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Our horse propety came with lots of small (6 inch diamater) trees on the pasture. Hopefully, they will provide cool shade for our horses, one day. If, that is, the ungrateful beasts don't strip them completely of the bark!! :D We have put thick plastic sleeves around the trunks, but the horses can still reach up to the lower branches. Any suggestions? Is there anything safe we can paint on the trees to discourage eating/stripping the bark from the trees?
 

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Maybe someone else will have a good idea, but I know of no way to protect the lower limbs unless you fence off the trees. If you have been protecting the trunk, you at least have a chance of keeping the tree alive while it's growing, cause once they strip the trunk, it's only a matter of time before the tree is dead. Good luck.
 

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I have heard of people putting motor oil, ivory soap, tabasco sauce, and many other things on trees or any wood that the horse likes to chew on. There's also a soap called Irish Springs, that is supposed to work really well. Apparently, the bark from trees contains very small amounts of salicylate. Which I read was beneficial.
My mare will only chew on wood if she's bored in her stall. I fixed that with a toy. She does also like to lick the wood fencing in her pasture. I've never seen her chew it, just lick.
 

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I have heard of people putting motor oil, ivory soap, tabasco sauce, and many other things on trees or any wood that the horse likes to chew on. There's also a soap called Irish Springs, that is supposed to work really well. Apparently, the bark from trees contains very small amounts of salicylate. Which I read was beneficial.
My mare will only chew on wood if she's bored in her stall. I fixed that with a toy. She does also like to lick the wood fencing in her pasture. I've never seen her chew it, just lick.
Thanks, I will try some of those. I think we managed to save the tree by covering the trunk before they stripped it all the way around. Would be nice to save the lower branches. Maybe the horses are bored. Haven't ridden them as much as I would like during our northern Nevada winter. There are three of them on the pasture, not stabled (access to stalls, of course) and they seem very happy. Have their mad moments racing around the field. The bark stripping goes on even immediately after I've worked them hard. Probably they just like it (like me and chocolate).:D
 

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If you put anything on the tree to discourage the horse from eating, make sure it is non-toxic to the horse.
 

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I assume they have lots of hay so they are just doing it because the trees are something different to chew on. That is the case with my mare.

Fencing is your friend. I found anything that you put on to stop chewing does not last well and they notice it is not working far sooner than you will notice.
 
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