Yes! Horses can eat apples. It’s a traditional favorite treat for a reason—they’re tasty, and horses love them.
However, too many apples can cause stomach issues in horses. Apples are also fairly high in sugar, so if you do decide to give your horse an apple, make sure to only give them a fair amount.
You might have a lot of questions on your mind regarding apples and its potential for your horse. Go through each section to find out why this fruit is given the green light as a food for horses.
Is It OK for Horses to Eat Apples?
Absolutely! Apples are a staple fruit treat for horses. They’re healthy, and they offer a variety of nutritional benefits. However, it’s also important to know that horses love the taste of apples! Its crunchy and juicy texture is especially enticing to them.
However, you should only give them apples as a treat. Otherwise, there are going to be problems.
If you feed your equine too many apples, it might trigger gastric issues. The sugar content in apples is also an issue you need to be aware of. Excessive sugar intake can lead to health problems like obesity and even diabetes.
It’s best to give apples to your horse only as an occasional snack. Anything more than that will cause problems down the road.
Benefits Of Feeding Apples To Horses
Apples are an excellent food for horses. Not only do they taste great, but they also offer many benefits to your equine. Here are some of the notable benefits of feeding apples to horses:
They’re Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
Apples are rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as A, C, potassium, and more. These nutrients help support a healthy immune system and promote proper cardiovascular functioning. In addition, apples also contain fiber, which is important in aiding a horse’s digestion.
They’re a Natural Source of Energy
Apples are a natural source of energy for horses. The sugar in apples is a complex carbohydrate that horses can easily convert into energy. Therefore, apples are an excellent treat to give horses before they exercise or race.
Apples also fructose, which is another type of sugar. This sugar has a lower absorption rate, making it an excellent option for horses that need sustained energy during runs or races.
Filled with Antioxidant Properties
Apples contain powerful antioxidants that can help protect horses from a variety of health problems. For example, the Vitamin C present in apples can help horses fight off infection. The antioxidant properties in apples can also help horses recover from exercise more quickly.
Drawbacks of Feeding Apples to Horses
Of course, there will always be a corresponding negative to every positive. Apples are no different from other food sources.
However, it all depends on the number of apples you give your horses. With that said, here are some of the potential drawbacks of feeding apples to horses:
Many horse owners, especially the new ones, tend to make the mistake of offering their horses a large number of apples in one sitting. They think horses are such big animals that they can handle large quantities of food. This is a wrong assumption.
Like humans, horses can also experience stomach problems when eating too many apples. In fact, horses are more prone to developing gastric ulcers than humans. Again, this is because horses have very sensitive stomachs.
When horses eat too many apples, they can develop gas and bloat. This can cause discomfort and even pain for horses. In extreme cases, horses can also develop colic, which is a very serious condition that can be fatal.
High Sugar Levels
Horses are notoriously known for their sweet tooth. However, this doesn’t mean you should give in to their every craving. Like humans, horses can also develop health problems if they consume too much sugar.
While apples are a healthy treat for horses, they are also fairly high in sugar. The sugar content in apples can cause horses to become hyperactive and even restless.
Many horses deal with dental issues due to their diets containing significant amounts of sugar. Since apples are high in sugar, they can also contribute to dental problems in horses.
It also doesn’t help that apples have a crunchy texture that can damage horses’ teeth over time. This is why it’s important only to give horses fresh and clean apples.
In addition, you should also avoid giving them apples that are too ripe, as these can be more difficult to chew and cause horses to choke.
Can Horses Eat Apple Peels?
Yes, horses can eat apple peels. When feeding horses apples, you give them the whole thing. Their powerful teeth and jaw are strong enough to bite through the skin and consume the whole thing in one bite.
However, if you feel like peeling your apples before feeding them to horses, that’s perfectly fine too. Just know that horses can eat both the apples and the peels without any problems.
Peeling would also be time-consuming since horses can eat apples pretty quickly. So I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re doing it for your own peace of mind.
Can Horses Eat Apple Cores
Yes, horses can eat apple cores. As I mentioned earlier, horses eat the whole thing when they eat apples. They don’t have any problem chewing through the core and eating it along with the rest of the apple.
Can Horses Eat Cooking Apples?
Yes, like ordinary apples, horses can also eat cooking apples. These variants, such as the Granny Smith apples, are meant for cooking.
Cooking apples are just as safe for horses to eat as regular apples. However, some horses might not be too fond of the tart taste.
Can Horses Eat Unripe Apples?
Yes, horses can eat unripe apples. However, horses prefer ripe apples because they are sweeter and easier to eat.
Unripe apples can be quite tart and might not be enjoyable for horses. If you give horses unripe apples, ensure they are fresh and clean.
Can Wild Horses Eat Apples?
Yes, similar to a domestic horse, a wild horse can also eat apples. However, it’s important to note that wild horses generally have a different diet than domestic horses.
While domestic horses are typically fed hay, grain, and other supplements, wild horses mostly graze on grass and other plants. Therefore, they might not be as accustomed to eating apples and other fruits. That being said, there’s no reason why wild horses can’t eat apples.
Can You Give Horses Whole Apples?
Yes, you can give your horses whole apples. Most healthy adult horses shouldn’t have trouble chewing an entire apple.
However, older horses with dental problems will require apples that are in small, more manageable pieces. The same goes for horses who are still young and have not yet developed all their adult teeth.
Can Horses Choke On Apples?
Yes, no matter how strong and healthy your horse’s teeth are, there will be instances where they can choke on apples. This is because some horses tend to be greedy with their food and try to consume them too quickly.
This can cause them to choke, especially if they’re trying to eat a whole apple without chewing it properly. If your horse is prone to choking, you should cut the apple into smaller pieces to prevent this.
How Do You Prepare Apples for Horses?
The cardinal rule when it comes to feeding horse apples—or any other fruit, for that matter—is to wash and clean them thoroughly first. This is to remove any dirt, wax, or chemicals on the fruit’s surface.
You should also cut the apples into smaller pieces, especially if you feed them to younger horses or horses with dental problems. Smaller pieces are easier to chew and are less likely to cause choking.
However, for healthy adult horses with no problems with their teeth, you can give them whole apples. They won’t have any problems chewing them.
How Do You Cut An Apple for a Horse?
While on most occasions, you can give your horse a whole apple to enjoy, there will be times when you’ll need to cut them into smaller pieces. This is usually for horses who swallow their food whole or those with dental problems.
To cut an apple into smaller pieces for a horse, wash and clean the fruit thoroughly (again, cardinal rule). Cut off the stem and remove the seeds. Then, slice the apple into wedges or chunks. The size of the pieces will depend on your horse and its chewing ability.
How Many Apples Can I Feed a Horse?
I may seem like a broken record at this point, but it needs to be said—everything in moderation, including apples.
You can feed your horse apples, but you should only give them a few pieces. This is because apples are high in sugar and can cause gastric issues if horses eat too much.
A good rule of thumb is feeding one or two apples daily as a sweet treat. If you’re feeding them more than that, then make sure to monitor your horse closely for any signs of digestive upset.
So there you have it! Horses can safely consume apples as long as they’re given in moderation. Too many apples can trigger gastric issues, so it’s best to give them only a few pieces.
Overall, apples offer benefits and potential drawbacks. That’s why you should always consult with your veterinarian before feeding your horse any new food. They can help you decide if apples are the right treatment for your horse (which they are, in most cases) and how often you should be feeding them.