Can Horses Eat Bread?

Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Allison Price

It’s normal to be concerned about feeding your horse friends certain foods, as their digestive system can be fragile. If you don’t have the right skills to care for your horse, treats and snacks can make them sick, hurt, or even cause death.

This post will address one of the most frequently asked questions, “Can horses eat bread?”

The short answer is yes, but be cautious.Your horse should be given small amounts of bread every now and again. Be aware that some horses will not eat this kind of food.

Treats with an appealing aroma are welcomed by horses in a hurry. This is something that bread does not have. There is a possibility that they will turn it down. Your ponies might enjoy some bread varieties, since bread is a category term.

It doesn’t matter if your horse doesn’t like bread. There are many other treats you can try.

Horses Eat Bread

No matter what bread you choose, don’t let your horse eat it. This is because the nutritional content won’t be sufficient to meet your horse’s significant health needs. You could expose your horse to nutritional deficiencies and imbalances.

Continue reading to find out more about horses and bread.

Is bread harmful to horses?

Bread is safe. Horses can tolerate most of the nutrients in bread. Bread has a side effect.

Bread is high in calories and starch. Your horse requires calories to exercise, grow, and perform other vital functions. Bread doesn’t provide any other important nutrients that can help your horse achieve optimal health.

Equine require adequate amounts of carbohydrates as well as protein, fats and vitamins. This is not possible for your four-legged friend, who is tall and can’t eat bread.

Bread with high amounts of starch can cause problems. This usually begins in the small intestine. Horses have a limited stomach capacity. Horses may not be able to digest starch as well as humans due to their limited stomach capacity. Because horses are not capable of absorbing large amounts of starch, this could pose a danger to your horse.

Here are some reasons to not feed your horses more bread.

Weight gain

Although it may not be toxic, regular feeding of this snack to your horse can lead to weight gain. You can make your horse’s situation worse by giving him a lot of calories. Bread could also help horses who are underweight gain weight.

Being obese can cause a host of other problems, including joint strain, heat intolerance and cardio issues.

Extra weight can cause stress to the joints, muscles and heart. Exercise will be even more difficult.

The tendons, ligaments and soft tissues are also subject to stress when the joints become strained. The soft tissues can become damaged if they are not managed in a timely manner.

Horses who are overweight have difficulty maintaining a healthy body temperature. The extra weight serves as an insulation. They can become too hot.

Metabolic disorder

If horses eat bread often, they are at risk of developing insulin resistance.

The horse’s needs will determine how much insulin the pancreas secretes. Overweight horses can make insulin more sensitive over time. Horses can produce more insulin than they require when the liver, fat, or other interconnected cells don’t send the right signals. This is the body’s natural way to compensate for any deficiencies.This will lead to insulin overproduction that could prove fatal.

Keep in mind, however, that horses may not be overweight but still suffer from metabolic syndrome. These horses are often born this way.

Horses with metabolic syndrome should not be given bread, even if it is for a treat or occasional snack. You could cause an increase in blood sugar and worsen your horse’s health.

* Abdominal pain or Colic

The hindgut, which consists of the cecum and large & small colonies, is where horse feed is digested the most. The cecum is where the starch that has not been digested from the small intestinale (which is part of your foregut) is fermented.

Lactic acid is created when starch ferments. This can cause acid reflux and gas buildup, which can lead to colic or abdominal pain.

Cecum walls are sac-like pouches that look like little pouches and have small ridges. Their function is to slow down food passage and increase absorption. Your horse will experience more suffering if the fermentation vat is left unattended for seven hours.

An increased amount of acid can be produced if more bread is absorbed into the cecum. This could lead to excessive gas buildup.


Laminitis can be caused by excessive consumption of dietary sugar or starch. Horses with an imbalanced pH level can develop this condition.

Laminitis is an inflammation of the soft tissues that connect the pedal bone and the hoof wall.

Horses can feel extreme pain. Worse, the horses can feel extreme pain.

This condition causes pony to lie down more and is less likely to move. Even when they do move, you will notice that they often reposition their weight to the affected limbs.

Exertional Rhombyolysis (ER),

Equine ER can also be caused by excessive bread consumption. This syndrome is associated with muscle cramping and pain when exercising. These are the most common areas affected.

Horse owners might notice excessive sweating, irregular breathing, stiffness in the muscles, and tremors in horses with ER episodes. Some horses may not move. Horses may have a different color urine than others. This is because myoglobin is released by the injured muscle tissues.

Can horses eat bread?

Let’s say you have tried feeding your four-legged friends bread. They seem to enjoy it. You might be wondering how much bread is too much for horses.

Can horses eat a loaf bread? Unfortunately, no! This would be too much for their digestive system.

Your horse should not consume more than two slices of bread per day to avoid any health problems.

Can young horses be fed bread?

Do not feed bread to foals or colts. Young horses are still developing their tolerance for bread. It may not be able to handle certain foods it was not designed to. Starch-rich diets can affect bone development, but they can also cause other health problems.

Can horses have banana bread?

Yes, banana bread is enjoyed by many horses. The nutrient content of banana bread is also increased by using them in its preparation. Whole-grain banana bread is the best choice.

Banana bread is rich in protein, which is essential for the repair and growth of muscles. You also get healthy fats, vitamins and minerals such as potassium.

Banana bread might seem healthier than other options, but the rule of thumb is to stick with the 1-2 slices that we discussed earlier.

Can horses consume white bread?

White bread, sandwich loaf or baguette are the most popular type of bread that horses can eat. As long as your four-legged friend isn’t too tall, the bread is safe. Sandwich loaf is not good for ponies.

The bran and germ layers are removed by millers as they refine wheat flour. White flour is therefore stripped of vitamins, minerals. White bread contains about half the magnesium content of whole-wheat bread.

Can horses eat rotten bread?

Any product containing mold traces is strictly forbidden! It doesn’t really matter if the item is bread or hay. Mycotoxins are harmful if they get into the body.

Mycotoxins can have a negative impact on the immune, reproductive, respiratory and digestive systems of horses. Your friend may not be able to avoid getting sick if moldy bread doesn’t cause colic.

These compound toxins are even more dangerous for pregnant mares when it comes to their reproductive health. High levels of mold can cause foal death.

It’s a good idea that the bread be fresh and dry as a safety precaution. People have complained that dry bread can cause a ballup and get stuck in the throat. Dry bread can cause problems for horses if it isn’t moistened with water.

Can horses consume brown bread?

Brown bread is healthier than sandwich loaf. Because it retains the wheat flour’s bran and germ layers, brown bread is also known as wheat loaf.

The possibility of gluten-starch accumulating in the intestine can cause blockage and GI problems.

The truth is that

The yeast and heat treatment alter it, making bread easy to digest when taken in controlled portions.

Horses can eat seeded bread

Horse owners are more open to the idea of including seeds in their horses’ diets. The addition of seeds to whole wheat bread can increase the nutritional value and give it a delicious flavor.

Seeded bread has a similar gluten content to brown bread. The yeast used in bread-making significantly alters the gluten starch. This reduces the likelihood of colic.

Can horses have garlic bread?

Garlic bread is not recommended for horses with blood clotting or anemia. They will be more susceptible to complications. Despite the fact that bread contains very little garlic, it is best to avoid it.

Sulfur compounds found in garlic bread can cause digestive problems and even harm. They can also cause bleeding ulcers in large quantities and affect the rate at which nutrients are absorbed.

Because they are involved with the oxidation hemoglobin, disulfides are similar to those found in onions. They are also known to cause the depletion red blood cells.

Horses can eat sourdough?

Sourdough bread is one the best breads to feed horses. It’s a great source of calories, protein, calcium, magnesium and potassium as well as folate and niacin.

This bread requires a special type of fermentation. The yeast-bacteria combination breaks down many starches in grains long before it reaches the stomach. Sourdough is basically made from the removal of bad starches.

Sourdough bread is easier on horses’ stomachs.

Can horses consume raisin bread?

Horses can eat bread or raisin cookies. As with other bread varieties, horses can eat raisin cookies or bread in moderation. This is a good idea for occasional treats and snacks. This bread is high in potassium, iron and calcium. It also contains vitamin B6 and vitamin C.

Can Horses Eat Bread? The Takeaway

Congratulations if you’ve read this entire article. You are a true caring horse owner. Bread is safe for horses. It should be eaten moderately to avoid colic and other health problems like abdominal pain.

Bread is not toxic in its basic ingredients, but it is not a healthy snack.

Young children should be given a bread treat. They are susceptible to becoming sick very quickly.

Bread’s high starch and caloric content is why vets don’t like it. If your horse is desperate for bread, you can give her a slice every once in awhile. No matter what type of bread you choose, don’t offer more than two pieces of bread at a time.

You should immediately notify a veterinarian if your horse eats more than the recommended amount of bread, or a loaf of bread.

It’s there!

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!