Ok guys I need a bit of help from you on this one. I’m pretty passionate about getting this out there, being an owner of a horse that suffers gut problems and whose field has a public footpath running past it.
Having grown up and loving everything horse from a very young age, I totally get the pull of fussing over or feeding horses grazing in fields that you are passing. It’s a nice thing to do, right? Unfortunately it’s not quite as nice as you might think.
Not only can horses develop a tendency to nip and snatch when fed by hand, but apples, carrots and other fruit and veg contain a lot of sugars, and can really wreak havoc with their diet. Not to mention that feeding scraps can actually cause a lot of damage! Horses don’t need these sweet “treats”, and are very well adapted to grazing on grass and hay that we as owners supply them where necessary.
Of course, some horses cope just fine with eating carrots, apples and other goodies, and that’s down to their owner to decide. If you are walking past a field with a horse in it, please don’t presume that it’s OK to feed it – even if that’s just pulling grass up from your side of the fence! Your actions could cost us an expensive vet callout that just needn’t happen – it’s stressful for everyone involved, including the horse. Feeding that seems kind and harmless enough can also result in colic, which can be fatal.
If you really want to feed a horse that you walk past, only do so with express permission from the owner, and please keep your fingers out of the way of their teeth!
Horse owners, walkers, friends and family, please share and spread the word!
Disclaimer:- this is my own personal view, however I honestly believe you should always consult the owner before engaging with their horse. These animals are our pride and joy, and we invest a lot of time and money into them!