The Equine Expert

Pollen allergies in horses and the most common triggers
By Tanja Schnuderl

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Spring allergy season has officially begun and horses can be affected by pollen allergies, just like humans. Pollen from various plants and trees can cause respiratory issues, such as coughing, wheezing, and nasal discharge in horses. The types of pollen that trigger the strongest reactions in horses can vary depending on each individual horse and its sensitivities. However, there are some types of pollen which are known to commonly cause allergic reactions in horses:

  • Ragweed: Ragweed pollen is a common allergen that can trigger respiratory issues in horses.
  • Trees: Pollen from trees such as oak, maple, and birch can be problematic for horses with pollen allergies.
  • Grasses: Pollen from grasses, such as Timothy grass, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass, can also cause allergic reactions in horses.
  • Weeds: Weeds such as pigweed, sagebrush, and plantain can produce pollen that triggers allergic reactions in horses.

It is important to be aware of the types of plants in your area that produce pollen and monitor your horse for any signs of allergy symptoms during peak pollen seasons. Consult with a veterinarian if you suspect your horse may be suffering from pollen allergies. Working with a veterinarian can help determine specific allergens that may be affecting your horse and develop a management plan to reduce their exposure to these triggers and provide appropriate medications to help alleviate symptoms.

Tanja Schnuderl is the Director of International Services with The Equine Expert LLC, a multi-discipline equine expert witness and consulting firm with expert equestrians offering legal expert witness and consulting services in court cases and legal matters. Tanja is an expert on Barn Management and Horse Behavior. She was the barn manager at several boarding facilities and a private training facility of a FEI Dressage rider before taking over as Director of The South Carolina Equine Park, an established multi-discipline equine facility which hosts about 30 horse competitions each year. In 2024, she transferred the operational park management to her successor and was appointed as board member. Tanja now provides barn management services at Westphalians for USA LLC, a German Warmblood breeding facility for high-quality sport horses, She has established her own equine appraisal company, Sigma Equine LLC. Tanja grew up in Germany and was a paralegal for many years.  For more information on Tanja Schnuderl email or visit


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