Plants That are Toxic to Equines

There are so many plants that are unsafe for ingestion by our animals. When you have a beloved horse, you need to make sure this animal stays out of harm’s way when it comes to what it eats.

    The beautiful azalea-toxic! 


  Those of us who have horses that are beloved to us, worry and make sure they do not ingest something that is toxic.  In preparing a list during research, I was shocked to see how many plants possessed enough toxins to kill a large animal such as a horse.  Just seven leaves from the Oleander is enough to kill a horse weighing one thousand pounds or more.  I didn’t realize how many plants in my immediate area and some in my own yard, were so toxic.  Worse than this is there are so many thousands of others we may not know about, so the list I have compiled here is just a start.  Besides these plants being killers, there is a lot of suffering the animal has to go through before it succumbs to death.  If you’re fortunate that your veterinarian can save it, the medical costs will be astronomical.  Keep in mind this list is certainly not complete in my opinion.  Be careful where you let your horse graze, and never let them grab for leaves and brush on a trail ride.

  The list of toxic plants:

  Azalea/rhododendron, avocado, black locust, black walnut, Vince/blue periwinkle, bracken fern, buttercups, Cape tulip and Cape week, Castor bean plant, cats ear, choke berry, cockle burr, Cook town ironwood, dandelion( which is now questionable but is a known diuretic and before being consumed by humans must be boiled with the first boiling thrown out), darling, deadly nightshade-any from this family of plants, field wound wort/stagger weed, flat weed, foxglove, green cestrum, groundsel, Guild ford grass, hemlock, horse tail, Johnson grass, lantana camara, leafy spurge, locoweed, lupin, mallow, mother of millions, mountain laurel, oak, oleander, onion weed, paddy melon, pasparhem ergot, Paterson’s curse, perennial rye grass, pheasant’s rye, poke week, privet, quince, ragwort, rattle pods, red maple, round Billy button/wooleyhead, sagebrush, St. John’s wort, sneeze wort, salanaceae-deadly nightshade family, potato, stinging tree, Sudan grass, thorn apple, tobacco plants, variegated thistle, water hemlock, white snake root, wisteria seeds, yellow star thistle, yew.

  Identification of all these will take forever to learn, but the safest way is to assume that anything other than the grain and hay you feed your horse could possibly be a killer.  Go over their pasture grazing spots as best you can and remove thistle weeds and all others you may have suspicions about.  It really is a wonder we can keep our animals as safely as we have been doing.  I did however, hear of a beautiful quarter horse in California who almost died from ingesting only 7 oleander leaves.  This thing about animals avoiding, or not eating plants that are harmful to them is simply not true!

    foxglove-very deadly   angel trumpet and all Datura

   Chinese wisteria-seeds   Castor bean-all parts

  There are too many plants to list but perhaps you’d be willing to do some research.  I recommend Google searches as this site has loads of information, also, is a wonderful site to get all the images and research articles you need, to include wonderful recipes!

  Thank you for coming by to read!

  *images by 

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9 Responses to “Plants That are Toxic to Equines”
  1. ceegirl Says...

    On October 17, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Brenda Nelson Says...

    On October 17, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    very important information.

    you will get more views though, if you tag with “horses, poisonous plants” in addition

  3. cmanjuc Says...

    On October 17, 2010 at 11:00 pm


  4. awesome11 Says...

    On October 17, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    great share! thanks!

  5. rhaka22 Says...

    On October 18, 2010 at 12:46 am

    nice share,I like it..

  6. Christine Ramsay Says...

    On October 18, 2010 at 3:31 am

    I had no idea that so many plants could be toxic to animals. Thanks for this information.


  7. albert1jemi Says...

    On October 18, 2010 at 10:37 am

    very iformative

  8. Joe Poniatowski Says...

    On October 19, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Some of these I knew about (Nightshade, Hemlock, etc), some were quite a surprise. Dandelion? My horses eat them all the time, should I be concerned?

  9. mo hoyal Says...

    On October 19, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Dandelion must be boiled with the first boiled water thrown out beofre cooking for humans. Before letting animals eat it, I’d go look it up and see what it says. We have a lot of dandelion growing here but it’s mostly on the outside of the grazing area. Sorry I couldn’t have been more thorough but it would have made for an article too long to read. Glad to see you again Joe and thanks for coming by. Will send you a message about this in case you don’t come back to read this again.
    Best regads,

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