Safe Fruits and Veggies for Horses


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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15 Responses

  1. Clissa says:

    Cassie I’d like to know your source re cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, etc being on the toxic list.
    I’ve always fed those veg to my horses with no side effects that I can see.
    During some bad drought months many years ago, my cattle & horses had to live on tomatoes from the local farms. Then cabbages were in season so they got those along with broccoli & lettuce.
    No harm done.
    The big strong stems are great for fixing sharp teeth problems. Horses love to chew hard stems & mine fight over who will get the broc, cauliflower & cabbage stems at my place.
    I have to either use the garden pruning saw to cut one stem up into 3 so each horse has a piece to chew or I have to pull 3 plants.
    Broccoli leaves are excellent food for chooks also, being packed full of calcium.
    The only veg the horses won’t eat is the center rib from spinach, chard or silverbeet leaves & potatoes.
    They love the whole tomato plant so when seeds germinate in the manure, those plants grow a few months then get eaten once loaded with young tomatoes.
    Same happens with pumpkin, calendula & mustard greens. Whole plant disappears!
    My horses only get ‘fed’ every third day so they get their mineral supplement. On the other days they get weeds & produce prunings from the garden along with fruit & veg scraps from the kitchen & a medium carrot each which I buy in 20kg bags & keep in the ‘horse feed’ fridge.
    The carrots & parsnips I grow are too precious to feed to horses! lol

  2. Karen says:

    I have a brumby that makes a beeline for the tomatoes on the bushes….I stop her but she has managed to get a few now and then. I’ll be more vigilant now, didn’t know they could be toxic.

  3. I have the same question as Clissa – albeit not specifically the fruits/veg she mentions, but rather the information in general. I know you reference Juliet Getty Ph.D., you also reference a certain “Lord Nelson” but neither Ms Getty nor Lord Nelson seem to be provide any references themselves. When I look at the samples from Ms Getty’s book, it would appear she has some strange, and at times outdated, ideas about the equine digestive system and about nutrition – true, they are only samples and possibly taken a little out of context and some may indeed be old theories that she no longer subscribes to.
    I must admit, it also seems rather farcical the idea of pulping fruit and veg for an older horse – surely those are the easier and unnecessary things to eat and it is the essentials like the grasses we need to concentrate upon.

    • Casie says:

      Hi Timothy,

      I reference Juliet Getty quite a bit in my posts and respect her as an equine nutritionist. The second reference comes from Rutgers University. I believe ‘Lord Byron’ was a mascot horse for the university–probably listed because the article was originally directed towards kids. As for the information being outdated, that is possible. If you are aware of more updated information, feel free to direct us toward it.

      Also, I don’t feed pulped fruits/veggies as the main source of nutrients to my horses–just a treat or something to add in their feed bucket. Choke is an issue with one of my middle aged horses too, so I like to play it safe.


  4. Tina says:

    We feed our horses a variety of fruits and veggies on a regular basis. They go crazy over pineapple watermellon and citrus fruits . Ill never forget tho look of surprise on my geldings face the first time he bit into a lime lol i dont feed cabbage brocoli tomatoes or any vegies from the nightshade family as 8 was warned by my vet they may cause colic .

  5. Cheryl HuntBlack says:

    I live in Costa Rica and feed my horses mangoes as treats along with Papayas which were not mentioned. The mangoes should have the pit removed because there is a chance of it getting stuck in the throat. My horses love bananas, skins included and turn up their noses at carrots or apples.

    • Casie says:

      Thanks for sharing, Cheryl. This isn’t a comprehensive list, I’m sure. Isn’t it funny what some of them will and won’t eat?

  6. Gina says:

    My dad started switching to all natural feeds for his horse. Right now he’s giving 50% feed and another 50% Vegetable.

  7. karen says:

    What does IR horses mean? Acronym world…..

  8. Christine says:

    Hi I read that fried cabbage is ok for horses as it is a herbal remedy for treating stomach ulcers in horses. Confused now

    • Casie says:

      Fried cabbage? Or do you mean dried? I believe the issue with cabbage is that it can cause gas (which could lead to gas colic). But cabbage is also high in L-glutamine, which is often used to treat ulcers. I’d use it with caution for sure. Diet and management changes would probably be more effective in treating ulcers though.

  9. Amy says:

    Don’t forget peaches. We have two old peach trees that still go crazy right around the 4th of July. I can and freeze them as fast as I can, but I also push the seed out with my thumbs and hand over lots of them to the horses. They love them and I’ve been doing it for years!

  10. Tarence says:

    I am doing a horse project on treats, have any suggestions?

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