15 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Horse

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price

We all know that a healthy diet is vital for horses’ well-being. However, it’s okay to treat them with special treats every once in a while. Peppermints, sugar cubes and apples are all favorites of horses. There’s also a long list of human foods that you can share with your horse friend . However, horses are not safe from all foods.

Horses can be poisoned by certain fruits and vegetables, as well as other foods. You could cause colic, loss muscle control, respiratory distress and diarrhea in your horse if you feed it the wrong food.

Foods You Should Never Feed Your Horse

This list of foods that horses should not be fed should be memorized by every horse owner.

1. Avocado

This fatty fruit tastes great on toast, pizza, and on toast. But it is not great at the barn. Persin, a form of fatty acid found in avocados, is toxic to horses and other animals. Even small amounts can cause irregular heartbeats, respiratory distress, colic, or edema. In severe cases, animals can die.

Horses are able to ingest all parts of avocados, including the leaves and fruit. Horses should not be allowed to graze in avocado-growing areas. Also, horses shouldn’t be given avocado sandwiches.

2. Potatoes

Potatoes are toxic for horses as they belong to the nightshade family. Although raw potatoes are more harmful than cooked potatoes for horses, potato poisoning can be caused by any starchy vegetable. Although a few small pieces of potatoes won’t cause any problems for an adult horse, regular consumption can cause severe gastrointestinal distress.

Horses are known to avoid potatoes because of their off-putting taste. Fortunately, there are many tasty varieties of potatoes that this is not always true. Horses are not safe from potato-based foods like chips, french fries, gnocchi, or other potato-based food.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another member the dangerous nightshade clan, just like potatoes. They are related to horsenettle, which is bad for horses.

4. Unpitted Fruits

The majority of fruits found in roadside stands or produce sections are fine for horses to eat. However, you must remove any pits. Peaches and plums stuffed with pitted fruit can contain hard seeds that could cause choking.

Some seeds can also contain toxic toxins. It is best to take out the pit before giving your horse a delicious fruit.

5. Cheese and yogurt

Dehydrated skim milk, dried Whey and cheese rind are some examples of supplemental horse feeds. However, most dairy products are not safe for horses. Consuming According to Veterinary Partner: Bread is particularly dangerous for horses suffering from equine metabolic syndrome (or insulin resistance). It can lead to founder and laminitis.

7. Chocolate

Horses should not eat chocolate, just like dogs. Even small amounts can lead to uncomfortable health problems. Large doses can prove fatal.

It is the chemical theobromine responsible for all the problems caused by chocolate. Chocolate, like caffeine, can cause increased heart rate, restlessness and muscle tremors. There is a high chance that your horse will be disqualified if they eat chocolate before the competition because it can show up in drug tests.

8. Cattle Feed

Horse owners can have cattle as well, although it is not unusual for them to do so. Horses and cattle are different in their digestive systems and require different nutrition.

Horses can be poisoned by some ingredients in cattle feed. It can even prove fatal in some cases. During feeding, keep cattle and horses apart.

9. Buttercups

We tend to overlook buttercups that show up in our pastures. Horses know that buttercups are not suitable for consumption. Horses will often graze on the beautiful yellow flowers, knowing that they can cause stomach upset and irritation.

Buttercups can end up in hay and are safe in dried form. It is important to be aware of the risk when children offer buttercups to their curious horses.

10. Lawn clippings

Although grass makes up most of a horse’s daily diet, there is a significant difference between grazing in a field and eating lawn clippings. The grass starts to ferment as soon as it is cut. The clippings in horse’s stomach continue to ferment after they are swallowed. This can cause stomach rupture and colic.

Horses should only consume fresh grass and hay. The process still ferments but it doesn’t begin until the horse has safely digested the food.

11. Meat

Horses are herbivores. This means that their bodies are designed to absorb and digest plants. Horses are not equipped to process meat and can have serious nutritional issues.

Although meat is not part of a horse’s daily diet, it doesn’t stop them from eating. Horses can take a hotdog from their owners and enjoy the taste of meat. You have to be vigilant as they don’t realize that they will regret it later.

12. Rhubarb

Rhubarb is not recommended for horses if you have it in your garden. The bitter-tasting leaves are high in calcium oxalates, which can cause severe kidney damage, renal failure and even death.

Although rhubarb stems can be dangerous, it is best to avoid them altogether. Be prepared to take your horse to the vet if you give it rhubarb.

13. Milkweed

The milkweed is a favorite of farmers and ranchers. It loves to grow along fences and in ditches. Although it is not usually fatal for horses but can cause paralysis, milkweed poisoning may be fatal.

The milkweed is identified by its clusters of fragrant flowers. Its bitter taste can often keep horses away from eating it. If they are left to graze on poor quality pastures, their hunger pangs may convince them to ignore it. This is a good reason to make sure your pastures are in great shape.

14. Horsetail

Horsetail, despite its name, is not a friend to horses. This plant, which is considered a weed when fresh and dried, can be toxic to horses. It can cause problems such as muscle weakness and irregular heartbeats.

Horsetails are often found in areas with water, near rivers and streams.

15. Cat and Dog Food

Although you should not feed your cat or horse food, it is possible for curious horses to get into the cat’s food bowl. Dry kibble can look very similar to horse feed and contains a lot of grain products.

Although a few small bites won’t cause any harm to your horse’s health, you shouldn’t make them eat it every day. Pet food contains meat and is not recommended for horses. Keep your horse safe from your cat and dog food.

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Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!