Debunking Myths: Can Horses Really Eat Butternut Squash?

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 07/07/23 •  11 min read

As a horse owner, the question of whether or not Butternut Squash is safe for horses to eat may cross your mind. Well, you will be surprised to know the answer!

Yes, butternut squash is safe for horses to eat. In fact, it is a great source of vitamins A, C, potassium, and fiber. If your horses become habituated to digesting it, then you can use it as a treat ingredient to your horse’s diet.

Butternut squash can be favorable for the health of horses. It helps in healthy moderation. However, to make it work as your horse’s taste bud, firstly add this slightly to the diet. If that suits your horse, then increase the amount.

In this writing, you will know the effectiveness of butternut squash for your horses. So now let’s dig into the details.

The benefits of butternut squash

Some people might have the wrong information that butternut squash is unsafe for horses. But, this is wrong. This squash is very beneficial for horses. Now, let’s get to know about the benefits of butternut squash for horses.

Butternut squash provides your horses with energy and enhances well-being. It has beta carotene, making this highly nutritious and a great source of well-being for horses.

You can introduce your horses to butternut squash as positive reinforcement. It is a really good approach for athletic horses. Whenever they do good in training, you can provide this squash as a treat and appreciate them. This will keep them motivated to do well and be jolly. So, butternut squash is a suitable ingredient for the mental health of horses.

You can develop good bonding with your horses by giving butternut squash as a treat.

Squash is an effective training tool for horses because of its enrichment in vitamin C and dietary fiber.

This butternut squash serves many benefits including the progress with the three motions of your horse such as lateral bending, extension, and flexion. You can create a new diet for your horse by adding squash daily, it is more like walking differently than tradition.

These benefits encourage the movement of your horses and make them more enthusiastic about training and work.

You can offer an appealing change of texture and flavor in horses’ diets by adding butternut squash. This combination makes a proper nutrition package for horses and develops their digestive health.

Can Horses Really Eat Butternut Squash

Related: Can horses eat bok choy? The answer is not what you’d expect! Dive into the fascinating world of equine nutrition and discover something new today.

Nutritional value of butternut squash for horses

You know, butternut squash is a very highly nutritious veggie for horses. This is a generous source of vitamins A, C, potassium, and dietary fibers. It is really very beneficial for a horse’s health and well-being.

Vitamin A is essential for developing the vision, immune system, and proper growth of horses. Vitamin C, this antioxidant keeps the horse’s cells healthy and prevents the risk of chronic diseases. Potassium maintains muscles and nervous functions. Dietary fibers facilitate digestive health. Your horse will get all these benefits by eating butternut squash.

Vitamin A354%
Vitamin C35%
Dietary Fiber5%

Related: Ever wondered if horses can eat grapefruit? This webpage dives deep into the scientific explanation of equine digestion, providing answers you never knew you needed.

How to prepare and feed butternut squash to horses

While feeding your horses butternut squash, make sure that you have prepared this remedy properly and given it in a moderated way. Remember, horses can only eat the fleshes, not the skins and seeds.

Let’s know how to prepare and feed butternut squash to horses:

Different ways to feed butternut squash to horses

Butternut squash is very delicate in flavor and very nutritious for horses. There are different ways to feed this veggie to your horses. You just need to know these ways. Such as:

Raw butternut squash

It is a very delicious ingredient to add to other items like hay, grains, or beet greens. You just wash the squash, peel off and remove the seeds and chop them into small pieces, and then mix them with other ingredients.

Baked or steamed butternut squash

If you find it risky to feed raw squash, you can bake or steam and feed it to your horse. But don’t add any spices to it. Just serve the cooked squash in front of your horse with some water.

Potential risks

Though butternut squash is nutritious for horses, still, it has some potential risks to be aware of.

This veggie is full of vitamins and minerals, but also high in sugar. Feeding too much squash can cause obesity, laminitis, and colic in horses. Surprisingly, horses metabolize sugar better than humans. However, still, you have to be cautious regarding the amount of squash in the diet.

Squash unfortunately contains some toxins that can be harmful to horses. Please feed the squashes that are grown in a safe environment.

If somehow squash does not suit your horses, then that may cause diarrhea, vomiting, or hives problems. In that case, you have to contact the vet immediately.

In some cases, this vegetable seems allergic to horses, at that point, you can stop feeding it.

Butternut squash recipes for horses

Storing butternut squash for horses

You can store butternut squash for at least 2 to 3 months. Here, you go with some storing tips for this amazing veggie for horses:

Butternut squash recipes for horses

Here, you go with some squash recipes for horses. Such as:

Squash soup

For this recipe, you need a whole squash.

1. First, boil the squash.

2. Once it gets boiled, then blend it, and add some hay, grains, and half a cup of flour to it, thicken it up.

3. For taste, you can add a pinch of salt.

4. In this soup, your horse will get a sweetish salty flavor, that makes it eat more and more.

5. If you want, you can store this soup in a cool place or in a refrigerator.

Squash cookies

To make squash cookies, firstly you have to make squash puree.

For this, you have to boil it and then blend it. By this, your puree will be ready. Then for cookies, you have to add some flour and a little bit of sugar to it. But try to keep the flavor as natural as you can.

Don’t overwhelm it with too many sweets and flavors.

Tips for feeding butternut squash to horses

Since butternut squash is a very healthy diet for horses. So, to make it more effective, here you go with some tips, such as:

How to feed butternut squash to horses safely?

As a horse owner, you will definitely love to feed butternut squash to your horses. But for safety, you need to follow some steps:

Hopefully, by following these guidelines you can feed butternut squash to horses safely.

Butternut squash alternative for horses:

  1. Lettuce: Horses can certainly eat lettuce. It’s a good source of water and fiber. However, it should be fed in moderation due to its high water content.
  2. Brussel sprouts: Horses can eat Brussels sprouts. These are packed with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins K, C, A, folate, and manganese which are beneficial for horses. However, too much of it may lead to bloating and gas, so serve them in moderation.
  3. Beet greens: Beet greens can be safely fed to horses. They are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, and several B vitamins, which are good for the horse’s overall health. Beet greens also have a substantial amount of calcium.
  4. Cauliflower: Yes, horses can eat cauliflower. It has many benefits, including Vitamins K and C, as well as other essential nutrients. It should be fed in moderation, and it is best to start with small amounts to see how the horse tolerates it.

Always remember, while these vegetables are safe for horses, their daily diet should primarily consist of hay or grass. These vegetables should be fed as a treat and not replace their main diet. Before


How much butternut squash is safe for horses to eat?

Horses can eat this squash safely, however, still you have to be careful regarding the amount of it. As butternut squash is high in sugar, it can cause problems to digestive issues. So, it is better to add 10% squash to your horse’s daily diet. For example: if your horse eats 2 pounds of hay, then add 0.2 pounds of squash to the diet.

How often should horses be allowed to eat butternut squash?

If you give your horse butternut squash as a treat, then it is best to feed it in a moderated way. You can give this squash as a treat one or two at a time, but in this regard, you can limit the other ingredients so that your horses don’t get hyper due to excessive eating.

You can measure out an ounce per pound of its’ weight. By this, you will treat your horses perfectly with the proper amount of this sweet treat.


The horses can safely eat butternut squashes, yet it is not recommended as a part of a natural diet. If your horse becomes habituated to eating this squash, then you can feed it but in a moderate way. Make sure, you have consulted a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to ensure that the choice of feeding butternut squash is the perfect decision for your horses and their well-being.

Zunnun Ahmed

We are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.

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