- May 6, 2017
- Savanna Simmons
Hordeum murinum, more commonly known as Foxtail, can invade hay and, likewise, your horses mouths. More and more horses are being kicked out on green grass this time of year, but hay is still being fed, and what is being sold is the stuff being pulled out from the back of the barn. This isn’t a common weed necessarily, but horse owners should diligently check their hay before purchasing nonetheless.
The good news is that if a horse has a run-in with Foxtail, it can be removed, though it is not a pleasant experience for horse, owner, or vet. It buries into the gums and tongue and creates ulcers if left for prolonged. The ulcers heal on their own fairly quickly with daily rinsing if they don’t become infected. Your horse may continue to be sore for a few days while healing and not eat much.
If you notice your horse is looking skinny and not eating, check his mouth or hay for Foxtail. It is far easier to avoid the weed than deal with the after-effects of a horse consuming it.
About Savanna Simmons
I'm Savanna Simmons and I live north of Lusk, Wyoming, on the Four Three Ranch with my husband Boe and our sons, Brindle and Roan. I grew up evolving my horsemanship with clinicians like Ray Hunt, Joe Wolter, and Jack Brainard, but not within a...