Many of our equine patients have the luxury of being out on pasture, but the great outdoors contains its own specific health and safety issues. Here are tips you can share with horse owners to keep them safe around herbicides and pesticides.
Keep horses inside during application. At a minimum, horses will need to be off of pasture until the product dries, but often longer. Most products list those times on the label – if not, owners should contact the manufacturer for that information before applying any chemicals to the pasture.
Be careful about any potential drift. We encourage owners to cultivate a good relationship with farmers who work land adjacent to the pasture and also with the utility companies and the county road commissioner. If spraying next to a pasture is taking place, those people can alert the owners in good time.
The pasture needs to be evaluated for any toxic plants before spraying an herbicide. Many toxic plants that are normally not palatable and that the horses would have left alone may become much more tempting while they are wilted. That's because the sugars inside will free up and thorns or spines become less of an impediment.