Foods Horses Can Eat: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to the world of equine nutrition, where the difference between a happy horse and a grumpy one could be as simple as an apple slice or a carrot stick. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive into the varied and delicious diet that your equine friend can enjoy, ensuring they stay healthy, happy, and perhaps a tad bit spoiled.

Foods Horses Can Eat: A Comprehensive Guide

Common Fruits and Vegetables

Let's start with the sweet stuff. Horses, much like us, have a bit of a sweet tooth. Fruits and vegetables not only provide a tasty treat but are packed with vitamins and fiber, essential for your horse's health. Apples and carrots are the go-to, but let's not forget about bananas, strawberries, grapes, and melons. Just remember, moderation is key, and always, I mean always, cut them into smaller pieces to prevent any unscheduled Heimlich maneuvers.

However, not everything in your garden is a horse's buffet. Steer clear of onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and the entire nightshade family unless you're aiming for a digestive disaster. Stick to the safe list, and you'll be your horse's favorite chef.

Grains and Seeds

Moving on to the main course: grains. These are the powerhouses of energy for horses, with oats leading the charge as a safe and fibrous option. Barley and corn can also be on the menu, but they require a bit more preparation to ensure they're easily digestible. It's like cooking pasta for guests; you wouldn't want it too hard or too mushy.

Remember, grains should be balanced with plenty of roughage to keep the digestive system running smoother than a well-oiled carriage. It's all about that perfect balance, much like finding the right tension in your horse's reins.

Herbs and Plants

Now, for a bit of gourmet flair, let's sprinkle some herbs into the mix. Herbs like comfrey, dandelion, and chamomile can support digestive health and are like the equine equivalent of a spa day. Mint and parsley can add a refreshing twist to their diet, proving that horses have a more sophisticated palate than we give them credit for.

But as with any fine dining experience, moderation is key. You wouldn't want to overwhelm the dish—or in this case, your horse.

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Treats and Snacks: The Way to Your Horse's Heart

Everyone loves a good snack, and horses are no exception. Treats can strengthen the bond between you and your horse, serving as a form of positive reinforcement during training or simply as a way to say, "You're the best horse around." But, like all good things, treats should come in moderation.

Treats and Snacks for Horses

Safe and healthy treat options include raisins and sugar cubes, but these should be the dessert, not the main course. And for those who prefer the convenience of pre-made treats, there's a whole world of commercial horse treats that are both nutritious and horse-approved. Just remember, the aim is to supplement their diet, not to replace it.

Horses' Favorite Foods and Best Choices

While each horse has its own unique palette, there are some clear favorites in the equine world. Carrots and apples often top the list, but don't be afraid to mix things up with a variety of fruits and vegetables. The best food for a horse depends on its age, activity level, and health status. A diet rich in high-quality hay or grass, supplemented with the right balance of grains and the occasional treat, will keep your horse in top form.

For those looking to ensure their horse's diet is as nutritious as possible, consider exploring everyday horse vitamins & supplements. These can fill any gaps in their nutrition and support overall health and vitality.

Can Horses Eat Weetabix?

Now, for the burning question: Can horses eat Weetabix? While the occasional piece of this wholegrain wheat breakfast cereal won't cause harm, it's certainly not a staple in a horse's diet. Horses require a diet high in fiber, and their main food source should be hay or grass. Specialty horse feeds and grains are formulated to meet their nutritional needs without the risk of digestive issues associated with human foods.

Horse Vitamins and Supplements

It's crucial to prioritize high-quality forage as the foundation of their diet, consulting with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to tailor the diet to your horse's specific needs. This ensures your horse gets the right mix of nutrients to support their health and well-being.

In our next section, we'll wrap up with more insights into equine nutrition, including how to introduce new foods to your horse's diet and maintaining a balanced diet for optimal health. Your horse's diet is the cornerstone of their health, and with the right knowledge and resources, you can ensure they live a long, happy life.

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Introducing New Foods and Maintaining a Balanced Diet

When it comes to introducing new foods into your horse's diet, the key is slow and steady. Just like us, horses can have sensitive stomachs, and sudden changes can lead to digestive upset. Start with small amounts and gradually increase over time. This not only helps their digestive system adjust but also lets you monitor for any adverse reactions.

Balanced Horse Diet

A balanced diet is the cornerstone of equine health. It should be primarily composed of high-quality forage, such as hay or grass, making up the majority of their intake. Supplements and grains can be added to meet specific nutritional needs, especially for active horses or those with health conditions. Herbs and plants can provide additional health benefits, but always consult with a professional before making significant changes to your horse's diet.

Common Dietary Concerns

Obesity and malnutrition are two sides of the same coin, both detrimental to your horse's health. Regularly assess your horse's body condition and adjust their diet as necessary. Too much grain or too many treats can lead to weight gain, while insufficient forage can cause weight loss and nutrient deficiencies. It's all about finding that perfect balance.

Healthy Horse Treats

Remember, water is an essential part of your horse's diet. Ensure they have access to clean, fresh water at all times, especially when feeding dry foods like hay or pellets.


In summary, feeding your horse a varied and balanced diet is crucial for their health and happiness. From fruits and vegetables to grains and supplements, each component plays a vital role in their overall nutrition. Always introduce new foods gradually and consult with an equine nutritionist or veterinarian to tailor the diet to your horse's specific needs.

And while treats can be a great way to bond with your horse, remember, moderation is key. Too much of a good thing can be harmful, so treat wisely.

Feeding horses is both an art and a science. By understanding the basics and consulting with professionals, you can ensure your horse is not only nourished but thriving. Whether you're a seasoned equestrian or new to the horse world, remember: a well-fed horse is a happy horse.

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Thank you for joining us on this comprehensive journey into the world of horse nutrition. We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights and practical tips to keep your equine friend healthy and content. For more information on horse care and the latest in equestrian gear, visit Just Horse Riders.

Category Foods
Fruits Apples, Bananas, Strawberries, Grapes, Melons
Vegetables Carrots, Celery, Pumpkin, Snow Peas
Grains Oats, Barley, Corn (in moderation and properly processed)
Herbs Comfrey, Dandelion, Chamomile, Mint, Parsley
Treats Raisins, Sugar Cubes, Commercial Horse Treats

Asked by You: Common Questions Answered

What Foods Are Safe for Horses to Eat?

Horses can safely enjoy a variety of fruits (like apples, bananas, and melons), vegetables (such as carrots and celery), grains (including oats and barley), and select herbs (like mint and chamomile). Always ensure these foods are introduced into their diet gradually and served in moderation.

What Is Horses' Favourite Food?

While each horse has its own preferences, many horses particularly enjoy carrots and apples due to their natural sweetness. These foods can be great treats when used to reward good behavior or simply as a way to show your horse some extra love.

What Is the Best Food for My Horse?

The best diet for your horse depends on its age, activity level, and health needs. Generally, a diet high in quality forage like hay or grass, supplemented with grains and vitamins as necessary, will meet the nutritional requirements of most horses. Always consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to tailor the diet to your horse's specific needs.

Can Horses Eat Weetabix?

Weetabix, while not harmful in small amounts, is not an ideal food for horses. Horses need a diet high in fiber, and their primary food source should be hay or grass. If you're looking for something different to feed your horse, stick to foods that are specifically recommended for equine diets.