After the tragic death of her foal, horse owner Stephanie Arrowsmith is determined to spread the word about the dangers of the public feeding treats.
If your horse pastures border a road or public area, your horses escaping and getting into traffic aren’t the only danger that you have to worry about. Horses are highly attractive to people, and strangers tend to feed horses treats. But feeding treats to your horses can endanger your horses’ health.
That’s just what happened to Stephanie Arrowsmith, and now she’s determined to spread the word about this dangerous practice.
Arrowsmith, of Durham, England, was the proud owner of a beautiful foal named Beyli. But back in September, Arrowsmith’s dreams for Beyli’s future were cut short when she received a call from the RSPCA alerting her that they got a call about the foal appearing to be in distress.
When Arrowsmith raced to Beyli’s pasture, she found the foal on the ground amidst a pile of cut-up turnips. The foal appeared to be choking.
Arrowsmith took quick action in getting Beyli the treatment that he needed, but the stress of the choking seemed to have prompted a colic episode. Unfortunately, Beyli couldn’t be saved and had to be put to sleep, ending his life tragically young.
Now, Arrowsmith wants to inform the public about the dangers of feeding strange horses that they don’t know. People who don’t know about horses’ specialized diets may feed them foods which are inappropriate for them, like grass clippings, or they may feed them too many treats, causing metabolic issues or choking episodes.
It’s important to note that some horses have diseases like Cushing’s disease. Eating sugary treats like apples can send the horse into a metabolic episode. Improper treats like grass clippings quickly ferment, causing deadly colic episodes. Introducing any strange food to a horse can cause digestive issues, and since horses’ digestive systems are so sensitive, upset can potentially cause that animal’s death.
Arrowsmith has had issues with the public feeding her horses over the fence before, and she had posted signs requesting that people not feed the horses for their safety. Her signs had been torn down, and as Beyli’s tragic death indicates, the practice of feeding the horses had continued.
Arrowsmith has posted a firmly worded note including a bit about Beyli’s story, but two days later found chopped carrots in the same pasture.
So, what can you do? If you have horses at home, talk with your neighbors and inform them about the importance of not feeding treats. Post signs to help inform passerby about how feeding treats can negatively affect your horses’ health. And be sure to share this article to help inform the general public.
We just might be able to prevent another horse from suffering Beyli’s fate.
All images: Express.co.uk