Do your horses ever lean over your fence to chomp on your precious ornamentals? Here are 8 plants you can put in your garden that are not only safe for them to eat, and attractive, but can also contribute to their wellbeing.
Carrots (Daucus carota): Properties: Carrots are high in vitamins A and C, providing antioxidant benefits and promoting healthy eyesight and immune function. Toxicity: Carrots are generally safe for horses in moderate amounts. However, excessive consumption can lead to digestive upset due to their high sugar content.
Beetroot (Beta vulgaris): Properties: Beetroot is rich in essential nutrients like iron, folate, and fiber. It supports healthy blood circulation, digestion, and can contribute to a shiny coat. Toxicity: Beetroot is generally safe for horses to eat. However, excessive consumption can temporarily affect urine color, turning it reddish or pinkish.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): Properties: Parsley is a nutritious herb that contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants. It can aid digestion and freshen breath. Toxicity: Parsley is safe for horses when fed in small amounts. Extremely large quantities might cause stomach upset due to its high fiber content.
Mint (Mentha spp.): Properties: Mint has a refreshing aroma and taste. It can help soothe digestion, reduce gas, and act as a natural insect repellent. Toxicity: Common mint is generally safe for horses, however, avoid certain varieties, like pennyroyal, that can be toxic.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): Properties: Chamomile is known for its calming properties and can help reduce anxiety and stress in horses. It also aids digestion and promotes relaxation. Toxicity: Chamomile is generally safe for horses.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus): Chicory is a herbaceous perennial plant that provides valuable nutrients for horses. It is highly palatable and rich in minerals such as copper, calcium, and potassium. Chicory also contains compounds that may support digestive health.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): Yarrow is an herbaceous perennial that can be beneficial for horses when included in their grazing areas. It contains essential minerals and can help support digestion and promote healthy skin.
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus): Properties: Sunflowers are rich in vitamin E, which promotes healthy skin, immune function, and muscle development. The seeds can be a tasty treat for horses. Toxicity: Sunflowers are safe for horses in moderation. However, avoid feeding wilted or moldy flowers, as they can cause digestive issues.
Including a diverse range of plants in your horse's pasture can provide nutritional variety and contribute to their overall wellbeing. However, it's important to manage grazing to prevent overconsumption and maintain the health of the pasture.