What Human Foods Can Horses Eat?

Horses can eat human foods such as:

  • apples,
  • carrots,
  • grapes,
  • bananas,
  • pumpkin,
  • watermelon,
  • strawberries,
  • dried fruits,
  • corn,
  • sugar,
  • nuts,
  • oatmeal,
  • salt.

Horses can eat so many things that a human eats. Horses’ favorite foods are apples and carrots. They also love treats, and the food that we eat is generally considered as snacks for horses. Horses love eating chocolate, but be careful with the amount especially if the horse is competing because chocolate leaves a positive drug test. Horses can eat bananas even if the banana is not peeled.

Strawberries contain a high amount of antioxidants, vitamins, water, and fiber which keeps the horse well hydrated. Horses love to eat foods that contain sugar, but you have to be careful with the amount of sugar and other ingredients that can cause a problem.

Apples are a great example. It’s probably their favorite snack, but you may want to remove the seeds before you feed your horse so your horse doesn’t get upset and have stomach problems. The reason for this is because the seeds in apples contain toxic cyanide compounds that could cause all sorts of problems. Another tip when it comes to feeding your horse with apples is to cut the apple into pieces. Otherwise, you risk your horse from getting choked.

Table Of Contents

What should you not feed a horse with?

You should not feed your horse with:

  • chocolate,
  • avocado,
  • persimmons,
  • lawn clippings,
  • pitted fruits,
  • bread,
  • potatoes,
  • yogurt and milk products,
  • garlic and onions,
  • caffeine.

A lot of foods can be very problematic for horses, so we don’t feed them everything, especially the things that we are sure will cause a digestive or any other problem. Caffeine is something people avoid and the same goes for horses. Horses should avoid caffeine because it causes irregular heart rhythm, and it is important to say that caffeine will cause a positive drug test for those who have competitive horses.

Be careful when feeding your horse with lawn clippings. Even though it looks like regular grass, the fact that you don’t know if those clippings contain any poisonous substances is a major red flag. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Garlic, onions, potatoes, and other nightshades are toxic, and something you should never feed your horse with. This food is the number one cause of convulsion and unconsciousness. The same thing goes for avocados. Regardless of how good they are for people, they are poisonous to horses.

Tomatoes are nightshades and should be avoided as well even though they aren’t as harmful as previously mentioned food. However, tomatoes contain atropine which can cause colic and hyoscyamine. This will lead to an increased heart rate, and decreased saliva levels.

There are many more products that can be lethal to horses, such as buttercups. They usually lead to liver failure.

Can horses eat bananas?

Yes, horses can eat bananas. As a matter of fact, they love bananas and mainly because bananas are mushy and have a soft texture.

It’s worth mentioning that you don’t need to peel off their bananas. Bananas are known for high amounts of potassium, so your horse will benefit from eating them, especially the ones that are in competitions.

What is a good snack for horses?

Generally, horses love products that contain sugar, such as fruits and chocolate.

It’s important not to give the horse big amounts of any snack because it can cause changes in the digestive system, and that can lead to lots of other problems. Apples are also on the best treats you give to your horse. Horses can eat a couple of apples a day, and they will provide the horse with the nutrition they need for the day.

The next one on the list are carrots, which they also seem to like a lot. A common misconception is that eating carrots will help with their eyesight.

This might be true for people, however, horses don’t benefit from eating so many carrots in the same way people do. So why do horses like carrots? As I said already, horses love everything that contains sugar, and we know that carrots contain a good amount of sugar. Bananas too can work as a snack. Besides the potassium, bananas are a kind of fun treat for horses, because of the bananas being so mushy and having a soft texture.

Can apples kill horses?

Yes, apples can kill horses. Feeding your horse with apples is risky since it could cause colic, and lead to death.

Another thing worth mentioning is to be careful of the size of the apple. Not every horse chews before swallowing, so they could choke on the apple. That’s the reason why people cut apples into slices or smaller pieces. As a general rule, every treat or snack could potentially cause death when served in large quantities.

Can horses eat cheese?

No, horses can’t eat cheese. Cheese is a milk product, and every milk product or yogurt should be avoided.

Horses are lactose intolerant, and that means that horses can’t handle lactose very well. Even smaller amounts of lactose could potentially cause liver failure, which leads to death. How dangerous lactose is, when we talk about horses, is the fact that 1-5 kg of lactose consumed in the horse’s lifetime causes liver failure and death.

Can horses eat apple cores?

Yes, horses can eat apple cores. Horses can eat the whole apple, including the peel, core, and seeds. You should know that the apple core includes the seeds, and the seeds contain cyanide, which is toxic. Like anything else, having too much of the apple core can lead to colic and digestive problems.

Can I give my horse bread?

Yes, you can feed your horse with bread, however it has to be mixed with other ingredients and products.

Bread has a poor nutritional balance so it certainly won’t be enough for the horse. Also, it’s important to know what the bread is made from since some bread products can cause digestive issues. However, the bread that people eat is not dangerous for horses as long as you don’t overdose it. In general, bread is a poor choice of food, even for people, since it doesn’t provide almost any nutrients. There is one good thing in feeding your horse with bread though. As a matter of fact, bread contains a good amount of phosphorus, which is very good for the horse’s diet.

The downside of eating bread is that it lacks calcium. Unless you supplement your horse with calcium, their body will start taking the calcium from their bones, which will weaken them and could cause all sorts of issues. Another downside of eating bread is the lack of proteins, which are important for the horse.

What food is poisonous to horses?

There is food that can be poisonous to horses such as:

  • caffeine,
  • chocolate,
  • garlic and onions,
  • tomatoes,
  • fruit seeds and pits,
  • dog and cat kibble,
  • potatoes,
  • house plants.

Those foods contain toxic substances and chemicals that can be devastating to horses. Let’s take coffee as an example. Other than sugar, products such as coffee, coca-cola and tea also contain caffeine which is the biggest hazard for horses. Caffeine, or to be more precise trimethylxanthine, is toxic and can cause irregular heart rhythm (heartbeats irregular and faster than normal).

The same goes for potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate, and house plants. Tomatoes contain chemicals such as atropine and hyoscyamine. Atropine can cause colic, while hyoscyamine decreases saliva production, increases heart rhythm and causes diarrhea.

Fruit seeds and pits are poisonous as well and can harm your horse’s digestive system. You should not mistake fruit seeds for fruit, since those are two different things since the rest of the fruit can be used as horse snacks.

So why are fruit seeds bad for your horse? In reality everybody treats their horse with fruits without the seeds and they don’t give the horse fruit pits. Fruit seeds and pits contain cyanide compounds. Cyanide compounds are very toxic to horses, and can harm their digestive system.

Horses can’t eat dog and cat kibble, although some animals eat kibble. Dog and cat kibble is made with meat and other ingredients. The reason why you shouldn’t feed your horse with kibbles is the meat. This is because horses don’t eat meat.

And finally, you should be aware that house plants can also hurt your horse by causing kidney failure, diarrhea, colic, and death. Make sure to keep your horse away from the house plants.

Can horses eat peanut butter?

Horses can eat peanut butter.

The fact that your horse can eat peanut butter, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be eating moderately. We can’t argue that peanut butter is good for your horse because peanut butter contains lipids and lots of calories. Everything that one horse needs throughout the day. However, what you need to be careful of is not to feed your horse with too much of it, because larger servings can be harmful and cause diarrhea or even lead your horse to obesity. You can let your horse have a small amount of peanut butter on bread which shouldn’t be more than 100g a day.

Can horses eat broccoli?

Horses can eat broccoli, as broccoli is a good source of vitamins and minerals.

If your horse hasn’t been eating broccoli so far, you may want to consider starting with a smaller serving. This can take a week or two before their digestive system adapts to the new food.

Make sure to wash their broccoli first, since some farmers use pesticides to protect their plants. Broccoli contains a lot of minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C, and antioxidant vitamins. Making broccoli part of your horse’s diet will help prevent retinal degeneration, and it’s required for healthy eyesight.

Vitamin A that’s coming from broccoli will help your horse maintain the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes. When preparing their broccoli, soak it for at least 30 minutes in clean water, to remove pesticides and toxic substances. Then cut the broccoli in small pieces, so the horse can chew.

Can horses eat pasta?

Horses can eat pasta. Pasta can be cooked or raw.

Giving the horse pasta is the same as giving your horse bread. You have to be careful of the amount, and to not give your horse pasta as a whole meal. If you want to make it a nice treat for your horse, make sure to keep it in a considerable amount.

Sometimes you have to be careful with cold or raw pasta. Cold pasta has sharp edges, and it can be a problem for your horse when chewing, so better boil it first.

Can horses eat eggs?

It is safe to feel your horse with eggs.

Eggs are a great source of protein, with a good balance of amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. Eggs are popular in the diets of racehorses, where horse owners typically serve them as raw. Some people say that boiling eggs reduces the risk of salmonella. On the other side there are people who practice giving their horse a whole egg, since the eggshell is a great source of calcium and horses can benefit from it. So giving your horse a few raw eggs certainly won’t hurt them.

Is Mango good for horses?

Yes, mango is good for horses.

Mango is a lovely treat for horses, especially because of its juicy and mushy texture. Whenever eating mangoes horses seem to be very happy. It’s recommended to peel the mango and remove the seed before treating your horse. The peel of the mango contains some compounds similar to the compound in poison ivy that can cause a skin reaction in some people, so better to avoid giving the whole mango if you want to be safe.

Mango seeds can be extremely problematic and should be avoided at all costs. It’s better to remove the seed because it can get stuck in the horse’s pharynx or esophagus. The last thing to be careful of is how much mango is good for your horse. Mango contains a big amount of sugar, which can negatively affect the horse’s diet and cause digestion issues. To avoid any risks and problems give your horse a considerable amount of mangoes which should be less than 3 mangoes a day.

How many apples can a horse eat a day?

Horse’s diet should not include more than 7 apples a day.

Horses do love apples, and some might say that apples are their favorite kind of treat. However, as a horse owner, you should know that giving your horse more than 7 apples a day can be risky. If you feed your horse more than 7 apples a day, it can lead to stomach ache and digestive issues, and that’s something you probably want to avoid.


In this article I tried to give an answer to what human foods can horses eat. As much as your horse’s diet is delicate, there is still plenty of food that both humans and horses can share. All you need to do is to remember a few food types that can be risky when feeding horses, since most of those can cause colic, digestive issues or liver failure. And some of them can lead to death.