Providing a tasty snack for your horse is a very rewarding thing. But can horses eat apples? Sure! Apples are one of the favorite snacks of most horses. There are, however, some very important things to know.
Can horses eat apples? Yes, in moderation.
Horses usually love apples. We know they are excellent fruits for us, but are they just as beneficial for the horse? I have often cut an apple into small pieces for my horse, as a snack, or use the sweetness of these fruits to give It drugs and medicines. Can an apple a day keep the vet away?
With some research, I have found that apples are an excellent treat for the horse, which contain various nutrients that are important for Its health.
Good source of potassium
As is well known, apples contain high levels of potassium – there is nearly 160 mg of this valuable substance in a medium-sized apple. The high potassium content in apples is essential for the functioning of the nervous and muscular systems.
Furthermore, potassium, being an electrolyte, is necessary for the metabolism of cells. Giving apples to your horse on a regular basis can help It maintain adequate potassium levels, which are important for the functions listed above.
Calcium and phosphorus
The apple also acts as an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus. Calcium is essential for several body functions, including bone growth and health, heart function, muscle health, milk production, maintaining optimal blood fluidity, enzyme, and hormone function.
Phosphorus is essential for energy metabolism, bone structure, and neutralize the body’s acid.
A medium-sized apple contains about 10 mg of both. The equal proportion of calcium and phosphorus complement each other, this is because phosphorus is essential for the absorption of calcium. If the amount of phosphorus in the body is less than calcium, calcium is not absorbed properly, causing brittle bones.
Fiber is another essential element in the horse’s diet: a medium-sized apple contains 3g to 5g of fiber. This makes apples an excellent source of fiber: adding apples to the horse’s diet is also highly recommended for this reason.
Vitamin A and C
The most important nutrients found in apples are vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which are essential for the horse. They act as antioxidants, fight free radicals, and help the body to purify itself.
These damaged molecules can cause fatigue, infections, and inflammation: adding apples to the horse’s meals ensures the right amount of both vitamins.
Moderation is the key
Having said all this about apples, it’s important to remember that any food, even the most beneficial, loses its properties if not used in moderation. If the horse loves apples and we give It too many, It may suffer from some health problems.
It should always be kept in mind that a horse’s digestive system may take some time to adjust to its diet. The changes may not be planned or unexpected, in both cases, there may be a reaction.
If the horse accidentally consumes a large amount of apples, It may later suffer from colic or laminitis. This can happen for several reasons: the horse has access to the neighbor’s apple harvest, a strong wind can drop many of them, or it can discover the supply in its barn. In this case, a visit to the vet will be required.
Is the horse HYPP positive?
There are some circumstances for which apples are not suitable for the horse. If the horse suffers from HYPP ( hyperkalemic periodic paralysis ), potassium is perpetually present in its blood. In such a situation, it’s essential to control potassium intake through diet.
Based on some studies, the recommended potassium level for a horse with HYPP is one percent less than the entire nutrient intake. Therefore, if the horse is HYPP positive, it would be better not to give It apples.
Always chop the apples
Whole apples are just the right size for a horse to chew on, but that poses a serious risk. While it doesn’t happen often, there is a good chance the horse will end up choking on an apple – in this case, it will be essential to call the vet immediately. It’s always advisable to chop the apple into small pieces to prevent this from happening.