Avoid Leafy Bites
You enjoy your autumn rides, because you like to see the changing seasons and shifting colors. Keep in mind that many of the leaves that look pretty to you are toxic to your horse. Consult your state extension office to find out what locally grown leaves, grasses and weeds are toxic to horses so that you can identify and avoid them on the trail.
Red maple leaves ( Acer rubrum) are poisonous when they’ve fallen and wilted; red oak leaves can contaminate still drinking water. Teach your horse not to nibble as you ride. Put him to work, asking him to follow your right, left, forward, and reverse cues.
If your horse does reach for a taste, bounce your reins away from the leaves, instead of pulling with continuous pressure. Rhythmic pressure doesn’t give your horse something to brace against and instead will encourage him to turn away. You may also need to reach down, grab one rein, and turn his head away from his snack. — Heidi Melocco