Weve always had it - although having paid out shed loads for land drains and spraying it with Garlon, we seem to have it more or less on the backfoot! Its never been a problem for the horses - although we dont cut hay of of the paddocks just to be on the safe side.
can you direct me to the evidence of it being "V. poisonous" then? Ive been grazing fields with it in for 5 years and my horses are fit and healthy... what are the symptoms of poisoning for marestail?
It is a grass at the end of the day and it dies off every year during the summer and the winter. Its roots can be 100's of metres deep so its is virtually impossible to eliminate. The spored are carried on the male stalk (looks like asparagus spears) so fencing it off wont help you. It spreads like wild fire Im afraid.
I googled "horsetail maretail poisonous to horses" and there are loads of sites stating that it is poisonous (but mostly when eaten in hay or bedding). Apparently it poisons in much the same way as bracken, which is interesting, as New Forest ponies eat copious amounts of bracken seemingly without any problem!!
I have horsetail and have killed it with a strong solution of Depitox.
I've read that you need to have them ingest it as a third of their intake for ill effects but that may be complete tosh. I did think I would speak to my vet and see whether he ever comes across poisoning cases.
I have it everywhere and the do eat it, though I also pull lots and lots up all the time, I'm hoping that over time I'll reduce it and that in the meantime there won't be any nasty effects.
The sectiona youngstock which ahve grazed my fields for years and this year stripped massive amounts of it off the fields, have apparently never suffered any ill effects.
I am concerned about it but aim to stop them eating too much and keep my fingers crossed in the meantime
I only had one pony that used to eat it a lot, and she had to be retired as she kept turning somersaults. I have no idea if this was caused by the mares tail or by something else. My ohers leave it, but we do top it.
My young horse eats ivy, drives me mad!