What not to eat

What not to eat

One of the problems of keeping my horses near a public trail is that passersby have no understanding of what horses shouldn’t eat. You’d think that people wouldn’t feed someone else’s horse — I mean, seriously, would you hand someone else’s kid a peanut butter sandwich? — but most people figure that horses in a field are akin to a petting zoo and will scale multiple fences to make their offerings.

Zelda was the one who tipped us off. Whenever someone stopped at the trail, she would thunder over to the edge of the field like a Walmart greeter, eager to see what special treat was on offer. I guess the only good news is she kept Curly from getting anywhere near the fence line. That’s good because Curly, being prone to choke, is not a good candidate for carrots or apples.

This handy chart details the foods that your horse can eat, and what is not appropriate. I have to say, many of those items I’ve never considered offering. I’m not crazy about bananas, but maybe Freedom or Zelda would find them delicious?

What unusual food does your horse like?

5 thoughts on “What not to eat

  1. Frannie may be Kentucky born, but she loves a Philadelphia soft pretzel and will knock me over for a sip of Dunkin Donuts coffee. I’ve learned to keep my junk food in the car. Zeus loves peppermints, but goes crazy when I score a bag of root beer barrels. We share a mad love for them.

    1. Soft pretzels? That’s a new one for me, although I would agree they are delicious. When I lived out on the Main Line I used to grab a bag from one of they guys who sold them on the street. Easy dinner. I’ll have to try the root beer barrels. My two love candy canes. I always put them on our Christmas tree and then share them with the horses.

  2. Amazing…I had no idea the range of fruits and vegetables horses can (or is it will?) eat. I do know that my very first horse, McDuff came to me overweight and a real chowhound. He loved to eat! He had some odd tastes…he loved unfiltered cigarettes. Never having been a smoker, I had no idea until one of the hands at the barn laughed and said, watch this….and fed one two Duff, paper and all. I said no more…and he sneered and said tobacco used to be used as a wormer. He loved colas, too. Seriously, I wonder how it was he hadn’t colicked.

    As for other things…did you know that Queen Z, Zenyatta, was (maybe still is?) given a bottle of Guiness Stout every day. The owners said that having been made extremely rich with her winnings, it was the least they could do for her.

    One foodstuff I DID know about was watermelons. I was massaging endurance horses at a 100 mile endurance ride in Bandera, TX. Mike Maul’s mare, I can’t remember her name was at his trailer for a mandatory break. Mike had injected a watermelon with electrolytes. He broke it open and served it to his mare. She wolfed it down like she was starving. i thought it very clever way of getting water, electrolytes and glucose into his good horse all in one shot.

    1. What a great idea about using watermelon to give electrolytes. I think Zelda needs a watermelon snack. It’s been high 90s here. Really unbearable.

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