The blessing in the pile of grass clippings

After posting Friday about how guilty I feel for abandoning my horse and only seeing him once a week, I took advantage of the sunshine on Saturday to go see him, clean the stall, brush him out, lunge him and take a bazillion pictures of him to last until my next visit.

Thank God I came up that day.

grass clippings bad for horses

This is what I found just inside his pasture. My parent’s have a lot of lawn and hire landscapers. My parents happened to be out of town these few days and had no idea the landscapers came for the first-of-the-year lawn trimming.

I understand this isn’t common knowledge, so I don’t necessarily hold it against the landscaper. But GRASS CLIPPINGS CAN BE TOXIC TO HORSES.

Yes, I’m screaming it. TOXIC!

To substantiate my claim, I checked and one vet stated this: “…the small particle size enhances the chance of rapid fermentation in the horse’s digestive system, which could potentially lead to colic or laminitis if he rapidly eats large amounts, especially if he is not used to being out on pasture. Also, if the clippings are left in large clumps, as so often happens when the grass is long when cut, and if heat/humidity conditions are just right, the clippings could ferment and mold, which is also potentially detrimental if the horse eats them.”

horse grass clippingsMy horse happily munched away on the clippings when I arrived. I chased him away (not an easy task when there is a pile of green grass actually not on the side of the fence—look at those hungry eyes…) and started scooping up the clippings into the wheelbarrow. Six wheelbarrow dumps later, it was gone.

The blessing in this?

I was there to catch it. I don’t know when the landscaper even dumped the grass clippings – if he had come Friday or Saturday morning. Had I come to see my horse on Sunday, he could have already colicked and died.

If you are a landscaper, or if you live next to horses and think they might like some of your delectable grass clippings, please note: DON’T!

Have you ever had any “close calls” where you know the timing could only be devine intervention? 



More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks

  • Wow, I had no idea about this, Nicole! Thank God you were there.