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What Fruits Can Horses Eat?

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Feeding fruits to your horse as a reward for good behavior is a good idea.

However, be cautious, not all fruits are safe for horses to eat.

In this article, we list down some of the most common fruits that a horse can safely eat.

The most important rule about giving your horse fruits is to make sure you wash the fruit thoroughly to remove any chemicals, bacteria, or pesticides.

It is also important to cut large fruits into smaller pieces before feeding to your horse.

a horse eating some fruits

Although they will chew their food, giving them large pieces of treats increases the risk of choking.

Horses will never say no to treats, so it is your responsibility to know what is enough and how much is too much. Feed them in moderation.

Here is the list of fruits that horses can eat:

Apples

apples

Apples are one of the most popular treats for horses. They can be eaten raw, or cooked.

It is highly recommended to cut the apple into small pieces to avoid swallowing it whole, which is extremely dangerous.

The skin is safe for horses to eat. In fact, it’s the most nutritious part of the apple.

Some of the nutrients present in apples are fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, iron, and ursolic acid which can be found in the skin.

Apples promote tissue repair, aid in carbohydrate digestion, support the nervous system, and enhance the immune system. 

Apricots

apricots

This fruit makes an excellent treat for your horse. Although you must always remember to remove the pits before feeding to your horse as it may cause choking. 

Apricots are very nutritious, and are a great source of iron.

They are low in calories, high in antioxidants and potassium, and very hydrating – such a beneficial fruit for your equine buddy!

Bananas

bananas

Bananas are a good source of potassium for horses.

In fact, riders feed their horses bananas between competitions to give them an extra kick of energy.

Bananas can be fed to horses with the peel on since the whole fruit is useful to their health.

Aside from potassium, this fruit also contains vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, fiber, magnesium, manganese, and protein.

Bananas aid in soothing the stomach, relieving constipation, and reducing sore muscles.

Cantaloupe

cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is often a favorite snack of horses.

It is very nutritious, and contains vitamins, potassium, and antioxidants which promotes strong health.

Although horses are capable of eating cantaloupe rinds, it is not suggested since the rinds may contain mold.

As always, feed any treats moderately.

Cherries

cherries

Cherries are good for your horse since they contain vitamins A and C.

To prepare it for your horse’s consumption, wash it thoroughly, remove the stem, cut in half, and remove the pit.

Like in apricots, the pit present in cherries can be a choking hazard to your horse.

Coconuts

coconuts

Coconut is a valuable treat for your horse since it contains lots of nutrients that are greatly beneficial, such as potassium, magnesium, and iron.

To prepare the coconut, slice it in half and remove the flesh then cut it into smaller pieces.

Remember not to feed your horse the husk of coconut since it is not edible to them.

Grapes

grapes

Grapes are a snack that can easily be prepared for your horse. They do not need to be sliced, or for the seeds to be removed.

They can help in regulating sugar levels, aid in hydration, and they also contain fiber that will help maintain your horse’s digestive system.

However, you should limit the number of grapes you feed to your horse. The recommended amount is 10 to 20 grapes per one to two weeks.

Feeding your horse too many grapes can result in high sugar level, addiction to sweet taste, and digestive problems.

Oranges

oranges

Just as they do for humans, oranges can provide several health benefits for your horse.

First of all, they contain vitamins and minerals that can provide your horse with some of the nutrients he needs.

In addition, the water present in oranges can help your equine friend stay hydrated.

Horses can eat orange peel, although it is important to wash it carefully to remove chemicals that may be present on the skin.

The oil present on the peel can help a horse recover faster from a tiring day. It also aids in cardiovascular recovery, and the antioxidant properties help lessen oxidative stress.

However, be careful on the amount of oranges you feed to your horse.

One to two oranges a week is enough, since the high level of acid present in oranges can cause digestive problems for your horse.

Peaches

peaches

Peaches are a lovely treat for your horse since they contain vitamin A, potassium, and fiber.

Like with all other fruits, peaches should be fed moderately – about one or two pieces. Too many peaches can cause gas colic in horses. 

Also, it is important that you know how to prepare this fruit for your equine friend. Wash it thoroughly, remove the pit, and cut it into smaller pieces.

Another important thing to remember is while peaches are safe for horses, their leaves can be extremely dangerous for them, and can cause their death.

Pears

pears

Pear is a favorite among horses. It is sweet, crunchy, and can provide nutrients for your horse, such as vitamins B2, C, and E.

Also, pectin, which is a soluble fiber that is present in pears, can slow down the digestive process which helps horses to better absorb nutrients.

It helps block the increase of stomach acid, and lessen the production of stomach sores. Overall, it strengthens your horse’s stomach.

To prepare pears, wash them thoroughly then slice in half and remove the stalk and seeds.

It is important to follow this step since seeds contain cyanide which is dangerous if too much is consumed. Lastly, cut the flesh into smaller pieces. 

Pineapple

pineapples

This tropical fruit is a healthy treat for your equine friend.

Pineapple contains vitamin C, A, B6, as well as magnesium, calcium and iron.

Feed your horses fresh, natural pineapples because canned may contain toxins and preservatives.

To prepare, remove the skin and core. Slice it into rings then cut into smaller pieces. Doing this removes the risk of choking.

Raisins

raisins

Raisins are nice, little treats for your horse.

Since it is small, it is easy to overfeed your horse with this treat, so make sure you monitor how many raisins your equine friend consumes.

Too much consumption of this dried fruit can result in discomfort that may lead to digestive problems. 

Strawberries

strawberries

Strawberries are beneficial to a horse’s health.

They should be fed in moderate amounts because excessive consumption of strawberries can cause digestive problems and nutrient deficiencies.

Strawberries contain vitamins, manganese, folate, potassium, iron, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and water.

They help lower blood pressure, boost immune function, and aid with the regulation of blood sugar.

Watermelon

watermelon

Watermelon is a great treat for horses. They can eat rinds in small quantities, the flesh, as well as the seeds.

While some horses do not fancy watermelon, others may be crazy over it. But keep in mind to feed them in moderation as with everything else. 

Watermelon contains vitamin A, vitamin C, choline, lycopene, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Since it is 90% water, this fruit helps to hydrate your horse, as well as lessen muscle soreness.

Final Thoughts

Now you have an entire list of fruits that are safe for your horse to eat.

Be sure you prepare these treats correctly for your horse so they can enjoy them safely.

And make sure not to overfeed your equine companion; with fruit, a little bit can go a long way.

If you found this article helpful, you are free to share it with your friends and family!

References:

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