Horse Care

10 Treats Your Horse Will Love (That Aren’t Carrots!)

Ever wondered if your horse gets bored of the same old boring carrots? While our equine friends do seem to have an incredible amount of enthusiasm every time they hear the telltale crinkling of the carrot bag, they’re not the only treats horses can safely eat and enjoy. 

So what else can you offer to your horse next time you’re in a pinch at the barn? Or just for the fun of it because, seriously, imagine getting that excited about the same chocolate bar every single day of your life.

Here’s a few other horse-friendly treats that you probably keep around your home. Why not grab a couple over the next few weeks and see if your horse develops a new favorite snack? 

  1. Bananas

It might sound surprising but horses can eat bananas. A lot of them turn their noses up initially, but usually just because it’s unfamiliar. Once horses have tried bananas, they almost always love the taste and many of them even prefer bananas to carrots. 

Try mushing up a banana into their feed or even feeding it whole. That’s right, you don’t even have to peel them for your horse if you don’t want to. The skin is actually one of the healthiest parts for your horse. 

  1. Beer

Yep! Nobody is suggesting you have an all-out party with your horse in the barn (though in COVID times, it’s probably not a bad idea!) but the occasional can of beer has been fed to horses for centuries. 

In fact, beer is actually quite healthy for horses. Just not so much for humans. So a can of beer mixed into his feed after a good ride might earn you some brownie points with your favorite horse. 

  1. Oranges 

Continuing the fruit theme, it isn’t just humans who can eat and enjoy oranges. Horses can actually eat them peel and all, but another fun way to feed oranges is to peel and freeze segments for a refreshing snack on a hot day. 

And yes, that does mean that you can offer your horse a sip of your orange juice at the barn too. Just not too much, because the sugar content in fruit juice is quite high. 

  1. Pears

If horses can eat apples, it makes sense that they can eat pears too. They’re a bit strangely shaped for feeding whole, so the best way is to slice them up like apples and feed them to your horse that way. 

Most horses eat pears happily and willingly because they taste pretty similar to apples. Give it a try next time you’re at the barn!

Image: Unsplash
  1. Pumpkin 

Pumpkin is another orange vegetable that is totally horse-safe. They’re often available at great prices in bulk after Halloween, so grab a few extra when you’re making pumpkin soup and keep some for your horse. 

They can safely eat the skin thanks to those teeth, but you should remove the seeds when you cut the pumpkin into pieces for your horse. 

  1. Celery

Celery and carrot sticks go together like PB&J for humans, but it turns out that our hooved friends can enjoy this combination too. Horses can eat both the stalks and the leaves and some of them love the taste and crunch of celery. It’s also really good for saliva production and can help to guard against ulcers. Plus, celery is low in calories and sugar. 

Maybe it’s only the health-conscious horses who love it? 

  1. Mints

Mints are another classic treat for horses. Most horses absolutely love the taste of them, and will practically rob you for more. Keep in mind that you have to be careful with the sugar content. 

If your horse is healthy and doesn’t have any dietary restrictions, then a few mints won’t cause any problems…and your horse will seriously love you for it. 

  1. Melon 

Basically, all kinds of melon are horse-safe. Watermelon is a firm favorite with horses probably due to its sweet taste. Cantaloupe is another good option. Melons are great for summer due to their high water content. Hydrating, healthy, and delicious! 

Horses can eat the rinds in small amounts, but we prefer feeding the fruit. There’s no need to remove the seeds, luckily, so it shouldn’t take you long to cut up some melon for your horse or pony before you ride on a hot day. 

  1. Snow peas

Yep, snow peas might not be a hit with the human kiddos in the house, but a lot of horses really enjoy the sweet taste of them. Plus snow peas have got a really satisfying crunch and—if the way that horses tuck into carrots and apples is anything to go by—I’ve got to assume that horses enjoy a good crunchy treat too. 

You can feed them whole, so they’re a fun, low-effort treat with no prep needed. 

  1. Peanut butter

Our dogs love it, so why wouldn’t our horses? Peanut butter is actually safe for horses to eat, but you do need to be wary of feeding too much. The main reason is because peanut butter is high in calories and oil. But it’s also a really useful way to hide medication for the smarty-pants horses who can sniff out tablets from a mile away. 

So don’t throw away that tub of peanut butter. If you don’t feed it in large amounts, it can be a nice treat for your horse and a good trick up your sleeve when it comes to dispensing pills for your horse. Remember to opt for a brand with no added salt or sugar.

Conclusion

Just remember, treats are exactly that – treats. They shouldn’t be fed to your horse in large amounts or too regularly. Otherwise, have fun experimenting with your horse. Leave a comment and let us know which treat you’ll be trying first! 

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