Horses can eat a variety of foods that some people wouldn’t ever consider to feed a horse.
Some people think that horses can only eat apples and carrots, but actually, horses can eat things like celery, watermelon, peaches, grapes, graham crackers, and even candy canes! (Make sure these are all given in moderation as they have high levels of sugar. Some horses have allergies to look out for as well)
Vegetables that Horses can Eat
A classic treat, carrots are loved by horses and ponies of all breeds.
Many people ask of horses can eat celery. The answer to that question is yes, horses can in fact eat celery. Though this isn’t a very common treat, many horses still enjoy it
Like carrot roots, beetroots can be enjoyed by many horses
Cucumbers, like watermelon, are a water-based food so horses can enjoy more of this as compared to other treats
Horses actually love pumpkin. I’ve had friends feed their horses pumpkin horse treats made at home and all the horses have loved them.
Vegetables that Horses can NOT Eat
Make sure that your horse doesn’t consume any onions. Not only do onions taste bad to the horse, horses may react badly to the food and colic.
Horses can’t have potatoes at all from the russet to the sweet potato.
Fruits that Horses can Eat
Apples are most horses’ favorite treat. They are given to horses all the time. The only downside to giving this treat is the fact that there is a high level of sugar.
My horse Bronze loves peaches, and they are one of his favorite juicy snacks. Also containing high levels of sugar, one here and there won’t hurt the horse, but if they’re fed too often, it may not be healthy for the horse.
My horses didn’t really care for bananas, though some horses love them! A great idea for what you could do with bananas is make some cinnamon banana oat bites for your horse. They are like healthy banana cookies for ponies and they love them
In the wild, horses would sometimes eat wild strawberries when grazing, and even riding horses now enjoy a strawberry treat now and then
Watermelon is a great and healthy summertime snack for horses and ponies alike. Watermelon is more water based so horses can have a higher quantity of this treat without a problem.
Sadly neither of my horses even had any interest in eating watermelon.
One of my friends would giver her Thoroughbred grapes as a snack. Grapes are not poisonous to horses so this was a great treat for him after they finished a ride
Horses love eating different kinds of melons, and believe it or not cantaloupe is a popular treat for horses. Although I never got around to trying this treat out on my horses, I’ve heard that horses love cantaloupe.
Like the watermelon and cantaloupe, honeydew melon is a tasty horse treat that some people will give their horses, although it isn’t super common to do so.
Fruits that Horses can NOT Eat
All the above mentioned fruits are poisonous to horses and should never be fed to them, especially as a treat.
Other Fun Snack Ideas for Your Horse
My horse Bronze, as well as a Quarter Horse I ride named Olivia, absolutely adore Graham crackers. They love the sweet crunchy treat and ALWAYS ask for more.
Saltine crackers are a plain treat that some horses like. I know that Bronze likes crackers in any form that he can get them, so even a saltine cracker can be exciting
When the holidays roll around, there are plenty of candy canes and peppermints to go around which many horses get very excited about. While I have known some horses who don’t care for peppermints, most of them love a candy cane here and there\
Horses love a good Popsicle on a hot summer day. I’ve heard of many people giving their horses Popsicle’s and hear that they love it.
Like grapes, raisins are a quick healthy treat that horses can enjoy anytime
Things to Remember
The Amount of Sugar Your Horse is Consuming
Horses, like any living animal, need sugar and carbohydrates to survive. As one may know however, too many treats at a time is never a good thing. Horses can colic and/or bloat if fed too many rich and/or sugary snacks.
Trust me, I know it is almost irresistible to say no to a horse who wants just one more cookie, but for their own good, you need to say no sometimes.
How Frequently Treats are Given
Naturally, horses will graze so there is usually a steady flow of food going through a horse’s digestive system. If a horse is fed too many treats at one time, it can cause a slight unbalance in the horses digestive function as suddenly a group of rich and high-sugar foods arrives in the gut.
Sticking to one to two horse treats per spoiling session is ideal so your horse still is rewarded, but they also aren’t getting too much.