Planting Herbs for Horses


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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6 Responses

  1. Timothy says:

    Good idea. I too got very frustrated with the “clean fields” policy of the owner of the meadows where my horse used to stand. All Rye grass and well manicured and fertilized.
    And when the dandelions appeared, his first reaction was “I’ll spray them” – lucky I was in time because Fleur loves dandelions… within days, they were gone!
    Just one point to note, the nettle is indeed high in iron – but this is one mineral a horse never needs supplementing (unless of course there is an actual anaemic disorder). Therefore, if you are supplementing with other things, make sure there is no iron in them.

    • Casie says:

      Yes–I look at dandelions in a completely different light now. 🙂 And as for the iron–yes, there can be issues with iron overload. I’ve written about this several times before. I’m much more comfortable having it available in it’s natural form though. Supplementing iron intentionally is almost never necessary though!

  2. Deb Creten says:

    I have burdock and nettles growing naturally in my horse corrals – and I’ve routinely pulled it out over the years. Last year, a Navajo Medicine Man showed me how to crush the nettles and dry them for use later. I’ve never seen my horses eating the actual plants, though.

  3. Jody Webb says:

    I was reading this article (which is great by the way!) and was wondering where seeds can be bought for Nettle. I used to hate the stuff! (being raised in the woods in Washington and having bad reactions to it) but now as an herbalist, I find it invaluable! I think in the wild, and as a live plant, animals only eat it seasonally as they have many other “tamer” choices for nutrients. However as a dried supplement (and picked at the choice time) horses routinely choose it as part of their dietary needs. I also was pondering the iron issue. As a person who lives in the NorthWest and having to regularly take both Iron AND vitamin D, I wonder if part of horses regularly choosing Nettle goes hand in hand with our weather. Iron deficiency is very common in both humans and horses in our area, and many horses are kept inside most of the winter (especially this one which is having record breaking rains!) No one thinks to check a horse’s D levels, but plenty of horses are iron deficient! Doing a search on the internet shows the inter-dependency of D and Iron, and so its entirely possible that our lack of regular sun is leading not only to lack of Iron in our horses, but lack of D! By the way, the best time to pick nettle is in the spring, before it is a foot tall and has formed all its “stingers”. That is also mostly likely the only time a horse is going to nibble on the live plant, unless other options are just not available.

  4. Vickie says:

    My horses don’t touch the huge beautiful stinging nettle plants in their pasture. They are loaded with lots of minerals and good things. Beware of the sting…like a bee sting that can last for days, from the tiny hairs on the stems. Dried for tea or cooked like in soup, no more sting. The y spread through the root systems and will take over, as will thistle from the seeds and the roots are difficult to dig, although very nutritious and good for cleansing the liver, it is illegal here. Thistle grows wild here, The county or city will spray it, or make you spray it! My horse loves thistle (even if it has been killed with spray). Those stickers don’t bother her. Thanks!

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