There are some things that just shouldn’t be anywhere nears horses, and one of this is yew trees. Often found in churchyards and producing beautiful specimens, nevertheless yews are lethal to horses and cattle and have been known to kill them in seconds. Horses have died with yew leaves in their jaws.
So if you have a yew tree anywhere near your paddock call a local tree surgeon to get it instantly removed as it’s just not worth the risk.
Another tree that can cause problems is oak. Horses often eat the young leaves, which probably won’t do any harm, but the danger comes in the autumn if they eat the acorns. A few are ok, but some horses get a taste for them so you need to fence off the trees or pick up the acorns regularly if you hear your horses crunching on them. The toxicity of acorns can build up in the horse’s body and damage their liver. Again, not worth the risk so make sure you act and protect your horses.
In Winchester, where we lived for a while, there was a company that specialised in inspection of horse paddocks. They had knowledge of any plants and shrubs that might cause upset to your equines and would remove things like ragwort that can make them sick. Winchester tree removal services would then be employed to fell any obnoxious trees to make the paddock safer.
Hedge cutting is another job that needs to be undertaken, particularly if hedging is the only boundary for your fields. Horses love to eat a variety of hedge plants but that may lead to destroying areas and creating gaps through which a horse may be able to push. Since your horses must be contained for their own protection, please ensure your hedges are always kept trimmed to ensure they remain solid and neat.