We all love to treat our horses and often want to spoil them rotten! There are plenty of different treats on the market, but with horses being natural foragers, I think it is nice to treat them to fresh fruit and veg occasionally. But apart from the common treats of Carrots and Apples, it can be tricky to know what you can feed your horse and what you can’t. So in this post I will run through a list of safe fruit and veg to feed your horse and things to be aware of.
How to Prepare
Most fruit and veg you can feed whole. However, with fruit with stones in, make sure you remove the stones first. As with fruit peels, many horses will also eat these, so you don’t need to remove these (accept pineapple and coconut) before feeding your horse.
If you don’t want to feed the fruit and veg whole, do not chop them up too small. If you cut them too small the horse may not chew them properly and can choke on them. Everyone has differing opinions on what the best size is to chop fruit and veg for your horse, but my preference is to feed whole or cut in half as a general rule.
Watch the Portions
Although horses would eat fruit and veg they came across while foraging in the ‘wild’, they make up a really small amount of their diet. So keep an eye on the portions you are giving your horse. Fruits tend to be high in sugar, so may not be suitable for laminitic ponies or overweight horses. Some vegetables can also cause digestive discomfort (such as gas) so be careful not to feed too much of these either.
Trial and Error
Not all horses like the same things. So you will probably need to experiment with different ones to find your horses favourites.
Fun Ways to Feed
You don’t just have to give your horses these treats in their feed or by hand. You can also turn them into fun stable toys to keep them busy. Here are some fun ways to use fruit and veg as bordem busters.
- Hidden in Haynets
- Frozen in Ice for Ice Lollies
- Bobbing in Water Buckets
- Chunks in Treatballs
- Hanging on String
- Carrot Ball
Do you give your horse fruit and veg? What are their favourites and how do you feed them?