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As you know we recently shared a really informative post on Sticky Willies, also known as Cleavers, Clivers or Goose Grass and also known as the tonic herb for horses.  It is easily found in hedgerows, amongst nettles but to be honest once I started feeding it to my horses I found it just about everywhere on my yard.

Health Benefits for Horses

This fabulous plant supports the lymphatic system and is a diuretic.  This means it is very good at flushing out the waste products, fluids, swellings and inflammation.  It is also very good for supporting the liver and kidneys and cleanses the blood


Our pony Winnie was recently quite unwell and had to be kept in the stable.  Poor Win had some inflammation so we filled hay nets for her with a mixture of sticky willies and wilted nettles.  She loved them.


Now nettles do get a bad rap, they always manage to sting you. They have tiny little hairs on the leaves and stems that inject histamine and other chemicals when touched.  Despite their fierce sting, they are packed full of benefits.  Once cut and wilted nettles lose their nasty sting and are a great source of Vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium.  Nettles are also considered a tonic and blood cleanser, which has been shown to be beneficial to horses suffering from sweet itch or other skin disorders

If you have nettles in your fields consider cutting them down and leaving them to wilt.  The next day they will all be gone as most horses love them.

Great plant snacks for horses

Another great plant for horses is cow parsley it is actually a member of the carrot family which is probably why horses love it. It is very nutritious and is said to have similar benefits as fennel in Black and white pony grazing on the verges with a gate in the distancethat it promotes good digestion and relieves flatulence, I mean, a horse can really fart!!!

It is also believed cow parsley also aids the wound-healing process and the respiratory system.

Recognising safe horse treats

When foraging for cow parsley make sure it is cow parsley that you are picking and not Hemlock as they both look very similar and are highly poisonous to horses and can be fatal.  These are the differences in the plants:





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