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.
Five Things That Can Ruin A Good Horse Arena
Horse arenas are a big investment of time, money and effort. They’re also a big decision to make; if you’re considering building a horse arena, you have to be a passionate person. So it matters that you get it right.
Avoiding these five things will ensure that your arena stays useful and in good condition.
If you arena floods when it rains, it’s going to be unusable for days. It will take time and effort to get things back to working order and you risk doing permanent damage (flooded surfaces can shift underfoot).
Indoor arenas generally solve this problem, but poor drainage can cause problems.
If you don’t have ceiling vents or large sliding doors, it will get stuffy and uncomfortable in your arena. This one is particularly dangerous because it’s easy to overlook. A lot of people focus on the design and the visuals of their arena without considering air flow.
The problem can be (and often is) made worse by dusty arena surfaces and stalls in the same building. There nothing worse for the health and enjoyment of riders and their horses. Poor ventilation can make a great arena nearly unusable.
If an arena doesn’t let light in, everything will be made more difficult. Most people get this right for the main arena, but when it comes to tack areas and stalls, they’re often left with dark areas.
Lighting should be a high priority right from the start. The difference between an arena designed for natural light and a collection of ugly florescent lights is unbelievable. It’s such a shame to see good horse arenas ruined by this.
Different kinds of arenas need different surfaces. Don’t have a dusty surface indoors. Don’t use a sprinkling system on rubber surfacing.
When the surface is wrong, it’s uncomfortable for riders, horses and guests and makes it harder to enjoy the arena.
Limited access points.
You will never regret putting in an extra access point. You will regret not being able to fit vehicles into your indoor. The difference is huge, though easy to overlook when you’re planning. If you think there’s any chance you’ll need to get a vehicle into your arena, install a roller door. Arenas without it make things much more difficult for everyone.
You should always have light switches near doors. There’s nothing worse than fumbling your way across a dark room to get to a light when you’re working late at night.
Indoor Riding Arena in Samford, Queensland
We recently built a spectacular indoor arena in Samford, Queensland.
The incredible scenery around the property made the project extra impressive, with forest-covered hills enclosing the perfect riding sanctuary.
Take a look at the photos below or find out how much a project like this costs.
Early concept drawings during planning stage:
Find out what your projects would cost: