Herbs For Horses
 By Saferaphus   •   24th Feb 2017   •   440 views   •   0 comments
Grass is the staple of any horse diet, whether itís fresh or dried as hay. But, as a horse grazes, they naturally nibble on the leaves of other plants too. Some people think that a natural variety of edible plants may be more healthy for a horse than only eating grasses. And, some believe that there are plants that are beneficial to horses or can be fed to address specific health issues.


The only difference between a herb and a weed is how useful we think the plant is. Dandelions are regarded as weeds, but they are a very useful and nutritious. And, they grow rampant in many parts of the world, so your horse may already be snacking on them. My horse loves dandelions and will search them out if I hand graze her on the lawn. Dandelions are rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and vitamins A,B, C and D. They are thought to support healthy functioning of the liver and because they are a source of biotin, may help with healthy hoof growth.


You might have nettles growing in your pastures. Nettles spring up waist-high in ditches and forgotten corners and if you brush your bare skin against them, youíll feel a nasty burning sensation for a few minutes. So, itís hard to believe that these plants are useful and horses find them tasty. Nettles were once harvested as fodder and cut down from roadsides and yards to feed livestock. Nettles are very nutritious. They contain in addition to lots of vitamins such as A and C, a ton of minerals they also are thought to help with mood because they contain serotonin and histamine. So you can feed your horse nettles and have yourself a cup of nettle tea so you both feel healthy and happy.


Another calming herb that is easy to grow is chamomile. Chamomile is thought to combat inflammation and helps with allergic reactions. It can be used topically, either blended into an oil or cream or fed as a supplement. Because of its purported anti-inflammatory qualities, itís thought to be a benefit to horses with arthritic conditions. As a calming herb, it can be fed to nervous horses. Valerian is a calming herb for horses, but it is regarded as performance enhancing by some competitive associations and can interfere with drugs, so chamomile might be a substitute.

Calendula Flower
Calendula Flower

Calendula flowers, also called pot marigolds, are pretty and are thought to have many benefits as a herb. Mixed into a cream or oil, calendula is useful for treating minor wounds because itís thought to have antiseptic and antifungal qualities. Itís also thought to help heal bruising when used in a compress. When fed, itís thought be calming and an aid to building blood. Donít feed its close cousins African or French marigold, though, because these contain substances that could harm your horse.

When deciding which herbs to use, and how to most effectively use them, itís best to start with a prepared mix that comes with instructions. Some people spread seed mixes into their pastures and hope their horses will eat the plants as they come up. But, the idea of horses self-medicating by eating specific foods isnít well supported by science. In fact, horses are well known for eating things that arenít good for them, like wood and dirt. Also, herbs while they may be helpful, arenít completely harmless. Itís thought that feeding some over the long term may cause problems like liver damage. And some may interact with medications. So, go slowly, do a lot of research before raiding the roadsides (which may be sprayed with herbicides) or the garden for useful herbs.
Herbs For Horses
Herbs For Horses
Herbs For Horses
Herbs For Horses
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