How to Compost Horse Manure Fast?

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Last Updated on October 29, 2022

Composting is a great way to recycle waste. It doesn’t matter if it is kitchen waste or animal poo, you certainly can use it for the betterment of your garden plant. 

Horse manure is a rich source of nutrients for your garden soil. Its slow releasing properties makes it great for fixing the nutrient deficiency in any soil. 

The problem most gardeners face is knowing how to compost horse manure fast. It is unsafe to use fresh horse manure on your soil; you have to compost it first, this should not be difficult once you have access to all the primary material, which is horse dung. 

How to Compost Horse Manure Fast?

There are different methods you can try when composting horse manure.  It doesn’t matter which method you choose provided you get the required result, which is rich humus. 

You can choose either to use a hot or cold compost method for your horse manure. 

Hot Composting 

In hot composting, microbial activity is heightened by using specific equipment to speed up the process. When done properly, hot composting is one of the quickest methods to recycle waste.

You will need to occasionally turn the compost materials to speed up the decomposition.

You should choose the right size of the compost bin, and be ready to dedicate time and energy to your compost. Depending on precipitation and air temperature, it can take less than 3 weeks to prepare hot composting. 

Cold Composting 

Another composting method to try is cold composting. It is the direct opposite of hot composting. Here, you are not required to turn the compost pile as often as you would. It is the simplest method of composting, and best for lazy gardeners. 

The fact that you do not need to create heat within the compost pile means that you will have to wait a while for your compost to be ready. 

Steps to Compost Horse Manure 

  • Pick a Good Location

The first step you need to harvest your compost quickly is to use select the right site. The right spot should be high ground so your compost pile doesn’t get wet. If you own horses, the site should be close to the stable, so you can get easy access to manure. 

If you intend to create a storage system such as wooden bins, you should site it in an area that isn’t waterlogged. 

  • A Bin or Pile System 

You should also choose a suitable system that you are familiar with; you can choose between a bin or pile system for effective composting. A bin system is best if you love to keep your compost area neat. You can also choose to pile the materials on top of each other near your garden. 


If you want to monitor the different stages of your compost, you should use up to three bins or piles. The first one should house the manure and fresh waste material. The second one should be set aside for temperature regulation and turning compost, while the last one should be for the curing or finishing stage

  • Use Carbon-rich Materials 

To get your compost ready in no time, you will need to make use of carbon-rich materials in addition to your horse manure. Some examples of such materials include sawdust, dried leaves, sticks, paper, cardboard, and pine needles. To avoid anaerobic decomposition, you should mix the materials and horse manure so as microbial activity can begin quickly. 

  • Cover the Pile 

It doesn’t matter if you decide to use a bin or pile system, you should ensure that the compost pile remains covered at all times. By so doing, you keep the heat trapped inside the bin which helps to speed up decomposition. You can do this by placing a tray over the compost pile, but you want to ensure that you use a cover that can withstand the elements. 

  • Keep it Airy 

One of the secrets on how to compost horse manure fast is to keep the compost airy. You can do this by any means necessary, but the easiest way will be to turn the materials daily. You can also drill holes or construct chimney-like plumbing for airflow. 

How to Compost Horse Manure Fast

  • Turn the Compost 

This is where most gardeners throw in the towel. They find the job of having to devote time daily to turning the compost pile to be quite stressful. 

The only way microbial activity will take place is by keeping the compost airy and moist. If you find it to be messy, you can use the right gear to make it more comfortable. Wear protective gloves, nose mask, and use a long garden fork to turn the pile, so you don’t come in contact with the materials. 

When turning the compost, endeavor to mix the ingredients properly especially if you want it to be ready quickly. 

  • Keep it Moist 

You want o keep your compost pile moist if you want speedy decomposition. It is difficult to compost dry materials, so in addition to keeping the compost pile warm, you want to add in some moisture. Be careful not to add too much water and instead keep it moist like a sponge. 

  • Give it Time 

You should understand that it can take between 3 and 6 months for your compost to be ready, so you want to give it time and not be looking for results after a few days. 

How to Compost Horse Manure Fast


What makes horse manure different from other types?

Composting horse manure is not as simple as composting other types of manure. The manure needs to be broken down into smaller pieces and mixed with a high-nitrogen substance such as peat or sawdust.

How do you speed up horse manure compost?

There is a lot of information out there, but here are the main things I've learned. The more air that is available to the compost, the faster it will heat and break down. If you have a lot of manure, then you'll have to add more manure to make up for the extra moisture.

The main thing that slows down your pile is lack of water. If you have a thick, dense pile of manure it will need a lot of water to keep it from drying out.

It also needs to be turned over frequently to prevent the manure from becoming too wet and anaerobic. The best time to turn the pile is after the first rain of the year and before any more rain. This will give the pile time to dry out and not become too wet.

Once the manure has been turned, you need to make sure it is kept dry for the first few weeks. If the manure is allowed to get too wet, the aerobic bacteria needed to break down the manure may be killed off. This can cause the manure to become anaerobic and start to smell.

How long does fresh horse manure take to compost?

It might be a bit more or less depending on the size of the bags and how much you turn. It takes about 2 months, depending on the weather. In cooler climates, it will take longer.

What is the fastest way to break down horse manure?

There are a number of ways to do this, but the easiest and quickest would be to just mix it with some hot water. Depending on how much manure you have and how much hot water you have available, you can either use a big bucket or a large stockpot. If you have access to a hose, it's really not too difficult to run it through a hose and into your stockpot.

The very fastest way is to use a commercial product called "Nutri-Tuff". It's a proprietary blend of enzymes that are effective at breaking down manure. It has no effect on the odor, but it does make the manure easier to spread and easier to handle.


You should keep a close eye on your bins and piles, and check for signs that your compost is not right. You can also reduce the smell of your compost bin by keeping it airy. 

If you don’t have horses, you should check with a nearby stable to source for fresh manure. You can decide also to buy organic horse manure to use in your garden, but you should double-check that it does not contain any chemical contaminants. 

You have the option of purchasing a compost tumbler that automatically turns the compost pile, so you don’t have to deal with the mess. 

Have you tried composting horse manure before? How quickly was the compost pile ready? We will like to hear from you in the comment section. 

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