A look at 9 common backyard trees and their effect on equestrian health.
Commonplace fruit trees can have negative effects on your horse’s health. Most often, your horse will be fine. They’re resilient animals and unless they eat a huge amount of fruit, there’s nothing wrong with a horse having access to an orchid. However, there are some fruit trees that are more dangerous than others and should be separated from horses as a precaution.
The other thing to consider is yourself! You might want some of those tasty apples before the horse gets to them all.
Apple trees pose no threat. Despite the seeds having a low level of toxicity, it’s almost impossible for a horse to eat enough to make itself sick.
Danger level: None.
Figs have latex in their sap when unripe, which can irritate skin. Fig trees produce a lot of sap, but otherwise pose no threat to horses.
In fact, because of the figs high sugar and omega content, it can be a great treat for your horse.
Danger level: Very low.
Orange & Lemons
Citrus is fine for a horse to eat, and is often an ingredient in livestock foods. It’s possible that the oil from citrus fruits will irritate your horse’s skin or eyes, but that’s rare.
It is possible for your horse to hurt itself on thorns when trying to reach leaves.
Danger level: Very low.
Loquats can cause some digestive problems if the seeds or leaves are eaten. This usually only happens if a large amount is consumed.
Danger level: Low.
Acorns aren’t particularly dangerous to horse unless they overeat them. It can cause colic (abdominal pain) at large quantities. Because horses are known for developing a liking for acorns, overeating is possible but doesn’t pose a long term health-threat.
Danger level: Medium – low.
Plum & Cherry Trees
Plum and sherry trees can produce a small amount of cyanide in the horse’s blood stream when digested. This usually doesn’t occur at a dangerous level, but if your horse has access to a lot of these trees, you might have reason for concern.
Poisoning results in problems with oxygen uptake, which will cause laboured breathing and lethargy.
Danger level: Medium.
Black Walnut Tree
The wood of the black walnut tree can cause laminitis (inflammation under the hoof) in horses. However, this is less of an ingestion problem, and more likely occurs it walnut shavings are found in bedding or sawdust.
Having a tree in close proximity to a horse is not a problem unless the horse is chewing the bark.
Danger level: Medium.
Red Maple Tree
These plants are uncommon in Australia, but fallen leaves can cause problem for horses. Eating them can burst red blood cells and damage the kidney. It is best to avoid having your horse near a red maple tree.
Danger level: High.
Avocados have a compound in them called persin. This is found in the fruit and the leaves and is extremely unhealthy for horses, causing swelling and potential death.
Horses should avoid avocado trees at all costs. And part of the tree or fruit are dangerous.
Danger level: Very high.
5 Things To Look For In A Heavy Machinery Shed
If you’re in the market for farming sheds or heavy machinery equipment, you probably have your own checklist of things that you take into consideration.
But if you’re looking to establish a long-term relationship with a shed building company, you need to make sure that their buildings satisfy a few criteria:
The most important factor for a shed or steel structure is its strength. Make sure that the building’s foundation are planted deep into the soil and that the frame is strong. Experience is important here; a business that has been around a long time will have engineers that always get it right.
What is the shed made of? Every building material can be substituted for a cheaper one, but this puts you at risk of dangerous building malfunctions, damages and wear.
The best materials are Australian materials, so make sure that your shed is built with them.
Ease of access is crucially important when building a shed. What kinds of machinery do you need to get in and out? Which direction will you approach the shed from? Are you able to back out your machinery, or will you need open access on both sides?
When in doubt, it’s a good idea to maximise your access points to ensure your building is as functional as possible.
Good builders & installers
Good, reliable workers are important to the success of your project. Try to find someone who has worked with them in the past, or look for testimonials on the company’s website.
Look for a company that engineers, installs and fabricates their buildings. The more control they have over the process, the more reliable they will be.
The surest way to a damaged shed is by hiring the cheapest company. Lower priced options manage to be that way because they opt for lower quality materials and less thorough installation processes.
Buildings and sheds are investments in your farm and you deserve the best.
To take a look at some of our previous projects, download one of our brochures at the top of our website. Get an online quote by clicking the button below.
What to do when your horse bucks.
A bucking horse can be a surprising, scary experience. But there are a few rules that can help you keep control.
The two most important things to remember are:
- Try to keep your horse’s head up.
A horse can only buck when it has its head down.
- Try to keep moving forward.
Bucking requires a horse to stop and plant their front legs into the ground. Moving forward prevents this.
A combination of these two things can often stop a horse from bucking.
It’s important to learn the indicators that your horse it about to buck so you can employ these two tactics.
What else do I need to remember?
Horses buck for a number of reasons, but it always indicates an irritable or fearful mood. Your main goal is to calm your horse down, so you need to be calm too.
The Last Resort Method.
If you aren’t able to stop the buck with forward movement and head-lifting, you can pull your horse’s head to the side so it comes close to your leg.
This will make it difficult for your horse to buck. It isn’t ideal for the horse, but it can help control severe bucking. Hold that position until your horse has stopped, then swap to the other side.
Dismount if it’s necessary, but try not to run away when you’re off, as that may scare the horse more.
Are there different kinds of bucking?
Sometimes a horse will buck because it has been spooked, in which case you may be able to lower your centre of gravity (heels down) and ride it out. Talk to your horse and try to make them feel comfortable and safe.
To find out how much it costs to build an indoor arena, read our article.