Autumn has arrived, along with some potential dangers to your horses and ponies. My field has two big oak trees that the Mabel and Diva love sheltering under in all weathers. However, this year the girls' favourite tree has outdone itself with the number of acorns it has produced. In previous years I haven’t worried about the girls and the acorns as it never produced many and they didn’t eat them.

This year it has literally thousands of acorns, and I have never seen such large ones. Unfortunately, I spotted Diva having a crunch on some of them. It soon became apparent that she was actively seeking them out despite plenty of grass and hay being available, and my concern grew when I noticed remnants of acorn in her droppings.

I had to do something to prevent her from eating so many that they would make her ill. Hence spending last Sunday fencing off the trees to stop the little devil from feasting on the acorns. It has certainly done the trick and I can rest easy, safe in the knowledge that my girls won’t be poisoned.

People also need to be aware of atypical myopathy or Sycamore poisoning as it is more commonly known. The seeds will be falling and, working at a veterinary hospital, we unfortunately see several cases each year.

As with most things, prevention is better than cure, so walk your fields at least weekly and take action – such as fencing off sections – if necessary.

Remember the virtual show Diva was entered in? Well, her lovely rosettes have arrived and she seemed to enjoy posing for her photograph with them. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to get a photo of Jackson wearing his as he has been turned out in a bigger field with Florence and is currently refusing to be caught!

As the nights draw in, horses and ponies begin to grow their winter coats. Diva is now sporting a very thick, velvety coat that seemed to grow overnight. She is still very shiny though.

Are your horses and ponies now woolly monsters? I would love to see photographs of them.  See you next time.

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