What Can Horses Eat?

Horses have very specific dietary needs because they are herbivores, and have a unique digestive tract quite different from ours. Their long digestive system requires a high-fiber diet that is consumed in small amounts over a long time period. Rather than a few large meals like we should eat, horses eat many, many small meals. Horses actually spend most of their time eating! Here is a quick rundown of what horses eat and a few things they shouldn’t.

Pasture grass isn’t necessarily the problem; the type of horses we’ve developed and the lack of exercise are. Thomas Sbampato / Getty Images Oats are a traditional grain fed to horses.

The seed head of grasses would be the closest thing a wild horse would come to eating grains in their natural environment. Grain also doesn’t require the chewing time or contain the silica grass does and this can contribute to things like ulcers and dental problems . Concentrates are usually a mixture of things like grains, flaxseed, beet pulp , molasses for energy and flavor, bran, vitamins and minerals, and other ingredients.

Concentrate mixes, like grain, help make up for any shortfall in nutrition and provide a quick source of energy. These tidbits may include things like apples, carrots or other favorite fruits or vegetables, handfuls of grain, sugar cubes or candies, or sometimes odd things like a bite of a hot dog or boiled egg. Of course, a horse won’t make the connection to the hamburger they ate an hour ago and the discomfort they’re having now, so they’ll probably eat any food they like over and over again.

What human food can horses eat?

Almost any fruits, and many vegetables, are safe treats for healthy horses. Apples and carrots are traditional favorites. You can safely offer your horse raisins, grapes, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe or other melons, celery, pumpkin, and snow peas.

What are horses not allowed to eat?

Caffeine: Coffee, tea and cola contain the stimulant caffeine (trimethylxanthine) which can cause an irregular heart rhythm..Chocolate: ….Garlic and onions: ….Tomatoes: ….Fruit seeds and pits: ….Dog and cat kibble: ….Potatoes: ….House plants:

What human food is bad for horses?

Caffeine. While tiny amounts of caffeine probably won’t hurt your horse, you should still avoid giving him any foods that have caffeine in it. ….Avocado. ….Fruits with Stones (or Pits) ….Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli. ….Bran Products. ….Potatoes. ….Rhubarb. ….Meat Products.

What food kills horses?

Chocolate. ….Persimmons. ….Avocado. ….Lawn Clippings. ….Fruit with Pips and Stones. ….Bread. ….Potatoes and Other Nightshades. ….Yogurt and Other Dairy Products.

Horses have a rather complicated digestion system which has bacteria and microbial of its own. Other than usual pasture grass, hay, and some grains, you can surely give your horse some treats. However, you should be careful. When choosing the treats, you should consider the health of your horse. Horses love eating almost any sweet thing you can offer them, they always ask more and more, but you should say no when it keeps asking even after you give enough amount of treats. Otherwise, the balance of the digestion system can be broken.

A healthy horse should eat small amounts of food in frequent time periods. Some horses tend to swallow small treats without chewing.

We recommend you to slice the treats, especially bigger ones such as melons, into smaller pieces before feeding your horse. Here are the safe vegetables and fruits that you can give your horse as treats: And here are the unsafe vegetables and fruits that you should avoid giving them to your horse:

As we mentioned above, the digestion system of a horse is complicated and delicate. If you like to treat your horse, you can also check out our store for some very unique tack!

Ask any horse owner or equestrian and they will tell you how much fun it can be to give their horse a special treat. However, feeding your horse the wrong thing can have dire consequences. By educating yourself on the various foods that your horse can safely eat, as well as those that they cannot, you can give them a special treat without worrying about the outcome.

Offering too many treats to your horse may cause them to refuse their normal diet which provides them with the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need to stay healthy. It is also wise to cut apart hard fruits and vegetables or anything that is round in shape so your horse is able to eat it more easily.

Apples (without the core) Applesauce Apricots (without the stone) Bananas Carrots Celery Cucumbers Grapes Green Beans Lettuce Mango Molasses Melon (without the rind) Oatmeal Oranges Peaches (without the stone) Pears (without the core) Peanut Butter Peppermints Pineapple Pieces Plums (without the stone) Pretzels Pumpkin Raisins Snow Peas Strawberries Sugar Cubes Sunflower Seeds Watermelon After feeding your horse a new type of food, you must observe them for a few hours to ensure that they do not have an allergic reaction. Not only can some foods cause intestinal discomfort and distress, but some can also lead to more serious digestive problems or even death.

Avocado Bran Bread Broccoli Brussel Sprouts Cabbage Caffeine Cauliflower Chocolate Compost Dairy Products Garlic Kale Lawn Clippings Meat Onions Potatoes Rhubarb Stone Fruits Tomatoes If you know or suspect that your horse has eaten something on this list or anything else that causes concern, it is best to contact your equine veterinarian. While there may not be much they can do to relieve your horses discomfort, alerting them of the situation prepares them for any potential calls if other problems arise.

Remember that your horse is ultimately your responsibility, it is your job to protect their comfort, health, and wellness. In addition to being a delicious way to celebrate a successful day, celery provides your horse with an extra dose of vitamins. Because it is a hard vegetable, it is important to cut the celery into small pieces when feeding your horse.

Cabbage is in the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and kale, all vegetables that can cause intestinal gas in horses (and humans). Gas pains can quickly escalate in your horses, causing gas-related colic and intense discomfort. Lettuce is an inexpensive treat with high water content, making it an excellent addition to your horses diet.

If you are feeding your horse watermelon with the rind intact, it is important to cut it up into small pieces to avoid a choking hazard. As a sweet treat, pumpkin flesh can be fed to your horse in small chunks. Pumpkin is quite high in vitamin A and is made up of 90% water, making it an excellent addition to your horses diet.

Oranges, as well as other citrus fruits, can be a good source of vitamin C for your horse. In fact, researchers are conducting studies on the benefits of orange peel extract for a horses overall health. It is important to make sure that your horse is not insulin resistant before offering this type of treat.

They also have high water content and important antioxidants, great for boosting your horses immune system and hydration. Horses are true herbivores, with teeth and digestive systems created to ingest plants. Because cucumbers are both hard and round in shape, it is important to cut them up into smaller pieces to avoid choking.

Horses are known to enjoy cucumbers as a standalone treat or when added into their regular feed. Since you should cut up an apple to avoid choking, removing the core is an easy step to ensuring your horses health and safety. As with apples, you must cut the pears into small portions, removing the core and seeds to avoid issues.

Pears have high fiber content and contain many key vitamins and nutrients, making them an excellent addition to your horses diet. Because of this, it is crucial to track the amount of the fruit that you offer your horse in a week to not cause digestive problems. A sweet, water-filled treat, grapes are an inexpensive way to give your horse something special as a reward for their hard work.

Whether you accidentally fed your horse something they shouldnt eat or they got into food that was supposed to be put away, this situation can cause quite a bit of stress. While this shouldnt cause any additional problems, it is important to force them to stand if they begin to exhibit abnormal behaviors. In cases of extreme gas or intestinal distress, walking your horse could help to alleviate their pain.

Feeding your horse a well-balanced diet often means a combination of grains, fruits and vegetables. However, when feeding fruits and vegetables to your horse it can be difficult to know whether your horse can eat certain foods. It is easy to assume that horses can safely eat all of the foods we as humans enjoy. But they cant eat everything. So, we thought wed list the top 20 foods you didnt know horses could eat. Perhaps you can change up your horses diet and add in a few new food items!

Just like you would feeding other vegetables to your horse, always cut the celery into small pieces to reduce the risk of choking. Ripe pears are always preferable as they are nice and soft, making them easy for your horse to digest.

Horses adore citrus fruits such as oranges and they can eat the whole thing, including the seeds and the skin! However, it is important to be aware that citrus fruits naturally provide your horse with a lot of sugar, so dont feed them too much. This lovely fruit is the perfect little sweet snack for your horse and contains and excellent source of iron.

However, it is important to note that corn is also very high in starch and so too much can be problematic for your horses digestive system. Black oil sunflower seeds probably arent one of the first things that came to mind when you thought of foods you can feed your horse. Whats more, molasses contains 50% sugar so works great as a treat for horses that have a bit of a sweet tooth.

When feeding your horse green beans, always be sure to cut them into edible chunks to avoid the risk of choking. They often enjoy the crunch of a radish and like the taste, so these make an excellent alternative to carrots or apples every now and again. Horses enjoy eating peas and they make a great snack or small treat.

Small and edible, peas are a great source of vitamins A, D, and B-6, as well as calcium, iron and magnesium.

Foods That Horses Can & Can’t Eat

Whether you are feeding your horse celery or sugar cubes, it is important to remember that treats should be just that – treats. Any food outside of your horse’s normal diet should be provided in moderation. Many equine experts suggest no more than once a day.Offering too many treats to your horse may cause them to refuse their normal diet which provides them with the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need to stay healthy.Before feeding your horse sugar cubes or fruit with high sugar content, it is always best to make sure they are not insulin-resistant. If your horse is insulin-resistant, you will need to carefully select treats that have lower sugar content.

Foods That Horses Shouldn’t Eat

Horses, like humans, each have unique tastes. While one horse may love apples as a treat, another horse may decide that apples are not for them. For this reason, it is nice to have a list of foods that your horse can safely eat.It is important to make sure you are providing treats that your horse can safely eat. This means that you will need to remove cores, stones, or pits. It is also wise to cut apart hard fruits and vegetables or anything that is round in shape so your horse is able to eat it more easily.
After feeding your horse a new type of food, you must observe them for a few hours to ensure that they do not have an allergic reaction. While this is rare in most horses, it is a possibility.Many of these treats are also great for humans to eat as well! Check out our article 8 Human Foods Great For Sharing With Your Horse.

Common Questions Regarding a Horse’s Diet

There seems to be great confusion surrounding the foods that horses can and can’t eat. While some horse owners may say it’s acceptable to feed their horse cucumbers, others may advise against it. Here are some of the most common questions regarding treats to add to a horse’s diet.

Can Horses Eat Celery?

Because it is a hard vegetable, it is important to cut the celery into small pieces when feeding your horse. Giving them a full piece of celery could result in choking.

Can Horses Eat Pumpkin?

Many horse lovers also use cooked pumpkin in homemade horse treats, another fun way to reward your horse for a job well done!

Can Horses Eat Bananas?

Like pumpkin, mashed banana can also be added to homemade horse treats for added sweetness. As with any other treat, feed your horse bananas in moderation and monitor your horse after offering this treat for the first time.

Can Horses Eat Oranges?

Additionally, citrus fruits can negatively react with various medications or prescriptions so be sure to check any medication that your horse is taking before offering oranges as a treat.

Can Horses Eat Strawberries?

Most horses love the sweet taste of a strawberry. However, feeding your horse too many strawberries could result in bloating or intestinal discomfort.

Can Horses Eat Cucumbers?

Cucumbers have a high water content as well as a high nutritional value, benefitting your horse’s health while rewarding them for a job well done. In some horses, cucumbers may cause gas. For this reason, it is recommended to limit your horse’s intake to 1 or 2 cucumbers per week.

Can Horses Eat Pears?

Both apples and pears have high sugar content. Because of this, it is crucial to track the amount of the fruit that you offer your horse in a week to not cause digestive problems.

Can Horses Eat Grapes?

Because of their sugar content, you should never give your horse more than one pound of grapes per day. For horses with insulin resistance, you may need to limit grape intake to ten grapes per day.

Can Horses Eat Bananas?

Bananas are a healthy source of potassium for horses and are a fruit they really enjoy eating. Bananas are a very popular food for riders to give their race horses as they give that extra boost of energy. You can feed bananas to horses with the skin still on as the whole fruit is beneficial for their health.

Can Horses Eat Pumpkin?

Yes, horses love eating pumpkin and it is a safe vegetable to feed to horses – including the seeds! Some horses may not appreciate the taste of pumpkin, while others absolutely love it. Pumpkins are extremely high in Vitamin A and have a sweet taste, making them a great treat alternative to sugar cubes.When feeding your horse pumpkin, always check for any signs of rot or mildew as these can be poisonous for horses. Remove the stem and spoon out the seeds before cutting the flesh into small chunks. This will allow your horse to easily enjoy eating the pumpkin without the likelihood of choking.

Can Horses Eat Pineapple?

Many people assume that pineapple is an exotic fruit which is poisonous to horses. However, this sweet fruit is a treat horses love and is an excellent source of Vitamin C for them, too! When feeding your horse pineapple, take time to remove the core and the outer skin so that your horse does not choke on anything. Next, cut the pineapple into small quarters before feeding to your horse.

Can Horses Eat Celery?

Celery is a very well-known vegetable and is one that many people question about feeding to their horses. However, celery is very beneficial for horses as it contains a number of vitamins, including Vitamin K, manganese, Vitamins B2, B6, and A, and high levels of potassium.Horses can enjoy both the stem of the celery and the leaves safely. Just like you would feeding other vegetables to your horse, always cut the celery into small pieces to reduce the risk of choking.

Can Horses Eat Pears?

Yes, horses can eat pears and because of their sweet taste, they are often considered a favourite! Ripe pears are always preferable as they are nice and soft, making them easy for your horse to digest. When feeding a pear to your horse, remove the stem and the seeds first before cutting the pear into chunks for safe eating.

Can Horses Eat Grapes?

Among the many fruits that are safe for horses to eat, grapes are nearly at the top of the list. Just as we may consider grapes a lovely sweet snack, horses always enjoy the sweetness to grapes and are more than happy to eat them. What’s more, they are an easy snack for your horse to enjoy as they don’t require any de-seeding or chopping up. Both the grape and the seeds are safe for your horse to enjoy, so it doesn’t matter if you buy seedless grapes or not, your horse can eat either.

Can Horses Eat Oranges?

Horses adore citrus fruits such as oranges and they can eat the whole thing, including the seeds and the skin! Oranges are very beneficial for horses as they provide high amounts of Vitamin C. What’s more, orange peel has antioxidant properties and has been known to reduce oxidative stress. However, it is important to be aware that citrus fruits naturally provide your horse with a lot of sugar, so don’t feed them too much.

Can Horses Eat Cucumbers?

Yes, horses can eat cucumbers – a welcome answer to those of you with an overabundance of cucumbers growing in your gardens. Cucumbers are a fantastic source of vitamins such as A, K, and C, as well as potassium. What’s more, cucumber skin provides horses with a natural dietary fibre.Organic or home-grown cucumbers free from pesticides are the best option for your horse as they aren’t covered in chemicals that may be harmful, or even fatal, to your horse.

Can Horses Eat Coconut?

Coconut is probably one of the lesser common foods fed to horses, but being high in potassium, magnesium, and iron, coconuts are very beneficial for horses. To feed a coconut to your horse, slice the coconut open and remove the inner flesh, then cut the coconut into small pieces. Always remove the husk of the coconut as your horse cannot eat it.

Can Horses Eat Cherries?

Cherries are very good for horses as they are good sources of vitamins A and C, and are a great way to treat your horse to something a little sweet. To prepare cherries, wash them thoroughly, cut each cherry in half and remove the pit and stem before feeding to your horse.

Can Horses Eat Peaches?

Peaches are really enjoyed by horses and are an excellent source of vitamin A, potassium, and fibre. When feeding peaches to your horse, always take time to remove the stone and cut the peach into smaller, edible chunks to avoid the risk of choking.

Can Horses Eat Apricots?

Yes, horses can eat apricots. This lovely fruit is the perfect little sweet snack for your horse and contains and excellent source of iron. However, always remove the stone and cut into small slices before feeding to your horse. And be careful not to feed your horse too many apricots as it may cause an upset stomach.

Can Horses Eat Corn?

Corn is a brilliant source of potassium, vitamin B-6, iron, and magnesium for horses. However, it is important to note that corn is also very high in starch and so too much can be problematic for your horse’s digestive system. But when fed as part of a balanced diet, corn can be very much enjoyed by your horse and a beneficial part of his daily diet.

Can Horses Eat Raisins

Raisins are a fantastic treat to offer your horse on a regular basis as they have plenty of natural sugar and are sweet enough for your horse to enjoy. Nice a small, you don’t need to worry too much about your horse choking on raisins, but you need to be wary about feeding him too much as too many raisins can cause digestive problems and discomfort for your horse.

Can Horses Eat Molasses?

Yes, horses can eat Molasses. If you don’t know what this is, Molasses looks a lot like golden syrup and is basically a syrup that is leftover from the sugar production out of sugar cane or beet. It is an ingredient commonly used in horse feeds and has a number of advantages. What’s more, molasses contains 50% sugar so works great as a treat for horses that have a bit of a sweet tooth.

Can Horses Eat Green Beans?

Many horses love eating green beans as an occasional treat, you’ve just got to ensure that the beans are organic and have been grown without pesticides. Otherwise, they could be very harmful to your horse. When feeding your horse green beans, always be sure to cut them into edible chunks to avoid the risk of choking.

Can Horses Eat Lettuce?

While you wouldn’t go and make your horse a sandwich, lettuce is something he might enjoy. Lettuce is safe to feed to horses, however like many of the items on this list it is down to your horse’s preference as he may not like the taste or texture!

Can Horses Eat Radishes?

Horses can enjoy eating radishes as part of a well-balanced diet. They often enjoy the crunch of a radish and like the taste, so these make an excellent alternative to carrots or apples every now and again.