The Big Reasons Not to Feed Local Horses Grass Clippings
As every Hudson Valley resident knows, it's basically the law to say "ohh, horses!", every time you pass a pasture. What many might not know, however, is how dangerous a seemingly harmless treat can be for our hooved friends.
Horses eat grass like a bear s***s in the woods, but it's important to let them find their green snacks themselves. Feeding your local horse grass clippings can have a devastating effect.
Don't Feed Grass Clippings to New York Horses
First, wild or domestic, you should never feed an unknown animal, but there are a few extra reasons why dumping your grass clippings for the neighborhood horse to munch is a bad idea. It has everything to do with self control... and their stomachs.
Grass Clippings Can Harm Your Horse
Even though horses eat grass, they never have access to such an abundance at one time. Just like most things, eating grass is better in moderation. Too much at one time can spell disaster. From Kentucky Equine Research:
Excessive intake [of grass] results in a high rate of fermentation in the hindgut. Accelerated hindgut fermentation can produce increased amounts of volatile fatty acids, which, as their name implies, are quite acidic.
This can cause very painful conditions, like laminitis, a severe situation in the horse's hoof that can often lead to euthanasia. It can cause another problem that many humans can relate to as well.
Gorging on Grass
Like many people, individual horses can be known to be fast eaters. While grazing naturally slows down any speed-eaters, a pile of grass might as well be an invitation to gorge on a buffet. Large clumps of the grass that are gulped down can cause a severe choking hazard, not to mention that damp grass piles are a prime spot for mold to grow.
Luckily, the Hudson Valley is the home to many amazing equine friends. While you shouldn't feed any of them grass, apparently one hooved-hero likes to take a drink of Guinness! Meet him below, and keep scrolling to see the horse that was rescued from a backyard pool.