Horse safe and horse proof landscaping - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-30-2013, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Horse safe and horse proof landscaping

I want to add some landscaping around my barn and arena, but have run into some problems. Most of the plants I come up with are either on the poisonous list for horses or the horses gobble them up at the first opportunity. I am a lazy gardener, so I only want perennials.

I have done monkey grass around the back of the barn and a little mint. It works ok since most of the time if a horse is over there it is supervised. If you don't watch them they will eat the monkey grass and mint.
I think I am going to do blue rug juniper in the alley space between the arena and the pasture. It is non-toxic and I am hoping the spiny-ness of it will prevent them from eating it down. I have some day-lilies along some of the fence lines which they will not touch with a ten foot pole (they sniff it and walk away).

Now I am looking for something I can put on the north side of the barn. It is shaded the majority of the day, so the juniper and day-lilies are out. There are times when horses are out loose in that space, so the monkey grass is also out, too.

Any ideas? What do you have planted around your barn? Please post pics if you have them of your barn landscaping.
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-31-2013, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone out there with ideas?
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-31-2013, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Bloomfield, NM
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My horse ate an Austrian Pine, and I THOUGhT that would not look tasty to him. Lol. I let my horses mow my front lawn and they leave the roses alone. However they wont grow in the shade. Have you considered holly. I have not looked at toxicity on it yet. But the leaves are prickly and tough. Look for deer restant plants
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-31-2013, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Holly is poisonous. They may not try to eat it, but I am not going to take the chance.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-31-2013, 02:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Bloomfield, NM
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I can really only think of sun plants that horses will leave alone. I live in the desert and I can say that I have never seen a horse look twice at a yucca. Not sure if it would grow in the shade, it certianlly wouldnt bloom. Maybe some ground cover type sedums and succulents.
I have a heavily landscaped backyard and rarely my horses escape out into it. I never purposelly allow them to roam or graze back there since I dont want my flower beds walked through. Generally they head straight for my lovely ornamental grasses and leave everything else alone. They dont seem interested in the yarrows even though I use one variety as my "lawn" out back. Possibly iris as well.
You may have to just really creative hardscaping. Build a rock garden with just rocks and lovely pieces of driftwood. Maybe add some rustic fencing around it to block access and way back add some plants
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