spent on services to those who needed therapy, the management of Little Bit decided to pursue an on-site composting system, giving them the opportunity for bedding re-use, compost for landscaping use and potential for sale of the material. The system would negate the expense of disposal of the stable waste, hauling and tipping fees for off-site disposal and lower their bedding bill by up to 40%.
Green Mountain Technologies worked with the Little Bit staff to design a system that would allow for an odor free and leachate free composting system that would operate on-site without any intrusion into the day-to-day operation of the farm. A GMT Earth Flow Site-Built Composting System was sized to service the 22 Little Bit horses and potential for an additional 25 horses in their adjacent boarding barn. The goal was to use the compost for bedding re-use on their program horses with the hope that the practice would expand to include the boarders.
The Site Built system has a concrete floor and side walls with the internal mechanism of the GMT In-Vessel composting systems. There is an automated auger that moves throughout the bunker, mixing the material on a preset pattern, one to four times per day. The automation allows for controls that can affect the mixing, moisture content, and temperature ensuring pathogen, weed seed and larvae control. The result is a homogenous, dry material that is an excellent medium for bedding in the stalls and mulch in the surrounding landscape gardens.
Exciting benefits of using compost as bedding include observations of decreased foot and skin disease. The compost also has been seen to alleviate respiratory issues. The Little Bit staff will be monitoring and recording any changes they see while using the compost bedding.
The aesthetics of the facility are important to the Little Bit management. They operate a clean, calm and efficient equestrian operation while incorporating the specific needs of their clientele. The GMT Earth Flow Site Built system is pleasing to look at, blends in with the other structures on the property, runs quietly and efficiently and holds true to the desires of the board and staff of Little Bit to operate a sustainable and environmentally friendly operation in a financially responsible way.