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"Poisonous" does not mean deadly. Some manifestations of toxicity are subtle. The dose, as always, determines if a plant is safe source of nutrients or a toxic hazard.

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BRIEF: What woods make good wood fiber for horse footing?

We've been looking into wood fiber footing for a riding area which is also used as a turnout area for our horses. Our concern is what woods are poisonous. We contacted our local vet, and they directed us to New Bolton Center. I did speak with a doctor in Toxicology, however, he was not very confident in answer. We do not want to jeopardize our horses lives in any way, and therefore, we are looking for confirmation of what wood fiber is safe for horses. I've heard that we should not use Walnut or Cedar. Is this true for footing? And what about Hickory?


I wouldn't use walnut, it definitiely causes foot problems in horses. Cedar I don't know. Hickory shavings aren't too common, but that is a really hard wood, so there are likely to be some irritating fines and if the chunks are big they might be really hard. Try it and see, I am only speculating.