Horses will eat just about anything that they have access to, but there are certain foods that you should prevent your horse from eating. So What Can’t Horses Eat?
First, it is important to remember that horses are naturally herbivores. Therefore, although they may enjoy that bit of hamburger or hot dog, meat is not recommended for a horse’s diet. Meat, including eggs, and other dairy products can cause your horse digestive issues and therefore should be avoided completely. Also, any processed foods, such as chocolate, soda, and other such foods, should not be given to your horse. Your horse was not designed to eat such processed foods, so they should be avoided.
In addition to meats, there are plenty of plants that should not be fed to horses. First, brans are not good for your horse’s health. These include foods such as wheat and rice bran. These are unhealthy as they can cause imbalances in the minerals in your horse’s diet. Also, although it may be seen as convenient to get rid of your garden and lawn clippings, weeds, and compost by feeding them to your horse, you should never feed these items to them. They may be very toxic for your horse.
The following is a list of plants that should not be fed to your horse. Although it is not comprehensive, it is a good place to start when trying to find out What Can’t Horses Eat.
• Any nuts or peanuts
• Red Clover
• Sweet clover
• Alsike clover
• Sudan Grass/Johnson Grass/Sorghum
• Tall Fescue
• Rye grass
• Bran Rice/Wheat
• Lily of the Valley
• Poison hemlock
• Leafy spurge
• Klamath weed/ Hypericum perforatum
• Poison ivy
• Blue flax
• Japanese Yew
• Mountain Laurel
• Russian Knapweed or yellow star thistle
Here is a basic list of fruits and vegetables that should also be avoided in your horses diet:
• Brussels sprouts
• All those belonging to the nightshade family
• Any fruits with pits still in them
In addition to a wide variety of unsafe meats and plants, you should also avoid feeding your horse feeds intended for other farm animals. Such items include chicken feed, goat feed, cattle feed, and any other foods intended for other animals, as these can be fatal to your horse.
Basically, if you are not sure if it is safe for your horse, you should avoid it. It is better to stick with the foods that you know are healthy than to experiment with the health of your horse.