Equine Advice: Plants that are Toxic to Horses


Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, has something to say about plants that are toxic to horses.  Like all shetlands, she is always watching, listening and learning. 

Some plants that horses must not eat are:

Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinium)

Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)

Fiddleneck (Ansinckia intermedia)

Prince’s Plume (Stanleya spp.)

Horsetail (Equisetum spp.)

Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata)

Jimsonweed (Datura spp.)

Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Locoweed (Astragalus spp.)

Tansy Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)

Rattleweed (Crotalaria spectabilis)

Wild Cherry (Prunus spp.)

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Woody Aster (Xylorrheza spp.)

Yellow Star Thistle (Centaurea solstitialis)

Wild Onion (Allium validum)

These are only a few plants; many more exist.





Equine Advice: HYPP


Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, has something to say about  Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis.  Like all shetlands, she is always watching, listening and learning.

Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis, also known as HYPP, occurs mainly in Quarter Horses and other stock breeds such as Appaloosas and Paints.  It has been traced back to one Quarter Horse stallion named Impressive.

Horses affected with this genetic disorder experience muscle tremors, stiffness and paralysis during which the horse can become unable to breathe.  Episodes are not generally associated with work or exercise; HYPP can be triggered by diets high in potassium.

Being able to see the third eyelid is a warning sign.  Horses with Impressive in their pedigree should be tested for HYPP although not all of those horses are affected.


The splatter of raindrops

Grim clouds in the sky

A storm late in coming

Birds on the fly

The mud level’s rising

Puddles are growing

You can tell that it’s winter

Without even knowing

But out in the weather

The ponies stand

Manes plastered down

On the wet, wet land

Coats fluffy as can be

Tails sodden in the storm

As long as full manes are long

Thick stout coats

Will keep them warm


By the River

Down by the river

The ponies are running

For they can tell

A lion is coming

Hooves slicing the soil

A storm in their manes

Something is coming;

The danger is plain

Then finally they stop

And one turns around

It was only a rabbit;

They’re safe and sound