06 May

Enriching your horses lives does not need to be expensive or fancy, nor does it need to require alot of effort!

At this time of year, I often do alot of foraging for the horses, for various plants and herds that I know to be beneficial and suitable for laminitics. I then spread these at random around the tracks/under logs/clipped up/in haynets etc. For the horses to sniff out, find, and enjoy.

Most of these things I collect from around the farm or farm lane, but some of them I grow for the horses onsite. 

Today I collected Hawthorn, Cow parsley, Celery, cleavers (sticky weed), mint, and fennel. I also often collect willow, but that's a slightly longer walk, so I'll grab that next time!

Here's why they are good for horses 😃

"Celery: Celery contains a number of vitamins such as Vitamin K, potassium, manganese, Vitamins B2, C, B6, and A. It is also a good source of fiber. Horses can eat both the celery and the celery leaves. Like feeding other vegetables to horses, cut the celery into smaller sized pieces."

"Cow Parsley: with properties similar to fennel. You can feed as much as you like…aids digestion, has calmative properties and speeds the healing process.” http://your-natural-horse.com/…/cow-parsley-a-great-free-h…/

"Hawthorn for horses should be considered for the older horse showing signs of arthritis and general old age. Hawthorn berries are used extensively as a cardiac tonic and for increasing circulation which is very important for horses with arthritis. The leaves and flowers are used for the same purpose, and it was known in the Middle Ages as a symbol of hope and taken for many ailments. 

Hawthorn is also very useful in horses that have navicular syndrome as it dilates the blood vessels. Often you can see horses with navicular or laminitis nibbling on the new leaves of Hawthorn bushes if they are so lucky to have easy access."

"Mint – Peppermint and Spearmint have an antispasmodic effect on the digestive system; mint may help to expel gas, for horses prone to colic and also serves as a soothing appetite stimulant. You can grow mint very easily and offer your horse fresh leaves.

Fennel – The seeds from Fennel have a relaxing effect for gassy, uncomfortable tummies. They can also help with appetite and maintain milk production, especially in the first days following foaling. Fresh Fennel can be used to draw toxins from wounds, bites and allergic skin reactions."

"Cleavers – Galium aparine (Also known as clivers, goose grass, catchweed and stickyweed). 

Cleavers are a great ‘tonic’ herb and can benefit horses with filled puffy legs, horses on box rest and as a Spring tonic.

An excellent herb for toning and supporting the lymphatic system, (the system responsible for cleansing the body).

When in season in the UK, it can be abundant in hedgerows and many horses actively seek them out!

Excellent Spring tonic.

Puffy legs/soft swellings.

Cleavers contain galiosin, making them great for supporting the lymphatic and urinary systems.

Rich in silica to strengthen coat and hair.

Great for cleaning and re-energising after a cold season." https://progressive-earth.com/…/clivers-pure-herb-cleavers…/

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