Hedging for horses: Horse-friendly Plants for your Paddock

Plants are good for wildlife and nature, right? But which ones are safe for horses and grazers? Are some best to avoid?  Hedgerows are a great source of forage for our equine friends, as well as providing boundary and field protection.  Need help choosing the right plants? We’ve got it!

Few sights better typify a British country landscape than a canvas of field hedgerows and horse pastures.   In this updated horse-friendly blog, scroll down for our horse-friendly plants selection and check out what you should look for when planning your horse-friendly hedgerow.  Also, you may qualify for a Countryside Stewardship Grant for your hedge plans – find out more now before the application window closes in March 2016.

We know that a natural landscape is a great place for horses.  But did you know there are some REALLY horsey landscapes, galloping across Britain that you might want to discover?  Here are just some we’ve unearthed…


Westbury White Horse, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire


Sultan Pit Pony, Caerphilly

UffingtonWhiteHorseUffington White Horse, Oxfordshire

Osmington White Horse, Weymouth, Devon


Folkestone White Horse, Cheriton Hill, Kent

HeatherJanschDriftwoodSculptureHeather Jansch Driftwood Sculptures, Dartmoor

HEDGING – Safe for horses, great for boundaries
Horses love to forage and graze so always give careful consideration  to the plants you select for your paddock hedgerows and trees.   We’ve picked up our perfect paddock plants, safe for building a natural boundary and providing a dietary boost to your ponies, if they fancy a nibble.

TREES– Shade for horses, great for shelter

In the wintry months, established trees create invaluable shelter spots for horses, giving them welcome respite from the wind and rain.   For shade in the summer and a place to get a break from flies and insects,  trees and hedging can provide a handy stop-off point, too.


Unfortunately, there are some species that are harmful to horses.   Acorns can be poisonous to them, but there’s no need to panic if you already have oaks in the vicinity.  Just make sure all acorns are raked up swiftly or perhaps consider temporary fencing to keep hooves away when they fall in the autumn.

Steer clear of the following varieties in particular: Oak (because of the acorns), privet, rhododendron, laurel, yew, box, broom and sycamore maple.

Giddy up!  We’re off to find out more about Pasture Management for horses by visiting the British Horse Society website.

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2 Responses to “Hedging for horses: Horse-friendly Plants for your Paddock”

  1. TJ says:

    Handy article! Using some temporary electric fencing is one way to keep grazing horses away from oak trees and acorns. Horses can eat them by accident but some of them may developing a liking and seek them out. I’ve recently written a blog post about using electric fencing too http://www.equisupermarket.co.uk/blog/electric-fences-for-horses/

  2. Anne Clarke says:

    Great article! I support my clients (equestrian centres) with applying for funding like this. As well as many other pots of funding for sport/rural business. Very useful to make contact with you!

    Anne Clarke

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