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This is a discussion on apples within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Nutritional value of apple for horses
  • Nutritional value of apples for horses

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    11-30-2013, 06:56 PM

What nutritional values do apples have for horses?
Mine seem to like the green apples better than the red. Is there a difference in nutrients, vitamins or does the taste make the difference? Lol

I am moreover inquisitive about washing store bought apples. Is it necessary to wash them prior to feeding them to horses? I wash them before eating them.
Are there known health risks induced by the chemicals?
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    11-30-2013, 07:10 PM
Well... usually I don't even wash my own apples before I eat them, so I certainly have never washed them for my horse, and we're both still alive. Yes, I know I probably should, but, oh well... YMMV. I don't think there is any significant nutritional difference between different colors or types of apples, just taste mostly. :)
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    11-30-2013, 07:49 PM
That is funny. I used to have a mare that preferred Macintosh apples over any other kind. She would salivate like crazy while eating them but would paw and beg for more. She must have preferred a tart apple to a sweet one. Ha ha

I do wash apples because of the pesticides on them. At least give them a good rub on your shirt or something. Ha ha
Sharpie likes this.
    11-30-2013, 08:49 PM
Do you feed the whole thing? I cut them in quarters and remove the seeds. I just like to feel like a chef some times. Lol
What's YMMV?

I have one that will beg for apple flavored wormer. I am convinced she would eat or attempt to eat anything so long as I hand it to her. She's a piglet lol.

Speaking of wormer and pesticides... Could the pesticides on an apple be enough to kill parasites inside a horse?

Mad questions. I know. I am at work bored lol.
    11-30-2013, 08:57 PM
YMMV= your mileage may vary

Nah, I feed them whole, apple seeds will not hurt a horse (or a human for that matter). Yes, they do have cyanide type compounds in them, but a horse or human would have to literally eat pounds of just apple seeds for it to be enough to cause an issue. By "whole," I suppose I really mean, he gets bites off an apple that I am done with. Unless we're at an endurance ride, where he does get them just dropped into his bucket, and he takes bites off of them himself. I always think it's funny how slobbery he gets if he eats more than a bite or two. Nutritionally, apples have some sugar and fiber, but horses have to eat quite a few to cause an issue, though like anything, too many at once can make them colicy (say, turning them out in a paddock with fruit trees and dropped fruit on the ground).

No, the pesticides used on apples, and most other fruit, are at far too low of a level and the wrong type to be 'helpful' in that way. :)
elbandita likes this.
    11-30-2013, 09:01 PM
The only thing we keep in mind is that some horses will try to eat them in too large of pieces - instead of biting off pieces, they try to just eat 1/2 or 3/4 of it all at once. Choking is a risk IMHO.

Accordingly, we usually cut them up, or hold onto them tightly and force them to take smaller bites.
    11-30-2013, 09:11 PM
Depends on the size of the apple. When I went out and picked wild apples and they were less than half the size of a normal apple I fed the whole thing, but with normal apples I usually bite or cut off chunks and give them. Though these days I usually feed carrots. I wash everything I give to my horse, im a little to paranoid of pesticide and poison.
elbandita likes this.
    11-30-2013, 09:15 PM
My mare Rumor loves Honeycrisp apples. When she was injured/ill she got one every day, morning and night. Expensive!
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    11-30-2013, 09:41 PM

Honeycrisp apples do look delicious.

My horses like to eat this type of apple.
Can anyone name this specimen? Lol

    12-05-2013, 08:18 PM
Don't know if there's a true difference in sugar content between ripe green or red apples, but reds certainly taste a lot sweeter.

Anything like this in small doses is generally fine IMO, BUT being high in sugar, they may be too much for an IR or 'laminitis prone' horse to cope with even in small doses, so feed judiciously.

I generally cut into cubes for the horses, as one is IR & they're both a bit overweight, so they get 'more but less' - I can give them a fair few treats each & they haven't had much.
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