Hi everyone! I'm getting a new horse after a year hiatus from riding. My good friend just bought a gorgeous new horse property she is moving her horses to in 2 weeks. My horse will be staying there periodically. It has had horses in the pasture for years with no problems. Today while we were walking the pasture she told me that a black thorn off one of the 20+ trees went through her shoe last week and she had to have a doctor remove it! They concerned me about our horses hooves having the same problem! So I research the trees and it turns out they are ALL Black Locusts which I read are highly toxic to horses! Having all the trees removed would be a HUGE expense I'm not sure she could afford off the bat. And the other horses never had a problem. Should we hold off on moving there? Anyone else keep their horses with these kinds of trees? Really quite concerned! Talked to a tree service who can prune them to minimize the thorns but are the trees themselves a serious problem? Thanks everyone!
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
Our property has locust trees of unidentified variety. The horses chew the seed pods with no apparent harm. But an elderly mare once got a thorn in her ankle and never got over the lameness. The vet was no help. I went through a vet school library seeking advice or studies about the problem but found nothing on locust trees or their thorns. I still don't know what part or parts of the tree are toxic -- leaves? bark? just the thorns? seeds? pods?
Seeds, leaves, bark and twigs of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), an introduced species, contain several toxic proteins that can poison all livestock types. Children have also been poisoned by ingesting parts of black locust trees that are often found growing near older rural buildings. The native honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) appears to be a safe tree. It is important to distinguish between the two locust tree species. The textbook entitled 'Trees in Canada' by John Laird Farrer is available in most bookstores and will help with tree identification.