Horses primarily eat hay and grass, with grains like corn or oats added for extra calories. Horses are also provided with salt, either added into a concentrate mix of grains, flax seed, beet pulp, bran and molasses or separately as a salt block in the pasture. Horses also receive treats in the form of apples, carrots and sugar. Some horses occasionally enjoy a bite of meat.
The bulk of horses' calories come from hay and grass. Too many grains leads to ulcers, dental problems and colic. Not all grains are healthy for horses; for example, wheat is not recommended except in small doses as a treat, since it leads to mineral imbalances. Horses are designed to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day, allowing for better and more efficient digestion.
During the summer, horses typically seek out salt sources more than they do in the winter. Their diets can change based on individual needs. Pregnant or nursing mares and working horses are often fed concentrate mixes to supplement their typical diets, since the mixes provide extra nutrition and energy.
Although horses are herbivores, some acquire a taste for meat. They can safely eat a bite of a hot dog or piece of hamburger every once in a while, but they should be monitored for signs of discomfort after.Learn More
Horses sometimes eat apples when given by their owners as a treat. It is recommended to cut the apple in pieces to keep the animal from choking, and to feed it from a bucket or feed bag. Horses should not be fed more than one or two pieces of fruit.Full Answer >
Wild horses are herbivores and eat any plant life in their surroundings that provides adequate nutrition, most notably healthy grasses and shrubs. Wild horses often roam large areas of land and graze wherever there is adequate water and plant life.Full Answer >
Horses can eat carrots, peas, green beans, lettuce and squash. Some other vegetables that horses can eat include beets, celery, pumpkin, parsnips and cucumbers. They can also eat corn, plantains and a variety of dried beans, such as pinto, fava and red beans.Full Answer >
Adult horses lie down during REM sleep, and sometimes they also lie down during the day to rest or sun bathe. Young foals commonly sleep lying down. Horses only lie down for short periods because they are adapted to sleep on their feet and awake quickly to flee predators.Full Answer >