What Fruit Can Horses Not Eat? Check Forbidden Fruits

As an avid horse enthusiast, I’ve spent countless hours caring for and understanding these magnificent creatures. While horses are known for their love of grazing on lush green pastures, it’s crucial to be aware that not all fruits are suitable for their sensitive digestive systems. 

Just like humans, horses have specific dietary needs, and certain fruits can pose health risks if ingested. In this exploration, we’ll delve into the world of equine nutrition, discovering which delightful fruits we should steer clear of to ensure our beloved four-legged friends stay happy, healthy, and galloping gracefully through life’s meadows.

What Fruit Can Horses Not Eat

Here’s a list of fruits that horses should not eat:





Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc.)

Stone fruits (peaches, plums, apricots, etc.)





Can horses eat grapes?

While grapes themselves are not toxic to horses, it is generally not recommended to feed them grapes. Grapes can pose a choking hazard and may cause digestive upset in horses. Here are a few considerations:

Choking hazard: Grapes, especially if fed whole, can be a choking hazard for horses due to their small size and slippery texture. Horses have different chewing and swallowing patterns compared to humans, and grapes may not be adequately chewed before swallowing, increasing the risk of choking.

Digestive upset: Horses have sensitive digestive systems, and the sudden introduction of new foods, such as grapes, can potentially lead to digestive upset, including colic or diarrhea. The high sugar content of grapes can also disrupt the microbial balance in the horse’s gut, which may cause digestive disturbances.

Individual sensitivities: Just like with any food, individual horses may have different sensitivities or reactions to grapes. Some horses may tolerate small amounts of grapes without issue, while others may experience adverse reactions.

If you wish to offer your horse a fruity treat, it is generally safer to choose alternatives like sliced apples or carrots, which are more commonly enjoyed by horses and have a lower risk of causing choking or digestive issues.

Are apples safe for horses to eat?

Horses can eat apples, and they are a popular treat among many horses. Apples are generally safe and enjoyed by horses, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind:


Like any treat, apples should be given in moderation to prevent excessive sugar intake. Apples are naturally sweet and contain sugar, so it’s important not to overfeed them. Limit the quantity of apples and consider cutting them into smaller pieces to make them easier to manage.

Seed and core removal: 

Remove the apple seeds and the core before feeding them to horses. Apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, which is toxic to horses if consumed in large quantities. While a few seeds accidentally consumed are unlikely to cause harm, it’s best to err on the side of caution and remove them.

Variety and freshness: 

Offer a variety of apple types to your horse, such as red, green, or mixed varieties. Additionally, choose fresh apples that are firm and free from spoilage or mold.

Introduce gradually: 

If your horse is not accustomed to eating apples, introduce them gradually to observe how the horse reacts and to ensure there are no adverse reactions or digestive upset.

Apples can be a healthy and enjoyable treat for horses when fed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. However, always consider your horse’s individual dietary needs, any specific health conditions, and consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist for personalized advice.

Which fruits should horses avoid?

Horses should avoid fruits that are toxic to them, such as avocados, cherries (including the pits and stems), potatoes (especially green or sprouted ones), tomatoes (particularly the green parts), and rhubarb (especially the leaves). Onions, garlic, and chocolate should also be avoided, as they can be harmful to horses due to the specific compounds they contain.

Is it okay for horses to eat bananas?

Horses can eat bananas. Bananas are safe for horses and can be a tasty treat for them. However, like any treat, they should be given in moderation to avoid disrupting the horse’s balanced diet.

Can horses consume oranges or citrus fruits?

Horses can consume small amounts of oranges or other citrus fruits without significant issues. However, some horses may be sensitive to the acidity of citrus fruits, which can cause mouth sores or digestive upset. Therefore, it’s best to offer citrus fruits in limited quantities.

Are cherries safe for horses to eat?

Cherries are not safe for horses to eat. The pits and stems of cherries contain cyanide, which is toxic to horses and can lead to serious health problems or even be fatal.

Do Horses Like Apples or Carrots Better?

Horses often enjoy both apples and carrots as treats. Preferences may vary from horse to horse, so it’s a good idea to offer both and see what your individual horse prefers.

Can horses eat watermelon?

Horses can eat watermelon in moderation. Watermelon is safe for horses and can be a refreshing treat, especially during hot weather. However, it’s essential to remove any seeds and offer them in small amounts to avoid overfeeding.

Are strawberries safe for horses?

Yes, strawberries are safe for horses to eat. They can be a sweet and tasty treat for them. As with any treat, offer strawberries in moderation to maintain a balanced diet for the horse.

Can horses eat avocados?

Horses should not eat avocados. Avocados contain a substance called persin, which is toxic to horses and can cause gastrointestinal upset and heart issues.

Can horses eat bananas?

Horses can eat bananas as an occasional treat. Bananas are safe for horses to consume in small quantities, but they should not be a significant part of their regular diet. Here are a few things to keep in mind when feeding bananas to horses:


Bananas should be given in moderation as a treat or reward and not as a staple food. The high sugar content of bananas means that they should be fed sparingly to prevent excessive sugar intake, which can lead to health issues like weight gain and metabolic disorders.

Proper preparation: 

Before feeding bananas to horses, it is best to remove the peel and cut the fruit into small, bite-sized pieces. This can help prevent choking and make it easier for the horse to eat and digest.

Introduction and observation: 

When introducing new food to a horse’s diet, including bananas, it is important to do so gradually. Start with small amounts to observe how the horse reacts and to ensure there are no adverse reactions or digestive upset.

Quality and freshness: 

Choose ripe bananas that are fresh and free from any signs of spoilage or mold. Avoid feeding overripe bananas as they may be too mushy and unappealing to the horse.

Remember that treats, including bananas, should not replace a balanced diet of forage, concentrates, and necessary supplements. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist for guidance on your horse’s overall diet and appropriate treatment options.


In conclusion, it’s crucial for horse owners and enthusiasts to be aware of the fruits that horses should avoid due to their potential toxicity. Fruits like avocados, cherries (including pits and stems), potatoes (especially green or sprouted ones), tomatoes (particularly the green parts), and rhubarb (especially the leaves) can be harmful and should never be fed to horses. Onions, garlic, and chocolate are also on the list of foods to avoid due to their negative impact on equine health.

As with any dietary change or treat, individual horses may have different tolerances or sensitivities, so always monitor your horse’s reaction and adjust accordingly.

However, there are several safe and enjoyable fruits that horses can consume in moderation. Treats like apples, carrots, bananas, strawberries, and watermelon can be given as occasional treats, adding variety to their diet and providing a sweet and refreshing reward.

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