Is it okay to give horses specific snacks, fruits, and vegetables? The safety of providing goodies to horses is a worry because they typically eat anything we put in front of them.
As long as you take the proper precautions, feeding your horse various fruits and vegetables is safe.
Some foods a horse’s sensitive digestive system is not designed to tolerate, even though it may seem that whatever a person can eat is natural and should be healthy for your horse.
Before giving a treat to your horse, consult with a dependable expert, such as your veterinarian, if you have any doubts about whether it is safe.
Here is a thorough list of popular fruits and vegetables that most people keep on hand, along with information on whether or not you can safely feed them to your horse and instructions on how to do so.
Just remember that everything in excess can be hazardous, so use moderation. Please read the section on crucial safety precautions at the end of the article.
Vegetables Horse Can Eat
Similar to people, horses may have diverse treatment preferences. However, most horses will like at least some of the following veggies as treats.
Most horses enjoy eating turnips, swedes, parsnips, beets, corn, and radishes—like the beautiful crunch these goodies offer.
Some horses also prefer celery, lettuce, kale, collard greens, spinach, and chard for their leafy green crispness. These treats are simple to feed because they resemble the greens, leaves, and soft stems that make up the horse’s natural diet.
Snow peas, cucumber, green beans, squash, and broccoli are a few less common but still good choices. Some of these options may not be to your horse’s liking, but if he does, you can feed them to him without worrying about harm.
Fruits Horses Can Eat
Horses will have their own opinions about the fruits they like, just as they do about vegetables, however, many horses prefer fruits over vegetables overall—most horses like apples, pears, peaches, and watermelon, which are perennial favorites.
Any one of these could be regularly given to horses as treats, depending on where you are from.
Fruits like bananas, cherries, grapes, cantaloupe, apricots, plums, blackberries, strawberries, raisins, and mangoes are additional goodies that the majority of horses adore.
To prevent choking dangers, make sure to remove the pits and seeds from these fruits before feeding them.
Horses can safely eat citrus fruits and other foods high in vitamin C including oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines, as well as, if your horse has a taste for the exotic, pineapples and coconut.
A few notes about fruits
- You can feed bananas with the peel as long as you cut off any woody stems that could cause choking.
- Horses can be fed pineapples, but only if the core and skin are removed and the pineapple is fed in little pieces.
- Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and others should be fed in small slices with the peel removed.
- Horses can be fed little bits of coconut meat but not the husk.
- Horses can be fed cherries as long as the pit and stem are removed, split the cherry in half, and then feed them.
- Horses can eat pumpkin meat, seeds, but not the peel.
Fruit treats for horses who are prone to weight gain should be kept to minimal portions because fruits are naturally high in sugar and calories.
Do NOT feed the following fruits and vegetables to horses
Horses’ digestive systems are more delicate than those of humans, so some fruits and vegetables can be poisonous to them.
Always consult a veterinarian before giving anything to your horse if you are unsure or have any concerns.
- Other gas-producing vegetables or other foods in the nightshade family
What other Treats Can Horses Eat?
Many people like to give their horses the goodies they already have on hand, but there are many various kinds of treats that are manufactured specifically for horses that can be bought at your neighborhood feed store or any of your preferred online retail stores, like Amazon or State Line Tack.
Pre-made horse treats, like Mrs. Pasture’s Cookies for Horses, provide your horse with a delectable, natural, and secure reward. Additionally, you may buy sweets in a variety of tastes, including molasses, apple and oat, carrot, and peppermint.
You can also prepare your own horse treats at home, giving you complete control over the ingredients and sugar content.
Some Treats to Avoid
Nevertheless, there are several items you should never give your horse, regardless of how fascinating he may find your chocolate bar or potato chips.
First off, chocolate and other sweet foods are terrible for your horse’s teeth. He doesn’t brush as often as you do, which increases the likelihood of plaque and cavities developing from modest quantities.
Additionally, much as some fruits and vegetables cannot always be effectively digested by horses, feeding them non-equine-specific meals can result in colic or other digestive problems.
Chips’ form and texture might make them a choking hazard as well. It should be a top priority to keep your horse healthy, and candy, crackers, and chips are not good for them.
Important Safety Notes
Any dietary adjustments for your horse should be made gradually, and any issues should be brought up with your veterinarian. It’s crucial to realize that giving horses treats on a regular basis can result in weight gain.
Treats with a lot of sugar can cause unhealthful weight gain. Fruits in particular should only be consumed in moderation due to the likelihood of colic.
Too much variance from the typical food might cause an imbalance in a horse’s delicate digestive system, which can result in colic.
Remember that horses cannot vomit or throw up like people can, so any substantial food pieces that become stuck in the esophagus can be harmful and necessitate veterinarian attention.
When letting your horse out near fruit trees that could drop ripe fruit on the ground, use caution. They’ll devour too much food too fast, putting themselves at risk for colic or founder.
Horses are especially sensitive to persimmons. Therefore, avoid turning out any existing persimmon trees in your horse’s pasture during the fall when the fruit is dropping if they cannot be removed from the field.
Treats are a simple method to satisfy our horses, and we all want to see them happy. However, unlike humans, horses are unable to make wise decisions regarding the amount and type of food they consume.
Horse owners should choose wisely regarding the amenities they provide for their animals.