On the lookout for Ragwort

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Hello

As with the majority of horse owners/keepers, I’m well-aware of the dangers of Ragwort.  I also take great care to make sure my horses paddocks are as clean and well-tended as possible. I do this by poo-picking every day, and generally checking the fields each day – pulling out any docks, and making sure fencing is safe and in-tact.  I try to rotate the grazing too so the fields don’t get over-grazed, and the grass has a chance to “recover”.

Despite all of these efforts though, Ragwort can still be a problem.  Unfortunately it’s a fact that Ragwort can often be found growing on roadside verges, and the seeds from a Ragwort plant  can be taken on the wind, and land some miles from where it started flying through the air!

In recent days, on checking my fields, I found a Ragwort plant in its “rosette stage”…..So perhaps not as easy to notice as when a plant gets mature with its yellow flowers.  Is definitely a case of needing to look down when walking the fields, (and not just watching the horses)!

I have a special fork designed for removing Ragwort (and it’s pretty good for digging up docks too!), and wearing a pair of gloves to avoid any danger to me, I dug the offending plant up, and am pleased to say now that it’s been burnt on a fire.    One less to worry about the horses eating.

I will continue to check the fields for any more Ragwort plants – as is definitely not worth the risk.

If you’re not sure why Ragwort is a problem, have a look at this article.  Having had a rescued equine who died as a result of liver problems – probably from having eaten Ragwort at a younger age, I believe it’s something all horse, pony or donkey owners should be aware of and try and prevent their animal from having the chance to eat it.

Until next time,

regards, Suzanne

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