Trees Toxic to Horses


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

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8 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    This is a very valuable article for horse owners! It’s easy to look up and find what trees are not good for horses but my question always is, what trees ARE good for horses if you want to plant for shade?

  2. Cathy says:

    Great visual article. I would like to add that when horses have ample forage they don’t typically eat things that are harmful to them. When given a choice they will avoid anything toxic. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be cognizant of their environment but also don’t be over reactive and kill off all your trees. I lived in CA for a number of years and my pasture was full of lovely large oak trees. I never removed one and never had an issue. Here in MI I have a black locust right next to their pasture, again no issues. I feel ample hay and they have grazing in summer time so there is never an interest.

    • Casie says:

      Very true, Cathy. Horses in the wild don’t eat toxic things when they have plenty of food sources to pick from. But I’ve seen far too many bare-bones pastures with little to no hay out. These are the horses which might eat something toxic.

  3. Michelle says:

    Just wanted to say I also live in Northern California and moved to 12 acres 2 years ago and have a lot of large old oaks including several different varieties on my property. My horses munch on acorns for almost a month in the fall ( even though they have access to hay 24/7 and so far I have not had any problems. I read a lot of articles about how poisonous they are and also how so many people witness there horses eating acorns like crazy and have had no bad outcomes. Every neighbor around me also has horses and oak trees galore and I don’t hear of any problems so I’m very skeptical that they are harmful. This being said I did feed bentonite clay most of the month this last year just to make sure any toxins were hopefully being eliminated and passed out of the horse.

  4. Thrace says:

    I had always heard that it really was the hoof to shavings connection that was the issue with the Black Walnut trees…. that the trees themselves weren’t an issue unless you cut one down and had random shavings the horses would stand in. “Originally, the tree was thought to produce a toxin in the leaves, bark, and nuts. However, more recent research suggests that only the heartwood of the tree contains the toxin responsible for causing laminitis in horses…”

    • Casie says:

      Yes, this is true, but that particular article also goes on to say, “to be safe, horses should never be allowed direct access to these trees.” That’s why I included it in this list.

  5. Julie says:

    I feel this article is over reactive and doesn’t give the horse the good sense he was born with to know what forage is good for him or not. Also some things that are poisonous in large quantities are actually good in small quantities and horses will self medicate if they want to get rid of parasites for example.
    There is no need to go cutting down all your trees, just be observant.

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