can horses eat apples

Can Horses Eat Apples

Last updated on March 11th, 2023 at 10:31 pm

Can Horses Eat Apples

Our horses are our trusted partners and friends, so we always want to treat them right and reward them for good behaviour and companionship, too.

One of the ways that we can do this is by offering them a healthy treat every once in a while. In moderation, many fruits can be a fantastic treat to spoil your horse with.

Apples are likely the first fruit that comes to mind, especially because of how often we see them given to horses in shows or movies. Read on to learn more about horses and apples, and how you can feed this treat to your horse without causing them any harm. 

Can Horses Eat Apples

Apples are a popular treat for horses in movies or tv shows, but are they a suitable snack for your equine friend in real life? The answer to that question is yes! Horses can eat apples, and they often enjoy this treat for its crunchy texture and sweet flavor.

Just like anything that is not a part of your horse’s regular diet, moderation is key with apples. Too many apples can still make your horse sick and cause digestion problems, even though they are considered to be a healthy treat. 

Dangers of Apples for Horses

For the most part, apples are a healthy treat for your horse! However, it is important to only give them to your horse in moderation. There are some things to be aware of when feeding your horse apples, and these issues largely appear when you are overdoing it. Read on to learn about some of the drawbacks of feeding your horse too many apples. 

Dental Issues

Some horses may have dental issues, and if this is the case for your horse, you may want to avoid giving them apples as a treat. Apples have a crunchy texture, and many kinds of apples are very hard. Some horses have issues chewing their food, or may be missing teeth, so apples may be too hard for them to eat.

However, if your horse does love the taste of apples, you can always try pureeing these into an applesauce to avoid harming your horse’s teeth!

Colic and Digestive Issues

Overfeeding your horse apples can also lead to stomach issues, such as colic and bad gas that can make your horse very uncomfortable. This can even be painful! Try to only give your horse apples a little bit at a time, rather than their daily dose of apples all at once.

Breaking it up can help. These issues can occur whether or not you have a horse that is already predisposed to having stomach issues. Horses with metabolic issues like Cushing’s or insulin resistance can also have poor reactions to apples, due to all of the fruit sugar that apples contain. If your horse has one of these issues, you should avoid sharing your apples with them. 

How to Feed Your Horse Apples

While your horse can eat apples, you do want to avoid overfeeding them this treat, as we mentioned above. Too many apples can lead to digestive issues, for instance. It is generally estimated that a horse can eat the equivalent of 2 apples a day, but less than this is still recommended, especially if your horse already is prone to certain digestive issues or has a sensitive stomach. Give your horse apples in small portions. It is best to slice the apples or cut them into chunks about the size of grapes to avoid choking, as some horses do not chew treats like these and just swallow them whole! You do not have to peel the apples, because horses can eat the skin of the apple as well.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to feed horses apples?

Horses love fruits, and in moderation, many fruits can be safe and tasty treats for your equine friend! Apples are one such fruit that can be a good snack for your horse. Horses can usually eat the equivalent of about 2 apples a day, but it is a good idea to give them to your horse sliced in small portions, too. 

How many apples can a horse eat a day?

Fruits like apples can be good treats for horses if you do not overdo it. By overdoing it, you can cause issues like severe stomach distress or digestion issues— just like if we humans were to eat too much of something! A horse can eat the equivalent of 2 apples a day. Of course, this applies to a healthy horse. If your horse already has a weak stomach or os predisposed to stomach issues, than you may want to be more careful and not give them as much when feeding them this fruity treat. 

What fruits can horses not eat?

While horses can eat many different fruits, there are some that can be dangerous for your horse, and that you should avoid at any cost. This is mainly fruits that have a pit inside, such as cherries, avocados, or whole peaches. The pit, or the stone, as it is sometimes called, can be dangerous because it can be a choking hazard, especially for a large animal like a horse. In excess, these fruits can also lead to other issues like colic and very bad gas that can make your horse uncomfortable and can even cause pain to them. 

How do you cut an apple for a horse?

While horses can eat whole apples, it is better for your horse to eat segments of apple. It is easier for them to chew and to digest later once it reaches their stomach, too. It is generally recommended that large produce be cut into smaller pieces as well. Cutting your apples into slices or small chinks can help to avoid your horse choking on them if they try to swallow them whole, as many horses do. Cutting an apple into chunks the size of grapes is safe for your horse, and you can cut the apple into eights to make it safe, too.