Can Horses Eat Apples? Things You Need to Know

Have you ever asked yourself that question?

In fact, this is a question that many horse owners ask themselves when they see their equine friends eating the fruit from trees in their yards.

While it may seem like an easy answer, there are actually some things to consider before giving your horse an apple treat.

Can horses eat apples?

Yes, horses can eat apples. And the fruit is mostly safe for your equine friend to consume. But only feed apples to your equines in moderation.

It should not be a big bag of apples every day. Apples come in different flavors, from sweet to tart. Horses usually prefer one flavor over another.

How many apples a day is good for your horse?

One apple a day is optimal for your horse. Cut the apple into small pieces and feed it to them early in the morning or late at night, whichever you prefer. This will help with any digestive issues they might have.

Don’t feed your horse a lot of apples in one day. They might get an upset stomach and need to go to the vet. It’s better to give them an apple as a treat from time to time or make some baked apple treats for them throughout the day if you want.

Don’t overfeed them this type of fruit.

Health benefits of apple for horses

Most horses like apples.

They are healthy for the animals because they have many good things inside them, like potassium, fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Apples also have antioxidants that help the body stay healthy by destroying bad molecules that cause issues.

If you want to give your horse an apple, start small and only feed them a few at first. If they are okay the next day, then it is okay for them to continue.

What types of apples are good for your horses?

Horses can eat fresh apples. Here are the 10 best types of apples for your equines: Fuji, Gala, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and McIntosh apples.

Horses can eat apples of any color. Some people think they only like red apples. But they love all colors, including green and yellow ones. And while they can eat them cooked, they prefer their apples raw.

What to remember when feeding apples to your horses

Feed them in moderation

Horses’ stomachs are very sensitive, so it is important not to feed them too many apples at once. It’s also a good idea to limit the amount of food that they eat at one time. They need a balanced diet, and apples should only be used as a treat.

Do not feed your horse a LOT of apples at one time. It can cause problems, and the horse may need to see a vet. Feed just 1 or 2 apples per day so that your horse is happy and healthy.

You cut up an apple and feed some to your horse in the morning and some later in the day. This can help them feel better and avoid getting sick.

Be careful with horses that have HYPP

Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis or HYPP for short can make equines unable to handle potassium. When they have too much, it can leak from their muscles and cause problems. Apples contain potassium and are not recommended for the ones who suffer from HYPP.

Apples are also not recommended for horses with metabolic issues

Some horses have metabolic issues. These are things like Cushing’s and insulin resistance. They should not eat apples because the sugar might make it worse for them. There are other treats that are made just for these kinds of horses, so feed them those instead.

What is the horse’s current dental issue?

A horse’s current dental issue is that it might have a problem chewing up its food.

Apples are best for horses if they can chew the crunchy texture. If your horse cannot chew, you should cut the apple up into really small pieces to make sure they do not swallow them without chewing.

If your horse has no teeth, it can be hard to eat apples. To make them easier for your horse to chew, you could puree the apples with a food processor or blender.

Can horses eat apple peels?

Yes, you can feed apple peeling to your horse.

They love it and there is no problem with the apple peel being thin. You may want to rinse off the apple first, just to be sure there are no toxins or residue from pesticides.

You can pick organic apples that will not have any pesticides on the skin. Or, if you have a tree in your yard, you can feed them apples from the tree.

Can horses eat apples whole?

Yes, horses can eat apples whole, especially with smaller types. For bigger ones, they will often bite and eat the pieces one by one.

Some people give their horse whole apples, but it might not work for your horse. Some eat too quickly and may swallow the apple too fast, which could be dangerous for them.

It is safer to cut up the apple before you feed it to your horse. It will trick him into thinking he has more food. This way, if he eats the whole thing, it won’t choke him. Choking can lead to pneumonia which no one wants their horse to have.

Can horses eat apple cores & seeds?

Yes, they can. But it’s not recommended. 

Apple seeds have a substance called amygdalin. When the seed is eaten, it turns into hydrogen cyanide. Hydrogen cyanide is poisonous and prevents cells from using oxygen.

It can lead to death with higher concentrations of hydrogen cyanide; this is why you shouldn’t feed your horses the seeds.

The horse would need to eat enough seeds for it to become a problem.

In people, researchers say that it takes 0.2-1.6 milligrams of cyanide per pound of body weight to cause severe poisoning and symptoms such as coma, paralysis, heart and lung failure, or death.

One gram of apple seeds contains 1 to 4 milligrams of amygdalin, which would only result in 0.06 to 0.24 milligrams of cyanide, assuming all the seeds were fully chewed. This means it would take eating a lot of seeds to provide a lethal dose of hydrogen cyanide.

It would take a lot of seeds to make a negative impact on horses. So, if you only feed your equine a half or one apple a day, that would be 99.99% safe.

Can horses eat apple pies?

Yes, they can eat apple pies.

There are other baked treats that you can make for your horse. This will be easy to do if you use ingredients that are safe for your equines. They won’t like too much sugar, so don’t add it!

Other ways to feed your horse apples

You can mix chopped apples with your horse’s bran mash as a special treat. You should not put too many in it though or else the feed will taste bad. Always remember to be moderate when giving treats to your horse.

Some people enjoy making frozen licks for their horses that are made with an ice cream container. Fill it with water and then put some chopped-up apples, or anything else your horse likes. Put the lid on and freeze it. Then give it to your horse to lick throughout a hot day of summer weather.

You can also give horses apple oatmeal. Make sure that you do not add too much sugar to the apple oatmeal because apples already have some in them.

If a horse has dental problems, you can make apples easier to chew by cooking and softening them. You’ll need to cut them up into smaller pieces so they are easier for the horse to swallow.


Horses can safely eat apples, including peels, core, seeds, pies. But make sure you feed apples to your horses in moderation.

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