Spring Foraging

After a long winter it’s a welcome sight to see the grass, flowers and trees flourishing. Dull hedgerows are now vibrant and verges are full of different plants. I don’t know about you but I seem to only be able to successfully grow weeds in my garden… but this isn’t all bad as some things we deem as weeds have huge health benefit for our four legged friends (and us!).

Below are just some of the ‘weeds’ that are great to offer to our horses!

Cleavers (Sticky willy, Clivers, Sticky Jack, Catch weed)

An excellent herb for supporting and toning the lymphatic and

urinary tract systems. It is beneficial for horses who suffer soft

swellings and puffy/filled legs. It has also been used to treat

itching and eczema and improve coat condition.



When cut and dried, the nettle loses its sting and becomes a

really useful feed supplement. Cut Nettle supports a healthy

blood supply,cardiovascular system and circulation thanks to

high levels of iron, vitamin C and potassium. It also supports

the urinary system, particularly the health of the urinary tract.

It also helps manage healthy fluid regulation, flushing

chemicals and excess liquids from the body. Nettle also

acts as a conditioning supplement, helping to keep coats sleek,

support skin and sustain a healthy dappling.

Cow parsley

Horses can eat cow parsley because it is nutritious and

assists in digestion. It is believed Cow parsley also aids

the wound healing process and it has qualities similar to

fennel. It is common at the base of hedges and around the

edge of fields.


Wild Garlic

Wild garlic is considered to have fly repellent properties

as horses apparently excrete the sulphur contained in

the garlic through their skin. It has also been suggested

consumption of garlic helps maintain the intestinal bacteria

that play a very important role in the horses’ digestive processes.


Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle is rich in antioxidants and can be used to promote a

healthy liver function. Milk thistle will help to support the body’s

natural regeneration of new liver cell growth and, as a result, give

nutritional support for healthy hooves, healthy skin and the whole

immune system.




Dandelions are healthy food for horses, as it cleanses the blood,

this prevents skin diseases, laminitis, and Rheumatism. This weed

is also enriched with Vitamin A, B, C, and D. They also influence

appetite in horses and improves their digestion system. They also

promote natural urination & stimulates the function of the liver.

This also stores a good amount of minerals and copper. This is

required for proper and fast wound healing. Also, it promotes white

blood cell production and fertility.


Horses are believed to self-select so don’t be offended if they don’t take your rich pickings, they just don’t feel like they need it! They do not require buckets full of these weeds, just the odd hand full or a couple of sprigs will be plenty. If you are unsure what anything is please research it first before offering it to your horse  So next time you weed your garden, just be mindful of what you could be offering to your horse… you secretly have a free supplement cupboard, free from binders and fillers right on your doorstep!