Herbs for Horses: What Can Be Eaten?

For many horse lovers, going out into the country with the horse means relaxation and being able to let go of everyday life. Enjoying nature up close is priceless. It is of course up to you whether your horse can nibble on trees, bushes, or plants in between. Because not every situation or environment allows you to make intermediate stops. We want to list these herbs for horses that can be eaten without hesitation when you are out and about.

The Delicacies of the Forest

If you ride through the forest, there is a lot for you to discover here. In this way, your horse can nibble and eat some trees and bushes without the risk of poisoning. Above all, these are those plants that are also contained in various herbal mixtures. Some of these trees can also be used as nibbling sticks for occupation on the paddock. However, if you are unsure whether you can reliably identify the following examples, inform yourself about them before your ride.

  • Birch leaves and birch bark. Birch branches are often offered to horses as nibbling sticks for occupation on the paddock.
  • Ash leaves
  • Fruits, bark, and leaves of fruit trees. These include apple and pear trees. Your horse can also eat the bark and leaves of plum trees. However, you should be careful with the fruit itself. Your horse can swallow the plum kernel and in the worst case, it can get stuck in the throat.
  • Alder
  • Poplar
  • Hazelnut
  • Willow bark. Due to the salicylic acid, it contains, the willow bark not only has a pain-relieving effect but also has an anti-inflammatory and fever-lowering effect. Among other things, it promotes the horse’s blood circulation. The cells can be better supplied with oxygen and nutrients. They can also be better detoxified. The willow bark is therefore often administered in conjunction with other herbs, for example, meadowsweet or devil’s claw, which are used in diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Blackberry leaves. Many horses love to nibble on blackberry hedges. Interestingly, the thorns don’t bother most horses. However, it is better to touch this plant in small steps. After all, your horse must not get caught in the branched branches. This can be dangerous and lead to injuries.
  • The wood of the lilac. This can usually be found in or along with gardens and hedges.
  • Walnut leaves. Only the leaves are non-toxic and allowed. They are also anti-inflammatory and supportive of the digestive system. But be careful: the wood is poisonous for your horse.

Likewise, some bird nutrients are non-toxic and suitable for your horse, like these:

  • Rock pear
  • Rosehip
  • Cornelian cherry
  • Sloe

These can often be found in our local forests or partly in parks or gardens. The berries of the rock pear or the cornel cherry are also very popular with many people because we can also nibble on them.

A little tip: if you take your dog with you for a ride, pay attention to what it picks up. Especially when he is allowed to walk without a leash and likes to sniff here and there. Because not all the treats that your horse is allowed are also suitable for your dog and vice versa.

Herbs for Horses From the Meadow

If you are out and about with your horse in the field, you will certainly not only ride through the forest. Your path will also lead you along meadows and fields. And there are endless possibilities for your horse to snack on. These are equally plants that are available in herbal mixtures or individually in specialist shops. Such wild plants and herbs support the horse’s organism in a completely natural way.

These include:

  • Nettle
  • Giersch
  • dandelion
  • Wild pansy
  • Chamomile
  • Alfalfa
  • Sage
  • Ribwort plantain
  • Meadowsweet
  • Honorary award
  • Chicory
  • Marigold
  • Centaury

These are just a few of the most common plants you can come across in the field. As with all herbs and plants, the quantity is of course important. Whether for maintaining health, for support, or in the event of illness – the range of applications is broad.

If you want, you can try a few herbs for horses along the way and let your horse nibble a bit. If you are unsure whether and how much your own horse can eat of it, consult your veterinarian or animal healer. This will help you find the right size for your horse.

A little tip: Avoid plants that are directly on the road or on the edge of the field. These can be contaminated by pesticides, exhaust fumes, dog feces, or other things.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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