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What Horses Can and Can’t Eat

With summer now here horse owners love to give their four legged friends a cooling treat, but it’s important to know which treats are good for your horse.

When feeding your horse it’s always best to stick to a regular feeding routine and for your horse’s diet to consist mainly of grass or hay.

It’s okay to give your horse a treat now and again, whether it’s praise for good work or just a cooling treat in the summer. People may feed their horse treats that they don’t realise are harmful for them. There are also some foods that may surprise you, that are actually are ok for your horse to eat. It’s important that you know what foods these are. If you feed them the wrong foods it can cause your horse a lot of discomfort and pain, and even damage their digestive and urinary system.

It is always best to check if your horse is insulin resistant before feeding them anything containing sugar and you should always cut up other foods to avoid any choking hazards.

Foods you can NOT feed your horse
These are foods that you should avoid feeding your horse. These foods can cause your horse problems and can cause them to become very ill.

  1. Tomatoes  
    Tomatoes can cause constipation, they are a member of the toxic solanaceae family. Tomatoes also contain hyoscyamine which decreases saliva production and increases heart rate.

  2. Garlic & Onions
    Along with leeks, shallots and chives, these are members of the allium family and they can kill red blood cells.

  3. Chocolate
    Chocolate contains theobromine that can cause colic, seizure, metabolic derangements and internal bleeding. It also contains caffeine which can cause a horse to fail a drug test.

  4. Dairy Products  
    It’s best to avoid dairy products as horses are lactose intolerant.

  5. Bread Products
    Bread products can cause choke.

  6. Meat
    Horses are herbivores. Their digestive systems are not designed to eat meat and we are unaware of the long term side effects this could have.

  1. Rhubarb
    Rhubarb can damage digestive and urinary systems which can then lead to kidney failure caused by the calcium oxalates that it contains in its leaves.

  2. Potatoes
    If the potatoes are green or mouldy they can cause toxicosis and if eaten whole they can cause choke.

  3. Brans
    These can cause mineral imbalance and throw off digestion, causing diarrhea.

  4. Cabbage, Broccoli & Cauliflower
    These foods can all cause severe gas if eaten in large amounts.

  5. Stone Fruits  
    Stone fruits can cause your horse to choke.

  6. Avocado
    The skin, Stone and leaves are all poisonous to horses.

  7. Caffeine
    If your horse is competing caffeine can cause your horse to fail a drug test it can also cause an irregular heartbeat.

  8. Lawn Clippings & Compost 
    This can cause your horse to choke, it also may contain poisonous plants.

Foods That You Can Feed Your Horse

  1. Carrots

  2. Apples
    Without the core

  3. Pears
    Without the core

  4. Watermelon

  5. Plumbs
    Without the stone


  6. Apricot
    Without the stone

  7. Melon
    Without the rind

  8. Peach
    Without the stone

  9. Strawberries

  10. Mango

  11. Grapes

  12. Raisins

  13. Bananas

  14. Pineapple Pieces

  15. Oranges

  16. Green Beans

  17. Celery

  18. Sunflower Seeds

  19. Peppermints  


Feeding Your Horse Treats

Everyone loves a treat now and again and so do our horses. We often feed our horses treats in return for good work or praise when training and that’s fine. Some even give their horses a little treat each day and most of the time we do it because it makes us feel good. It’s good to treat your horse now and again, but there are some guidelines that you should follow.

The correct fruit and vegetables are a good treat for your horse as they taste great and are usually similar to the food that your horse eats in their regular diet. This means that the chances of upsetting your horse's digestion are less likely.

Treats should also be fed in moderation, feeding your horse too much can have a bad effect on their balanced diet. Treats are only treats when they are fed little and often.