Vine-ripened tomatoes are one of the delights of summer, but if you grow your own, you’ll want to keep your horses away from these plants. Part of the Solanaceae family, tomatoes are related to nightshade, horse nettle and other toxic plants. The green parts of the tomato plant contain an alkaloid that slows gut function. Signs of toxicity include colic and diarrhea. Horses generally do not like the taste of tomato plants, so they aren’t likely to eat enough to become ill. But just to be safe, plant your tomatoes in a secure, fenced area.
This article first appeared in EQUUS issue #452, May 2015.