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Our Equo Blog

5 Things You Should Never Feed Your Horse

01 Dec 2016

It is important to feed your horse special foods occasionally, they need a little treat every now and again. Nonetheless, horses should never eat some food at all. The following are some specific foods you should never feed your horse once you choose to give it some treats. 

Large quantities of fruits


Most people like to feed their horses with treats such as apples. However, too much of something is poisonous, and this is true for fruits. When your horse has a belly filled with apples, it is likely to cause colic, which may further lead to founder. You should not give your horse more than two pieces of fruit. You should check that your horse is not tied in an area where fruits are likely to fall from windfall or other people likely to give spoiled fruit to the horse.

Garden and lawn clippings


These have several hazards.

  • The clippings may be from toxic plants.
  • Plants such as rhubarb leaves and lily of the valley are toxic.
  • Some other weeds are toxic due to the use of pest and weed control chemicals.
  • The horses may eat up cut or semi-wilted plants and fill up fast causing colic.

There may be a gut imbalance due to the sugar found in semi-wilted plants that may lead to laminitis. Ensure you place such garden waste in a compost pit and do not leave it over the fence near your horses’ pasture.



Founder of Long Riders CuChullaine O’Reilly in the article Equines, the Shocking True Story of Meat-Eating &Murderous Horseslooked into why horses should never eat meat.

  • Horses do eat meat when given the meat.
  • However, the meat causes violent behavior in the horses. Therefore, it is imperative that you do not give your horse meat to prevent this.
  • The digestive system of horses is herbivore specialized. As such, they are supposed to have a herbivore type of diet.

Cruciferous vegetables

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Horse gets uncomfortable after ingesting kales, broccoli, cabbage, or Brussels sprouts.

  • These vegetables are gassy and leave your horse feeling ill due to the said gas. Giving the horse a few leaves is not bad.
  • Nevertheless, you should not dispose such vegetables in large amounts close to where your horse feeds.

Alsike clovers


These are rather common in pastures. Nonetheless, feeding your horse with alsike clover may cause sores in the mouth, sunburns, and diarrhea as well as colic. Big liver syndrome is also caused by alsike clovers. Clovers can grow to 30 inches in height and a round pink flower. It is not V-shaped like the red clover. This is how you identify alsike clover. There may be problems if your horse snaps a few alsike clovers over a long duration.

The five listed foods should be avoided at all costs. Other foods include silage and haylage, as well as cattle feed among a few others, should never be fed to your equine buddies. Remember that nutrition is an essential parto of horse safety and horse care!