Thought 4the day: Sometimes along the road of life you do hit the odd bump or dead end or even take a wrong turn. Its the same for horses and ponies when it comes to homes thats why some end up being moved on and on and possibly one day ending up with a place like us or put to sleep unless someone actually (like some of you) takes the time to peel them like an onion and deal with each layer as it appears! They are worth it as underneith each layer you get closer to their heart, trust, soul and above all the real horse inside...
Quote 4the day: Horses can bite and kick but have you ever asked them why??
Fact4 the day: Mares tail, also called horsetail and scouring rush, it poisons your horse in a similar fashion to bracken fern.
All varieties of Mares tail are poisonous and they are often found near bogs and streams.
The term 'scouring rush' is due to the historical fact that the coarse stems were used to effectively scour dirty cooking pots.
Mares tail has a high concentration of silica in its tissue and sixteenth century Europeans used these scouring reeds to scrub pots and polish furniture. Native Americans and pioneers used mares tail to clean cooking utensils; some camping enthusiasts still use it for that purpose.
The leaves are reduced to papery scales with black tips that surround the stems at each node.
The stems are cylindrical, ridged and rough to the touch due to the high silicate content.
There are 2 types of mares tail stem.
Fertile stems are unbranched, and are tipped by a cone-like structure containing spores.
Infertile stems have multiple whorled branches at the nodes.
Mares Tail reproduces from both the deeply buried rhizome and from its spore bearing cones. Thesecones contain millions of spores.
The plant contains Thiaminase, which is the suspected toxin and also contains aconitic acid, polustrine and silicates. Mares Tail is rarely eaten except when dried in hay, but all species should be considered potentailly toxic to horses.
Dried Mares Tail - Common Poisoning
Most poisoning occurs when horsetail is cut and incorporated into hay which is then fed to horses and other livestock.
However, Mares Tail can remain green during the winter months and it may be eaten by horses if good grazing is in short supply.
Mares Tail (Equisetum palustre) the Facts
Equisetum palustre is poisonous to herbivorous animals, but not to humans.
It contains a vitamin B1-destroying enzyme which makes horses tumble, as well as the piperidine alkaloid palustrine, which can lame cattle.
Both of these substances are stable for years.
Mares Tail produces millions of spores in the summer.
The spores are spread by the wind (anemochory) and have four long ribbons attached to them. They sit on spore ears which are rounded on the top.
Suspected Mares Tail Poisoning.
Horses suspected of mares tail poisoning should immediately be taken off the hay or pasture containing the Equisetum and fed a nutritious diet.
Treatment with thiamine hydrochloride (1-2 mg/kg subcutaneously for several days) is beneficial in restoring thiamine levels to normal.
Feeding grain as part of the diet can produce a protective effect against the thiaminase.
Symptoms of mares tail poison :
Weakness and uncoordinated hind legs progressing to recumbencing.
Animals continue to eat relatively well.
Once the horse is down and cannot get up, the prognosis is poor because of muscle degeneration;
Horse may appear blind and have difficulty in seeing;
Central nervous system depression develops in the more severely poisoned horse;
Blood pyruvate levels may be elevated.
Horsetail / Mares Tail - Eradication
Horse or Mares Tail, Equisetum Palustre should be the equestrians public enemy number one.
It looks like it belongs in Jurassic Park and, unchecked, spreads like wildfire.