Horses can eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables including apples, carrots, celery, melons, green beans, and more. They may also enjoy treats such as peanut butter, oatmeal, or sugar cubes! It is important to always offer your horses treats in moderation, even if it something that they can safely eat.
What are the worst things to feed a horse?
- Fruit in Large Quantities. Many of us like to feed our horses apples for treats.
- Lawn and Garden Clippings. Lawn and garden clippings can contain several hazards.
- Cruciferous Vegetables.
- Moldy or Dusty Hay.
- Bran Mashes.
- Alsike Clover.
- Cattle Feed.
- Silage and Haylage.
What foods are toxic to horses?
What Foods & Plants are Poisonous to 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.
- Fruits with Stones (or Pits)
- Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli.
- Bran Products.
- Meat Products.
What foods can horses eat?
In simple terms, horses eat grass and hay or haylage, but salt, concentrates and fruits or vegetables can also enhance their diets, depending on the required work regime and available feed. Here’s our Horse Feeding Guide, containing a handy list of everything your average adult horse should eat to remain healthy.
What household items can horses eat?
Generally, horses can eat human foods such as fruits and vegetables like apples(without the core), raisins, carrots, bananas, celery, cucumbers, and grapes. However, they can’t eat human foods containing caffeine, chocolates, fruit seeds, pits, and things containing garlic or onion.
What should you feed your horse?
Many pleasure and trail horses don’t need grain: good-quality hay or pasture is sufficient. If hay isn’t enough, grain can be added, but the bulk of a horse’s calories should always come from roughage. Horses are meant to eat roughage, and their digestive system is designed to use the nutrition in grassy stalks.
Can you feed a horse Doritos?
LOL! Anyways, our horses love gatorade and soda of all kinds, along with apples, carrots, Nique likes to steal french fries from the kids (just don’t let her have to many), Funions, doritos, jellybeans (just never a lot).
Is bread good for horses?
There is no harm in occasionally feeding bread, but it is not the most nutritious feedstuff when used as the sole concentrate. While bread is chock full of calories, it provides few nutrients. When only bread is fed with hay, the major nutritional problem is an imbalance and/or deficiency of some minerals and vitamins.
Do horses like to be ridden?
Most horses are okay with being ridden. As far as enjoying being ridden, it’s likely most horses simply tolerate it rather than liking it. However, many people argue that if horses wouldn’t want us to ride them, they could easily throw us off, which is exactly what some horses do.
What Veg Can horses eat?
Horses enjoy celery, corn, lettuce, squash, sweet potatoes, and turnips. Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, too. For example, carrots are high in Vitamin A and celery is a good source of Vitamin K. Feeding these items in limited quantities is fine and your horse may actually enjoy the variety!
Can horses eat eggs?
Protein quality is exceptional because eggs have an ideal balance of amino acids. As for horses, eggs have been and still are a common addition to the Irish and English racehorse diet (along with a Guinness stout), and I met a three-day event rider in the United States that fed raw eggs as well.
How do you cut apples for horses?
Cut large produce into smaller pieces. Most horses will chew up their treats, but some like to just swallow them whole. To prevent choking, cut produce into chunks roughly the size of a grape. For instance, you can cut an apple into eighths.
Do horses eat cucumbers?
Your horse will undoubtedly love the refreshing taste of a crunchy cucumber in its feed. Thankfully, these vegetables are safe, for the most part. However, as with all foods, it is best to keep your horse’s cucumber intake in moderation, perhaps once or twice a week.
What treat do horses like?
Horses like to eat sweet treats, whether it be candy, fruits, or sweet grains. Some of their favorites include watermelon, apples, strawberries, bananas, and peppermints. But because of their complex digestive system, horses have to eat a certain amount of forage, and most like alfalfa hay the best.
Can I feed my horse just hay?
So to answer your question, yes, a horse can live on just hay and be perfectly healthy.
Can a horse just eat grass?
Horses can survive on grass, because that is what they were born to do in the wild, but wild horses only live about 10 years. Horses, if in work, need lots of vitamins and minerals that grass alone can’t give them. Many horse owners will feed them hay, and grain and a salt block to give them those nutritions.
Do horses need hard feed?
no,unless its needed for calorific content,ie to put or maintain weight [condition] on the horse. Most do well on hay alone and in the winter add a balancer,fed in a little chaff to ensure correct vit and min and essential amino acid [protein] needs.
Feeding Treats to Horses
August 7, 2014December 21, 2018 If you love your horse (and what horse owner doesn’t?), you probably like to feed him treats from time to time. Your horse is happy to gobble up whatever you offer him, and always wants more. Everyone at your stable has a different idea, however, on what sort of treats are best, which ones should be avoided, and how and when to feed treats. What’s the best answer? Horses are programmed to eat small amounts of food on a continuous basis, so your horse will ALWAYS want another treat, but for his well-being, learn to say no.
Almost any fruits, and many vegetables, are safe treats for healthy horses.
You can safely offer your horse raisins, grapes, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe or other melons, celery,pumpkin, and snow peas.
Remember to cut treats into smaller pieces before feeding.
- What not to offer.
- Some horses like chocolate and a small piece won’t hurt anything, but avoid it if your horse competes in events where drug testing is a possibility, as substances in the chocolate can cause apositive test.
- For all treats mentioned above, the best amount to offer is “not very much.” This means that one or two pieces of any treat will be enough.
- All treats add calories that most horses don’t need, but the more important reason to limit treats is because the horse’s digestive tract contains a delicate balance of bacteria and other microbes that are essential tointestinal function.
- Feeding too many treats of any kind can start a cascade of events that can easily end in colic or another malady.
- Treats can be fed by hand or by putting them in a bucket or feed trough.
- Using a bucket is probably safest, but if you want to feed by hand, put the treat in the middle of your flat hand and think about pushing it slightly toward the horse’s mouth rather than withdrawing your hand as he reaches toward it.
- Don’t get in the habit of feeding treats every day, and certainly don’t give your horse a treat on a regular basis such as after each lesson in the ring.
Take-home message. Small pieces, not too often, only a few at a time, don’t give in to those pleading looks. Your horse will be better off because you have limited his “extras” and fed treats only in moderation.
The Ultimate Guide to What Horses Can (And Can’t) Eat
Hin Health & Horse Tips was posted at 09:00 a.m. If you ask any horse owner or equestrian, they will tell you how much pleasure it can be to spoil their horse with a special gift on occasion. However, giving your horse the wrong food might have disastrous repercussions. It is possible to offer your horse a special treat without having to worry about the consequences if you educate yourself about the many meals that they may safely consume, as well as the items that they should avoid. What foods are safe for horses to consume?
- Additionally, they may like goodies such as peanut butter, oats, or sugar cubes!
- Learning the things that your horse may safely consume is even more essential than knowing the foods that they should not consume!
- In addition, we will address some of the most often asked questions about a horse’s nutrition that have been submitted.
- Any food offered to your horse that is not part of his or her typical diet should be done so in moderation.
- If you give your horse too many goodies, he or she may begin to reject their usual food, which supplies them with the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they require to be healthy.
- If your horse has insulin resistance, you will need to choose treats with a reduced sugar content to ensure that he does not get dehydrated.
Foods That Horses Can Safely Eat
Horses, like people, have individual preferences when it comes to food. While one horse may adore apples as a reward, another horse may determine that apples are not their favorite treat at all. As a result, it is beneficial to have a list of foods that your horse can consume without harming him. When offering treats for your horse, it is critical to ensure that they are safe for him to consume. This implies that you will have to remove any cores, stones, or pits that may have formed. If you are feeding your horse hard fruits and veggies or anything that is spherical in shape, you should chop them up beforehand so that your horse can eat them more readily.
- Peaches, Peaches (without the stone), Pears (without the core), Pineapple Pieces, Plums (without the stone), Pretzels, Pumpkin, Raisins, Snow Peas, Strawberries, Sugar Cubes, Sunflower Seeds, Watermelon
- Green Beans
- Melon (without the rind)
- Melon (without the rind
It is necessary to examine your horse for a few hours after giving them a new type of food to ensure that they do not have an allergic response to the diet.
Despite the fact that this is quite unusual in most horses, it is a possibility. Many of these snacks are also delicious for people to consume as well as for pets! Check out our article, “8 Human Foods That Are Perfect for Sharing With Your Horse” for more information.
Foods That Horses Shouldn’t Eat
It is critical that you and everyone else who comes into contact with your horse are aware of the consequences of feeding a horse something it should not be eating. While certain foods might induce intestinal discomfort and irritation, others can result in more serious digestive disorders or even death if consumed in large quantities. Listed below are a few items that your horse should never consume under any conditions:
- If you are giving your horse anything it shouldn’t be eating, it is critical that you and everyone else around you understand the risks. While certain meals might induce intestinal pain and irritation, others can result in more serious digestive disorders or even death if consumed in large quantities or at high temperatures. The following are some items that your horse should never consume under any circumstances:
If you know or think that your horse has eaten anything on this list or anything else that raises suspicions, it is important to call your equine veterinarian immediately for advice. However, while there may not be much they can do to alleviate your horse’s suffering, notifying them of the issue allows them to be prepared for any calls that may come in should further problems occur. Before you feed your horse something you aren’t acquainted with, you should conduct thorough study on the subject.
Keep in mind that your horse is ultimately your responsibility, and it is your obligation to ensure that they are comfortable, healthy, and happy.
Common Questions Regarding a Horse’s Diet
There appears to be a significant deal of ambiguity regarding the things that horses may and cannot consume. It is possible that some horse owners believe it is permissible to feed their horses cucumbers, while others believe it is not. Here are some of the most often asked questions about adding treats to a horse’s diet, as well as some answers.
Can Horses Eat Celery?
Yes! Celery stalks and leaves are both acceptable to horses as forage for them. The majority of horses adore this crunchy treat! Additionally, celery offers your horse with an additional dosage of vitamins in addition to being a delectable way to commemorate a great day. Celery is high in vitamin K, potassium, manganese, vitamin B2, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin A, among other nutrients. Because celery is a tough vegetable, it is essential that you chop it into little pieces before feeding it to your horse or pony.
Can Horses Eat Cabbage?
Under no circumstances should you allow your horse to consume any cabbage. Cabbage is a member of the same vegetable family as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and kale, all of which can produce intestinal gas in horses when consumed (and humans). Gas pains in your horses can become severe very rapidly, resulting in gas-related colic and acute agony. This has the potential to be lethal in extreme circumstances.
Can Horses Eat Lettuce?
Yes! Horses can eat lettuce without harming themselves. In fact, some horse owners opt to supplement their horses’ standard meal with lettuce on an as-needed basis.
Lettuce is a low-cost treat that has a significant amount of water, making it an ideal supplement to your horse’s nutritional needs. The majority of horses may consume up to two pounds of lettuce every day without experiencing any negative effects on their appetite.
Can Horses Eat Watermelon?
Horses may safely consume watermelon, as well as other types of melons. In fact, the sweet flesh of the watermelon is a favorite of most horses. Horses can eat both the meat and the rind of watermelons, however the flesh is preferred by the majority of them. If you are feeding your horse watermelon with the rind still on, it is critical that you chop it up into little pieces to minimize a choking hazard for the horse.
Can Horses Eat Pumpkin?
Some horses, like many other animals, are particularly fond of the flavor of pumpkin. Pumpkin flesh may be provided to your horse in little slices as a delicious treat to keep him happy. Despite the fact that pumpkin seeds are not difficult to digest for the majority of horses, they may not love the taste. Pumpkin has a high concentration of vitamin A and is composed primarily of water, making it an ideal complement to your horse’s nutritional needs. Cooked pumpkin is particularly popular among horse enthusiasts for use in handmade horse treats, which is another enjoyable way to reward your horse for a job well done!
Can Horses Eat Bananas?
Horses may comfortably consume bananas, despite the fact that they are not as prevalent as other fruits. In addition to potassium and magnesium, bananas contain vitamins C and D as well as other elements that are essential for human health. They are simple to consume and digest, and they have a pleasing flavor. Mash bananas, like pumpkin, may be used to sweeten homemade horse treats, and they can be used in the same way. Feed bananas to your horse in moderation, just like you would any other treat, and keep an eye on him after giving him bananas for the first time.
Can Horses Eat Oranges?
Vitamin C may be found in abundance in oranges and other citrus fruits, which can benefit your horse’s health. In fact, experts are now investigating the potential advantages of orange peel extract for the general health of a horse. It is important to note that oranges and other citrus fruits are rich in sugar content, which is a disadvantage. It is critical to determine whether or not your horse is insulin resistant before administering this sort of treat. Additionally, citrus fruits can have unfavorable interactions with a variety of drugs or prescriptions, so be careful to double-check any medications that your horse is on before giving him an orange as a reward.
Can Horses Eat Strawberries?
Horses may safely consume strawberries as long as they are consumed in moderation, according to the ASPCA. Among the nutrients in strawberries are vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, all of which are extremely useful to the health of your horses! Their high water content and antioxidant content make them excellent for improving your horse’s immune system and maintaining hydration levels. The sweet flavor of a strawberry is enjoyed by the majority of horses.
Can Horses Eat Meat?
Animal products such as meat are among the dietary categories that horses should avoid at all costs. Horses are real herbivores, having teeth and digestive systems that were designed specifically for the consumption of plants.
Horses have been reported to consume meat in the wild, and there are anecdotes about them. There have been no research conducted on the long-term consequences of meat consumption on a horse’s digestive tract.
Can Horses Eat Cucumbers?
Yes! Cucumbers, in fact, are one of the most beneficial treats for horses that are insulin resistant in nature. In order to avoid choking, it is vital to chop cucumbers into smaller pieces because they are both rigid and spherical in shape. Horses have been known to like cucumbers as a treat on their own or when they are included in their normal meal. In addition to being rich in water content, cucumbers are also high in nutritional value, which is beneficial to your horse’s health while rewarding them for a job well done.
As a result, it is advised that you restrict your horse’s cucumber consumption to one or two cucumbers each week.
Can Horses Eat Apples?
Apples are one of the most frequent treats for horses, and they are a necessary part of any barn’s supply. It is critical to remove the core from apples before giving them to your horse. If a horse consumes significant numbers of apple seeds, the seeds can be hazardous to the animal. Because you should break up an apple to avoid choking, removing the core is a simple action to do to ensure the health and safety of your horse.
Can Horses Eat Pears?
Pears are enjoyed by the majority of horses in a similar way to apples. As with apples, you must chop the pears into little pieces, eliminating the core and seeds, in order to avoid any problems with the fruit. The high fiber content of pears, as well as the presence of several essential vitamins and minerals, make them a wonderful complement to your horse’s diet. Both apples and pears contain a significant amount of sugar. As a result, it is critical to keep track of how much fruit you give your horse each week in order to avoid causing stomach issues.
Can Horses Eat Grapes?
Horses may comfortably consume both seeded and seedless grapes due to the fact that grape seeds are quite tiny when compared to other seeds. Grapes, a delicious, water-filled treat, are a low-cost option to offer your horse something unique as a reward for all of their efforts. It is not recommended to offer your horse more than one pound of grapes every day due to the high sugar content of grapes. When it comes to horses with insulin resistance, you may need to limit their daily grape consumption to ten grapes.
What to Do If Your Horse Eats Something They Shouldn’t
As a result, what should you do if your horse consumes something that they shouldn’t be eating? Whatever the root of the problem, whether you mistakenly fed your horse something they shouldn’t have or they got into food that was intended to be put away, this can be a stressful scenario for everyone involved. If your horse consumes anything that they shouldn’t have, you must maintain your composure. First and foremost, pay attention to your horse. They have the option of laying down. The fact that they are standing should not give them any more issues, but it is necessary to have them stand if they begin to engage in deviant behavior.
- After that, make an appointment with your horse veterinarian.
- Your veterinarian will be able to offer you with further information about how to proceed.
- If you need expert guidance on your condition, don’t put it off for too long.
- Consider removing potentially dangerous items from your horse’s diet, doing allergy testing, and ensuring that all potentially toxic foods are kept out of the reach of your horse at all times.
- It is important to provide your horse with a variety of fruits and vegetables since it not only breaks up the monotonous routine but it also guarantees that your horse is receiving a well-rounded diet.
It is also possible to use treats to get your horse to take medication or vitamins. For additional information, please see our article Getting a Horse to Eat Supplements: A Comprehensive Guide. Want to learn more about the fundamentals of horse care? Take a look at these articles:
- Learn all you need to know about how horses drink water in this article. Is it possible for horses to vomit? Horses Remember Their Owners
- What You Should Know. Do Horses Remember Their Owners? Guide in its entirety
P.S. Remember to pin this article to your “Horse Care” Pinterest board!
A List of Foods That Horses Can (And Should Not) Eat
Horses may safely take a broad variety of various foods that humans consume on a daily basis, with the most significant distinction being (obviously) that horses are totally vegetarian and should not be fed meat or byproducts from other animals. While it is true that we have all heard the amusing stories of unusual horses who enjoy eating a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets every now and then, this is not something you should try with your own horse. The anecdotes of “weird horse diets” are the exceptions to the norm.
We wanted to add a few things to that list, however, that you should absolutely not give a horse, because they can be harmful, unhealthy, dangerous, or even toxic to them if fed in large quantities.
It is nevertheless recommended that you test a meal on your horse in very little amounts first to see how they respond if they have never eaten it before, even if it is on this list and designated as “safe for horses.”
A List of Foods That Horses Can Safely Eat
Flour is a kind of cereal grain (White and Whole Wheat) Molasses Cinnamon is a spice that may be used in a variety of dishes (in SMALL amounts) Peanut Butter is a type of spread that is made from peanuts. Eggs Applesauce Breakfast cereal (oatmeal) (rolled oats, steel cut oats, Irish oats, quick oats) Honey Sugar, brown sugar, and honey sugar that has been powdered Peppermint and other hard candies are examples of this (NOT chocolate) Soft peppermint puffs (as opposed to hard peppermint puffs, which melt in the oven when baked) Colored food dyes Raisins Apples and carrots that have been grated BranBanannas Fruit that has been dried Pumpkin Cereal is a type of cereal made from pumpkin (like Fruit Loops, Rice Krispies, Cheerios) Icing and frosting for cookies Sprinkles Sodium chlorideCorn oil with corn syrup Beer (yep, I said beer!) If you prepare the delicacies, the alcohol is removed from them.) Pretzels Graham Crackers are a type of cracker that is made from Graham crackers.
Ginger snaps and gingerbread are two of the most popular holiday treats.
Butterscotch Marshmallow PeanutsAlmonds Cashews Sunflower seeds are a kind of seed.
Chia seeds are a kind of seed that is native to Asia.
Some Foods That Horses SHOULD NOT Eat
Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of all foods that horses should not consume! It is recommended that you conduct study before feeding a horse anything that isn’t on this list. Cattle rations Clover is one example of this. Hay that is dusty, moldy, or very old Cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and other members of the cabbage family, are high in antioxidants.
Meat of any type is OK. Chocolate A huge amount of fruit (any apple or other fruit is good, but don’t feed a large amount at one time) Lawn clippings and cuttings from your garden a link to the page’s load
The rules of feeding your horse
A guide on what to feed your horse, when to feed him, and how to feed him. From the very first time you came into contact with a horse, you were very certainly subjected to The Rules: don’t walk behind a horse, don’t run anywhere, always offer rewards on your flat palm with your fingers outstretched, and so on. The most important are the regulations of feeding. Always remember to follow these guidelines, and your horse care will be a solid foundation from which to develop.
Provide plenty of roughage
Many pleasure and trail horses do not require grain; instead, they thrive on high-quality hay or pasture. If hay isn’t enough, grain can be added, but roughage should always account for the majority of a horse’s caloric intake. For horses, roughage is essential, and their digestive systems are geared to make advantage of the nutrients found in grassy stalks. Every day, a horse’s roughage intake should be one to two percent of his or her total body weight. Horses who spend the most of their time in stalls don’t have much opportunity to graze, but their normal eating habits may be recreated by placing hay in front of them for the majority of the day.
Horse feed may be purchased on Amazon.com.
Feed grain in small amounts and often
If you are feeding your horse grain, divide it up into smaller meals rather than one huge meal every session. The majority of horses are fed grain twice a day to make it easier for their human caregivers to care for them. If you have to feed your horse a significant amount of grain for whatever reason, you might want to consider adding an additional noon feeding. Horses benefit from little, frequent meals because they are more natural for them and because they help them to better digest and use their food.
- Every horse has a unique set of requirements. When determining how much food they require, take into account both their size and the amount of effort they perform. Take into consideration how much hay or pasture your horse receives: Horses who spend the most of the day grazing on good pasture require little, if any, in the way of hay. Regardless of whether they are kept indoors or outside, horses who do not receive enough turnout or are not on suitable pasture will require extra hay. During the winter or when there is a drought, hay should be used to supplement pasture grazing. It is possible to reduce or totally remove hay rations when the grass is thick and lush, depending on the amount of accessible pasture. When it comes to grain, less is always more, so start with a little quantity and increase or decrease as needed. Your horse’s nutritional requirements will be met with the appropriate combination of grass, hay, and grain. It is important to remember to alter your horse’s feeding ration if the amount of labor they are doing varies.
Feeding Your Horses to Keep Them Healthy
Vladimir Godnik is a photographer for Getty Images. Many of us like providing goodies for our horses. Some of the more common pieces include items like apples, carrots, or other beloved fruits and vegetables; handfuls of grain; sugar cubes or sweets; and, on rare occasions, strange things like a taste of a hot dog or boiled egg. It is not recommended to feed horses meat or an excessive amount of sweet treats, such as fruit, for a variety of reasons. Horses are herbivores, and while they may not display external indications of distress such as colic when fed meat, they may still experience some discomfort, and unfamiliar meals may change the digestive flora of the horse.
For this reason, it’s critical to only provide goodies in modest amounts.
Treats should be regarded as part of the overall feeding plan, and they should be maintained to a bare minimum if your horse is required to maintain a healthy weight. When your horse is being offered goodies, he or she must also be respectful of the situation.
Horse Feeding Basics – The Horse
One of the most important aspects of horse management is providing a properly balanced equine diet, yet because of its complexity, it is sometimes misinterpreted or even disregarded. In order to ensure that your horse is on a healthy nutritional plane, whether you are responsible for his or her care or rely on boarding facility employees to assist you, you need have a fundamental grasp of correct horse feeding. If you need assistance in establishing a diet that will satisfy the specific needs of your horse, your veterinarian, an equine nutritionist, and/or an extension expert can all be valuable resources.
Evaluating Body Condition
According to Rhonda Hoffman, PhD, PAS, Dipl. ACAN, professor of equine science at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, the first stage in designing a horse’s diet is determining whether or not he is healthy. “First and foremost, horse owners must be able to look at their horses and determine whether or not they are at a healthy weight, or whether or not they are too fat or too skinny,” she explains. “The horse’s fattening (or thinning) is determined by the sight of the feeder.” Horse owners should get familiar with theHenneke Body Condition grading system, which goes from 1 (emaciated) to 9 (in good condition) (obese).
‘Five horses is the ideal number,’ says Carey Williams, PhD, associate professor and associate extension specialist at The Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Brunswick.
In order to be felt, not seen, ribs should be present.
Understanding the Math
Following that, you’ll need to know how much your horse weighs in order to figure out how much and what to feed him. It is not necessary to use a weight tape to estimate your horse’s weight unless you are taking him to a facility that has a large enough scale, such as a veterinarian’s office or commercial farm. The formula varies based on whether the horse is a young developing horse, a pony or a draft breed, breastfeeding or pregnant, working hard, underweight, or overweight, among other variables.
- When measuring the length of a horse, it is taken from the point of its shoulder blade to the tip of its rump.
- “A weight tape should be placed moderately tight (you should still be able to fit a few fingers under the tape),” says Williams.
- Professor Bob Coleman, PhD, BSc, of the University of Kentucky’s Extension Horse Specialist program recommends employing technology to assess a horse’s weight, according to the university.
- Horse owners will be able to measure their horses and obtain an estimate of how much they presently weigh, as well as an estimate of how much they should weigh in their optimal condition.
Start with Forage
Forage consumption by horses is estimated to be 1.5-2.5 percent of their body weight daily, with “easy keepers” on the lower end of the range (the “air ferns” of the horse world) and “hard keepers” (those who have difficulty maintaining weight) on the higher end of the range (those who have trouble maintaining weight). As Coleman says, “forage is the foundation of all feeding regimens since it is a key source of the essential nutrients that animals require.” “Having said that, it is possible to supply more than the horse requires, for example, by providing nice grass when a horse is in maintenance.
- According to Williams, a 1,000-pound horse engaged in mild activity can ingest up to 20 pounds of forage (grass and hay) per day.
- As much of the leftover quantity as feasible should be provided as other kinds of fodder, such as hay, with grain being added only if your horse need it to satisfy his energy requirements.
- As a result, if the pasture quality deteriorates, it may be required to feed more hay.
- Returning horses to pasture in the spring, as well as in the fall after a frost, is the same procedure: Do so gradually, as sugar levels in grasses rise during these periods, increasing the likelihood of a horse suffering from colic or laminitis.
- The horse’s gut microbiome, which assists in food digestion, might also respond to the new grazing environment as a result of this practice.
- He advises landowners to educate themselves on the nutrients that different forage kinds give.
- For the most part, grass hay offers all of the calories that a horse of “normal” size requires.
- This $20-30 expenditure is little when compared to the cost of hay and feed, and it may assist you understand what type of feed to buy in order to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients in the hay, according to her.
In addition, if your hay has less nutrients, it is simpler to justify feeding a higher-calorie, higher-protein, and more costly grain concentrate to your animals.” Despite the fact that every horse owner has his or her own hay preferences, Coleman says his or her favorite is a mixed alfalfa-grass hay that is suitable for horses of all ages and stages of development, from growing to performance to senior horses.
Williams recommends a grass hay that satisfies the nutritional requirements of a horse in maintenance, such as hay that has 8-10 percent protein and suitable amounts of vitamins and minerals, according to the author.
Using volumetric feed (for example, two flakes every feeding) might result in discrepancies since flakes may weigh varying amounts depending on their size.
Inspect the hay for patches that are brown, black, gray, or white in color, which indicate the presence of mold. According to Hoffman, high-quality hay should be pale to medium green in color and should not smell dusty, gloomy, or moldy.
Does Your Horse Need Grain?
For example, if grass does not provide your horse with sufficient nutrition, it may be necessary to supplement his diet with a concentrate feed, as previously stated. The number of calories required by horses rises as they exercise, according to Lawrence. “Compared to most mature horses, growing horses have a disproportionately larger requirement for calories, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. During pregnancy and nursing, the body’s nutritional requirements rise as well. “Diets for pregnant and nursing mares must contain appropriate nourishment, or otherwise the mare will deplete her own bodily resources to some extent in order to promote fetal growth or milk production,” says the veterinarian.
- Feeding should be done by weight once again.
- These pellets often contain nutrient fortification, which is particularly important in the case of vitamins and minerals.
- Some feed producers sell this sort of pellet on its own, referring to it as a ‘ration balancer’ in their marketing materials.
- When it comes to grain selection, Hoffman recommends that horse owners use a commercially blended and balanced grain concentrate rather than giving simple grains such as oats or attempting to make your own feed to save a few dollars.
- “As a general rule, when it comes to grain, you get what you pay for,” Lawrence continues, implying that it may be necessary to purchase a feed that is in the middle to upper range of prices in order to get the optimal balance between cost and high-quality ingredients and minerals.
Water and Salt
Horses must eat a huge amount of water in order to keep their bodies operating correctly as a result of their size. A mature, average-sized horse will consume 5 to 10 gallons of water per day at its full size. The amount of water a horse requires is multiplied by a variety of factors, including exercise, hot temperatures, humidity, sweating, pregnancy or nursing, and increased hay intake, which can sometimes be three or four times the normal amount. Maintain constant access to lots of clean, fresh water for your horse at all times.
For every pound of hay consumed by a horse, Williams estimates that the animal will drink two quarts (half a gallon) of water, according to Williams.
Alternatively, owners can supplement salt intake with a mixture of one-third trace mineral or plain salt top-dressed on feed and two-thirds free-choice dicalcium phosphate, which can be provided by the owner (e.g., a salt block).
This also helps horses to satisfy their calcium and phosphorus requirements, which are not met by trace mineral salt blocks because these minerals are not present in them.
Especially if you are new to horse feeding, consult with your veterinarian or an equine nutritionist to ensure that your horse’s diet has the nutrients he need. He might suffer from major health concerns if he does not. Cookies are used on this website to enhance your browsing experience. If you continue to use the site, we will assume that you are in agreement with this policy. Accept More information can be found at
The Do’s and Dont’s of Feeding Treats
Your horse is no different from the rest of us when it comes to enjoying a tasty treat every now and then — a warm brownie straight out of the oven, or a refreshing piece of watermelon on a hot summer day. He will appreciate a tiny treat from you every now and again, or even on a regular basis in modest quantities if you give it to him frequently. We give goodies to our horses as a way of saying thank you for a job well done, as a training incentive, and, let’s face it, giving food to our horses makes us feel good, too.
He deserves it, and you deserve it as well.
- Healthy vegetables and fruits should be used as rewards since they taste nice to your horse and are typically close to the things they eat in their normal diet, reducing the likelihood of stomach problems. Feed only a little portion of the food. If you feed your horse 15 huge carrots at a time, he or she may perceive it as a meal rather than a treat. For a horse of ordinary size, one or two carrots provide sufficient nutrition. Overfeeding any treat can have detrimental consequences for a well-balanced diet, such as reducing the protein content, increasing the carbohydrate content, and diluting the vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, overindulging in specific foods can cause severe digestive discomfort, as well as colic or laminitis in some cases. Feeding should be done sparingly. Sweets are only wonderful when they are not readily available all of the time
- Providing treats without choice contradicts the point of providing treats.
What Kind of Treats Are Appropriate?
- A healthy snack such as apple slices, carrots, and hay cubes are terrific places to start when looking for something to indulge in. Many horses will even eat a banana if you give them one. When traveling, commercially prepared horse treats may be a popular choice for many horses, and they may keep and travel better than fresh fruit or vegetables. Using sugar cubes as a horse reward is a fairly classic (albeit not particularly healthful) practice.
What kinds of treats should I avoid giving my dog?
- Feeding grass clippings is not recommended (since they may contain dangerous plants, can induce choking, and can radically alter the pH of the hindgut)
- If cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are consumed in big quantities, they might produce severe gas. It is advisable to avoid feeding potatoes and tomatoes, which are part of the nightshade family. While some individuals have reported that they are safe to feed, it is preferable to avoid them altogether. Feeding unpittedstone fruits is not recommended since the pits might cause choking. However, despite the fact that chocolate is a favorite of your horse, it may lead him to test positive for drugs. Baked goods such as fresh bread, doughnuts, and other baked goods can form a doughy mass in the digestive track and produce a blockage
- Yummy Feed (CO) When consumed in sufficient quantities as a “reward,” bunfortified sweet grains) can swiftly destabilize the diet.
Always remember the abbreviation A.I.M. – Always in Moderation – while giving out sweets. Maintain as close a relationship as possible with your horse’s natural diet, and relish the opportunity to be a hero to your horse!
What should I feed my horse? – RSPCA Knowledgebase
Horses have evolved to consume a diet that is high in fiber, and as a result, fiber should be the primary component of any feeding regimen. Supplemental feeding can provide the horse with any additional nutrients or higher energy meals that it may require if the hay or grass is lacking, the horse is working hard, or the horse is producing a foal, for example. Slow feeding is required for horses since they require food that takes a long time to collect and chew. They have evolved to eat low-energy (low-calorie) fibrous food for long periods of time during the day and night, as well as during the daytime.
- If you do not take this into mind while feeding your horse, you run the danger of causing behavioural difficulties (such as “cribbing”) and gastrointestinal problems (such as colic/gastric ulcers/laminitis – laminitis is a significant foot condition that begins in the stomach).
- This indicates that they solely consume plant-based foods.
- Meat is also significantly higher in energy density.
- Consider the horse to be a high-speed fiber-processing machine!
- As previously stated, horses have evolved to consume and assimilate enormous quantities of grasses and other plants that are of poor nutritional value (low in calories).
- Simply said, it is far healthier for the horse to consume a large amount of low-calorie food rather than a little amount of high-calorie food.
- As a youngster will typically select sweets and chocolate over salads and vegetables, most horses will choose high sugar (high calorie) feed given the opportunity.
This may lead to an owner lowering the quantity of feed when, in reality, it would be preferable to reduce the calories offered to the horse while maintaining the volume of feed given to the horse.
It has been proven that the saliva that horses create when chewing buffers acid in the gut, which is constantly being fed into the stomach.
Allow your horse to graze whenever feasible, and strive to have this constitute the majority of your horse’s diet.
Because high-calorie grass varies greatly in calorie content, if your horse has a tendency to become overweight, you will need to exercise caution when feeding him/her high-calorie grass.
If you have a horse that is prone to becoming overweight, look for hay that is low in calories.
Even if they do not have any in stock, if there is enough demand for it, they may be able to locate some.
Do not offer your horse any of the water that was used to soak the hay because it will now be rich in sugar!
Getting guidance from an independent equine nutritionist is an excellent place to start, and most respectable feed providers will provide free consultations.
Try to keep things as simple as possible – it is not a good idea to start providing a range of feed types right away since you may wind up feeding the horse an extremely imbalanced diet as a result. The Equiculture Responsible Horse Carepage contains further information.
What Can Horses Eat? The Top 20 Foods You Didn’t Know Horses Could Eat
When it comes to feeding your horse a well-balanced diet, a combination of grains, fruits, and vegetables is frequently used. When giving fruits and vegetables to your horse, it can be difficult to determine whether or not your horse will be able to consume specific items. In our human minds, it is natural to think that horses can safely consume all of the things that we eat. However, they are unable to consume everything. As a result, we decided to compile a list of the top 20 things that you probably didn’t realize horses could eat.
1. Can Horses Eat Bananas?
Horses benefit from bananas because they are a good source of potassium and because they are a fruit that they truly like eating. Due to their ability to provide an extra surge of energy, bananas are a particularly popular snack for riders to feed their race horses. Even with the skin on, bananas may be given to horses as a healthy snack because the entire fruit is helpful to their wellbeing.
2. Can Horses Eat Pumpkin?
The answer is that horses enjoy eating pumpkin, and it is a completely safe vegetable to offer them — including the seeds. Some horses may not like for the flavor of pumpkin, while others may adore it to their hearts’ content. Considering that pumpkins have a high concentration of Vitamin A and have a sweet flavor, they provide a perfect treat alternative to sugar cubes. When feeding your horse pumpkin, make sure to look for any symptoms of rot or mildew, since these can be toxic to horses if eaten in large quantities.
This will allow your horse to effortlessly enjoy eating the pumpkin without the risk of choking on the pumpkin seeds.
3. Can Horses Eat Pineapple?
Many people believe that pineapple is an unusual fruit that is dangerous to horses, and they are correct. But this delicious fruit is a favorite treat for horses, and it also happens to be a wonderful source of Vitamin C for them! To avoid choking your horse on anything when feeding him pineapple, take time to remove the core and the outside peel before feeding him the pineapple. Before you feed your horse, chop the pineapple into tiny sections and set them aside.
4. Can Horses Eat Celery?
A fairly well-known vegetable, celery is one that many people are hesitant to offer to their horses because of its bitter taste. But celery is extremely useful to horses since it includes a variety of vitamins, including Vitamin K, manganese, Vitamins B2, B6, and A, as well as high quantities of potassium and other minerals. Horses may safely eat both the celery stem and the celery leaves, according to the manufacturer. Always chop celery into little pieces when giving it to your horse, just as you would when feeding other vegetables to your horse to limit the chance of choking.
5. Can Horses Eat Pears?
Yes, horses can consume pears, and because of their sweet flavor, they are frequently regarded as a favorite treat.
When it comes to pears, ripe ones are always preferred since they are smooth and soft, making them simple for your horse to digest. To ensure that your horse is eating a safe amount of pear, remove the stem and seeds first, before cutting the pear into chunks.
6. Can Horses Eat Grapes?
Grapes are towards the top of the list of fruits that are safe for horses to consume, among a plethora of other options. While humans may consider grapes to be a delicious sweet snack, horses are always delighted by the sweetness of grapes and are more than willing to consume them. Furthermore, they are a simple snack for your horse to enjoy because they don’t require any de-seeding or chopping up before consumption. Both the grape and the seeds are healthy for your horse to consume, so it doesn’t matter if you get seedless grapes or not; your horse will be OK with either.
7. Can Horses Eat Oranges?
In particular, horses like citrus fruits such as oranges, and they will consume the entire fruit, including the seeds and the peel! Oranges are extremely healthy to horses since they contain a high concentration of Vitamin C. More to the point, orange peel possesses antioxidant properties and has been shown to be effective in reducing oxidative stress. The fact that citrus fruits naturally contain a lot of sugar means that you shouldn’t overfeed your horse with these fruits.
8. Can Horses Eat Cucumbers?
Yes, horses can eat cucumbers, which is a good relief for those of you who have an overflow of cucumbers growing in your backyard gardens. Cucumbers are a good source of vitamins A, K, and C, as well as potassium, making them a great addition to any diet. Furthermore, the peel of cucumbers offers horses with a natural source of nutritional fiber. When it comes to choosing a cucumber for your horse, organic or homegrown cucumbers that are free of pesticides are the greatest choice because they aren’t coated with chemicals that can be hazardous, if not lethal, to your horse.
9. Can Horses Eat Coconut?
Even though coconut is probably one of the less frequent horse meals to be found in feed stores, it is extremely healthy to horses since it is high in potassium, magnesium, and iron. Cut a coconut into small pieces and feed it to your horse after slicing it open and removing the interior meat from the coconut. Always remove the coconut husk before feeding it to your horse since it will not eat it.
10. Can Horses Eat Cherries?
Cherries are extremely beneficial to horses because they contain high levels of vitamins A and C. They are also a delicious way to provide your horse with a little sweetness. Cherry preparation involves properly washing the cherries, cutting each cherry in half, and removing the pit and stem before feeding them to your horse.
11. Can Horses Eat Peaches?
In addition to being a delicious treat for horses, peaches are also a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. It is important to remove the stone from the peach and break it into smaller, digestible parts before feeding it to your horse to reduce the danger of choking.
12. Can Horses Eat Apricots?
Yes, horses are capable of consuming apricots. In addition to being a delicious little sweet snack for your horse, this gorgeous fruit is a wonderful source of iron.
Nevertheless, before feeding your horse, always remove the stone and chop it into little slices first. Also, be careful not to overfeed your horse’s apricots, since this may result in an upset stomach for him.
13. Can Horses Eat Corn?
Corn is a fantastic source of potassium, vitamin B-6, iron, and magnesium for horses, as well as other animals. However, it is crucial to note that maize is also heavy in starch, and thus consuming an excessive amount of it might be detrimental to your horse’s digestive system. In contrast, when offered as part of a well-balanced diet, maize may be an extremely enjoyable and nutritionally helpful portion of your horse’s daily diet.
14. Can Horses Eat Raisins
Raisins are an excellent treat to give to your horse on a regular basis since they contain a significant amount of natural sugar and are sufficiently sweet for your horse to appreciate. As long as the raisins are small, you shouldn’t have to worry about your horse choking on them. However, you should be cautious about feeding him too many raisins because too many raisins might create digestive difficulties and discomfort for your horse.
15. Can Horses Eat Black Oil Sunflower Seeds?
The idea of feeding your horse black oil sunflower seeds is probably not one of the first ideas that sprang to mind when you were thinking about what to feed your horse. Black oil sunflower seeds, on the other hand, are extremely useful to horses because of their high oil content, which makes them easily digestible for them. The fact that we’re talking about black oils sunflower seeds rather than the sunflower seeds that most people eat as a snack during the day is vital to keep in mind as well.
16. Can Horses Eat Molasses?
Yes, horses are capable of consuming Molasses. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, molasses is a syrup that looks a lot like golden syrup and is really a syrup that is left over after sugar is extracted from sugar cane or sugar beet. It is a frequent element in horse diets, and it offers a variety of advantages over other ingredients. Furthermore, because molasses contains 50 percent sugar, it is an excellent reward for horses that enjoy a little sweetness in their lives.
17. Can Horses Eat Green Beans?
Many horses like eating green beans as an occasional treat; however, you must make certain that the beans are organic and have not been exposed to chemicals during their cultivation. They might be quite hazardous to your horse if not handled properly. Always chop green beans into bite-sized pieces before feeding them to your horse to reduce the possibility of choking.
18. Can Horses Eat Lettuce?
While you wouldn’t prepare a sandwich for your horse, lettuce is something he may love if you gave him some. Horses may safely consume lettuce; but, like with many of the other foods on this list, it is up to your horse’s personal opinion, since he may not enjoy the flavor or feel of lettuce.
19. Can Horses Eat Radishes?
Horses can consume radishes as part of a well-balanced diet if they are given the opportunity. It is common for them to love the crunch and taste of radish, making it a good substitute for carrots or apples on occasion.
20. Can Horses Eat Peas?
Horses adore eating peas, and they are a delicious snack or little treat for them. Peas, which are small and edible, are a good source of vitamins A, D, and B-6, as well as calcium, iron, and magnesium, among other nutrients. As a result, when included in a well-balanced diet, peas may be quite helpful to your horse. Although your horse may consume a large amount of food, it is vital to remember that everything should be served to him as part of a well-balanced diet to ensure that he remains healthy.
Do not feed your horse anything if you are unsure whether or not it is safe for them to consume.
It is always preferable to be safe than than sorry. However, try introducing some new flavors to your horse’s meal times in order to extend his menu and provide a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially during seasons when they are widely available.