Ideas On How To Address Clover
Red and White clover plants are non-toxic, but like most plants, they use clever biological weapons to protect themselves from being eaten en masse. Clovers use an onboard fungus to do this that contains the toxin slaframine, which is what causes problems in horses.
Particularly drooling issues as it affects the saliva glands.
Although not ideal, thankfully, this is not life-threatening. If this has happened to your horse, remove them from the pasture and feed a diet of low-sugar clover-free hay to replace the grass whilst the paddock is addressed - see below for ideas on how to do that.
Alsike Clover is another type of Clover with pink to white fading flowers that cause more serious conditions, including photosensitization, big liver syndrome and more.
Whilst it might be tempting to use an over-the-counter weed killer to address clover before you take that route, we advise you to research how glyphosate products can kill not only the soil's biome, making the soil deficit of essential minerals but also damage the microbiome within the horse's digestive system, which is essential for being able to break down and utilise the nutrients contained within the horses feed.
Horses cannot live without their microbiome, which helps perform several critical bodily functions, including digestion and synthesising vitamins and immunity.
Weed killers ingested through the soil and plant matter growing in those soils, even after many years since use, can disrupt the microbiome, which can cause health issues such as laminitis, diarrhoea, colic or colitis.
Due to this, using these traditional weed killers is more of a risk to our horse's health than the clover is, so we highly recommend NOT to use them.
Here is a list of some natural ways to address clover;
*Fertilise with 25kg organic seaweed meal per hectare to allow your grass to out-compete the clover
*Try, if at all possible, not to graze the paddocks too short, as that is when clover thrives
*Cross graze so other species eat the clover.
*Top dress all paddocks with lime at a state of 2T per hectare per application to make the soil more alkaline, making it a less favourable place for weeds, including clover, to grow.
*If there isn't much clover, you can spot weed killer with organic versions such as salt dissolved in hot water, cider vinegar, or organic pine oil weed killers, which are much safer for our environment and your horse's safety.
We hope this will give you some ideas on how to help manage Clover.