10 Foods You Should Never Feed To Your Horse

A horse is one of the most loyal animals that would never leave your side no matter what happens. It would help if you also were taking care of its needs.

There’s nothing wrong if you give some man food to your horse. Some specific fruits and plants are harmful to horses, such as avocados and potatoes. So, never feed this type of food to your horse.

Foods You Should Never Feed To Your Horse

Horses are sensitive to certain foods, and they react vigorously towards them. Many diseases occurred in horses when they ate certain foods, such as diarrhea, muscle loss, respiratory distress, etc.

This blog post will throw light on all those foods which may be life-threatening for horses. Let’s start the article right now.

10 Foods You Should Never Feed to Your Horse

Before starting the article, I would like to discuss a few things here. Why should you be caring about a horse’s health? The horse is seen as a muscular and powerful animal. Doesn’t it have a strong stomach?

A horse may have a powerful body, but the stomach is the most sensitive part of every animal’s body. So, to make your horse healthier, you need to make its diet free of those foods which are deadly for its stomach.

Here is the list of top 10 foods that you should never feed to your horse:

1. Avocado

Avocados could be a great source of energy for humans. These fruits can also be used with toast or as pizza toppings.

But, a specific chemical is there in avocados known as Persin. It is a sort of fatty acid that causes heart diseases such as irregular beat, difficulty breathing, edema, colic, etc. Even the smallest amounts taken by the animal could be fatal.

Avocado as a whole is toxic to the horses and other animals. The barks, the leaves, and the part of the fruit are fatal for horses.

So, keep an eye on your horse when you are going to an area where avocados are abundantly present. Make sure it won’t start grazing there, as the smallest amount of avocado is fatal for your horse.

2. Potatoes

Why are potatoes bad for horses? If your horse is eating raw potatoes, they are very dangerous. But, cooked potatoes are relatively less toxic. Potatoes descend from the nightshade family.

What makes potatoes a bad food for horses?

The reason why potatoes are toxic is because of the high concentration of starch present in them. Small consumption of potatoes is not bad, but if regularly feeding potatoes will cause food poisoning.

The possible effects of potatoes are upset stomach and infections in the stomach, leading to ulcers.

If someone has made potatoes a part of a horse’s diet, it would be bad for their health. That is why you can only feed potatoes once in 10 days.

The good thing is, horses don’t like the taste of raw potatoes. 

But, it would help if you were careful with these vegetables as cooked potatoes such as potato fries, and meals with potatoes are also toxic.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes also descend the same nightshade family as potatoes. These vegetables are toxic for horses.

So, why are tomatoes bad for horses?

Their relation with horse nettle makes them very unhealthy for horses. Severe diarrhea and kidney problems occur due to the presence of oxalates and calcium phosphates.

The good news is horses don’t like tomatoes themselves. But, as tomatoes are present in every food, so keep your man foods away from the reach of your horse.

Plus, if your garden or farm has tomatoes in it, keep your horse at a distant place from the tomato field.

4. Unpitted Fruits

Most fruits have no potential damage to the horses; you can feed them to your horse anyway. But, fruits with pitted seeds are sometimes fatal for your horse.

What makes pitted fruits bad for the horses?

Pitted fruits have seeds; the seeds may or may not be digestible and may cause food poisoning. Hard seeds may cause choking, leading to respiratory distress.

Severe conditions such as gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, etc., can happen. So, if you are going to feed plums to your horse, take out the seeds.

5. Cheese And Yogurt

Dairy products are not always recommended for horses. Cheese and yogurt are the main product of milk.

But why are cheese and yogurt unhealthy for horses?

Horses lack the enzymes needed to break down the lactose into simple compounds. A small amount of lactose could be OK, but regular eating of cheese and yogurt can upset the stomach.

So, it is good to keep all dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream away from horses.

6. Bread

Bread has multiple uses for horses. Some people may also say that bread is delicious to put on some weight. But that’s just a nun’s tale.

Why is bread bad for horse’s health?

Bread contains starch is abundant, which is hard to digest for the horses. Lumps could be formed in horses’ stomachs, which may cause insulin resistance, colic, or even equine metabolic syndrome in horses.

So, it’s better to keep the bread away from the horse’s reach to prevent any problem.

7. Chocolate

Chocolate is very tempting for the horses. But, it has very bad effects on the health of horses. Small consumption of chocolate is disturbing for horses.

What makes chocolate bad for horses?

Chocolate is not good for horses; a chemical known as theobromine makes chocolate un-digestible for horses. It could cause accelerated heartbeat, tiredness, muscle fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea.

The chemical present in chocolate has the same effects as caffeine in coffee, which is also not suitable for horses.

Chocolate also makes your horse eliminated out of any race or competition, as drug tests will catch it. So, take chocolate away from the reach of your pets.

8. Cattle Feed

Many people have both cattle and horses on their farms. But you can’t just swap their foods. It is better to understand that both animals carry unique digestive systems.

So, why you can’t give cattle feed to your horse?

Cattle feed is not suitable for horses, as its stomach will respond badly towards the chemicals present in cattle feed which are toxic for horses. Sometimes, the feed could be much worse and be fatal.

That’s why it is necessary to keep the feeds of both cattle and horses separate so that you don’t mix them.

9. Buttercups

Buttercups are also very bad for the health of horses. Buttercups are present in the hay, which is dried. In that for, buttercups are harmless.

So, why are buttercups toxic?

Buttercups upset the stomach of horses, which may cause colic. It would be challenging for horses to digest buttercups as their stomach is susceptible. A large number of buttercups cause oral infections.

So, please keep away buttercups from horses.

10. Lawn Clippings

Lawn clippings seem to be horrible for horses. The lawn clippings are the remains when you cut off the grass in the lawn. The newly cut grass starts fermenting.

Why is this law clipping bad for horses?

When the cut grass starts fermenting, it should not be given to horses to graze upon. This grass is very bad and causes rupture of stomach and colic to horses in some cases.

So, I never prefer clippings over fresh grass.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Food Is Poisonous To Horses?

Any food that makes your horse’s stomach upset or contains a chemical that the horse cannot digest is poisonous to the horses.

Fruits such as avocadoes, potatoes, tomatoes, etc., cause food poisoning even if taken in small quantities.

What Should Horses Not Eat?

Horses should not eat foods that make them sick. The main foods that could be fatal for the horses are:

  • Avocado
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Unpitted Fruits
  • Cheese and Yogurt
  • Bread
  • Chocolate
  • Cattle Feed
  • Buttercups
  • Lawn Clippings

What Vegetables Are Bad For Horses?

Vegetables with an abundant supply of starch are said to be a bad choice for horses. The most common vegetative which should not be consumed by horses is potatoes.

Tomatoes and some Unpitted vegetables are also making difficulties digesting the foods; they may also cause choking.

Is It OK To Give Horses Apples?

Apples may seem suitable for the horses. People may want to feed apples to their pet’s horses, but you should keep one thing in your mind. Excess of everything is terrible.

So, never feed more than two apples to your horse as they can be very bad for its health.


A horse should have a diet that is entirely safe for its health. Certain foods are thought to be good for horses’ health, but in reality, they are not harmful and dangerous for the health.

Foods such as avocados and potatoes upset stomach function, and those with seeds may cause choking. So, it is better to look at the food you are feeding your horses before giving it to them.

That was all about ‎10 Foods You Should Never Feed to Your Horse‎. If you have any questions, please comment below and let us know.