What You Should And Shouldn’t Feed Your Horse To Stay Healthy


Do you rear or plan to foster a horse? If so, you need to be mindful of the animals’ food. Horses eat a variety of foods, some of which get consumed by humans. However, you need to note that horses are strict vegetarians and should not be fed any meat or meat products.

What should you feed or avoid feeding your horse for it to stay healthy? If you are looking for what to provide or avoid feeding your house, this article has your back. It will discuss essential foods that will aid your animal’s health and those you should shun off completely. Without wasting time, let’s get to the details.

Foods That Horses Can Safely Eat

There are many common foods out there that humans eat, such as broccoli, apples, oranges, and carrots, that horses can safely eat. Besides the listed feeds, professionals recommend supplementing a horse’s feed with minerals, amino acids, and vitamins to ensure the animal has a balanced diet and stays healthy. Below are some foods horses can safely eat.  


Broccoli is not only delicious to humans, but it’s also tasty for horses. It naturally cools the body, so you can give horse broccoli if he feels overheated or hot to touch. It can be sprinkled on the hay or fed separately as a treat.


Apples are another safe food that horses can eat. However, it’s best to give them whole apples instead of apple slices. Apple slices are very hard for horses to digest and can cause colic symptoms like cramps and discomfort.

Apples also help ease diarrhea in horses by adding fiber into their diet. Although they’re nutritious when eaten raw, you should avoid giving your horse green apples. Green apples contain a toxin called solanine which protects them from pests but causes illness if digested in large quantities.


Oranges are another food that horses can eat safely. Like apples, oranges are high in fiber and have a sweet taste that horses enjoy. They also help to cool the body but shouldn’t be given raw due to their acidic nature. An excellent way to feed your horse an orange is by cutting it into pieces and feeding it piece by piece. This gives your horse time to digest one piece before getting the next.


Carrots are an excellent treat for horses due to their nutritional value and ability to add fiber to their diet. Horses love carrots which means you probably won’t have any leftovers when feeding them.  However, it would be best to keep this at minimum quantities.

Other foods consumed by horses include Celery, cucumbers, bananas, green beans, grapes, molasses, peppermints, pineapple pieces, sunflower seeds, and other recommended fruits and vegetables. However, after feeding your horse new food, it is essential to observe any allergic reaction. Ensure you discontinue any food that causes a reaction to the animal.

Foods That Horses Shouldn’t Eat

Horses can eat almost anything. However, there are specific foods they shouldn’t eat. The following foods and fruits are toxic to horses.


This sweet treat causes colic in some horses, especially foals under six months old. Chocolate includes all types of candy with chocolate in it and cocoa bean hulls, and other forms of processed cacao beans. The list also consists of any product that has cocoa butter listed among the ingredients.


This common cooking ingredient is toxic to most horses. It contains a chemical called N-propyl disulfide that causes weakness, respiratory distress, colic, depression, diarrhea, and rapid death if eaten in quantity. Other members of this family include shallots, leeks, chives, garlic, and scallions.

Raw Garlic

Horses don’t seem to be affected by cooked garlic or onion, but raw forms of these two foods cause inflammation around their intestines. This product is more toxic to your horse, especially if taken in large quantities. Therefore, try to keep off its meals.


This sugar substitute is used in chewing gum, candy bars, and other foods marketed to humans. It’s entirely toxic for horses because it causes insulin release, but it also can cause liver failure.


While certain types of mushrooms are safe for horses, you might not know which ones are poisonous! Wood-ear and parasol mushrooms are edible if prepared adequately before consumption. However, dozens of other species can cause kidney failure, liver damage, or death when eaten. The best way to prevent mushroom poisoning is to keep your horse away from mushrooms in the wild and even the edible ones growing in your garden.

Your horse shouldn’t also eat bread, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, dairy products, kale, potatoes, stone fruits, tomatoes, and others more, as instructed by your veterinary officer.

There you have the list of some food your force should and shouldn’t eat. It is essential to follow this list keenly and consult your vet if you feel your horse doesn’t like certain types of food. Also, it is crucial to offer your horse supplements to stay healthy.