Can Horses Eat Spinach? Is Spinach Healthy for Horses?

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 09/28/22 •  6 min read

Horses are weird animals – Eat everything literally.

And odd things too.

But that doesn’t mean they can consume anything. 

Take leafy greens like spinach or lettuce, for example. Can Horses Eat Spinach, or if spinach is as nutritious and beneficial to horses as it is to humans?

Well, spinach is relatively easy for horses to eat and digest. Spinach is high in fiber and contains important nutrients like vitamins A, C, K, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, and more. Horses can eat spinach because they are herbivorous animals that eat plants for food. In fact, feeding them spinach in moderation is good for horses.

Before incorporating this green into the equine diet, let’s look at the advantages of feeding spinach to your horse, how to feed them, and what other greens they can eat. (Read more about whether can horses eat mango?)

Is spinach ok for horses? And is it healthy for livestock?

Now Look:

Feeding spinach to horses in a controlled manner is beneficial to their health. Let’s look at the healthy nutrients available in spinach and how they affect horses. 


The primary nutrient for horses is fiber, 

And the good news is fiber is abundant in spinach. 

Rather than using their smaller intestines, these herbivorous animals digest fiber in their hindgut, which is home to billions of bacteria. The bacteria help to digest the fiber and produce energy for the body.

Horses need fiber so much that if they don’t get enough of it, they may experience constipation, low energy, vitamin deficiencies, constant hunger, etc. 

Read more: Are buttercups toxic to horses? Find out more about this and other important facts about these beautiful flowers.


Spinach is also rich in magnesium. One cup of boiled spinach contains 157 mg of magnesium, which helps them with muscle recovery and maintain their digestive systems

Other nutrients 

Besides fiber and magnesium, spinach is also rich in other healthy nutrients such as iron, potassium, vitamins, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, etc. All of these nutrients help to keep your horse healthy and ready for training. 

Remember that because horses can only occasionally consume small chunks of spinach, these nutrients from spinach cannot significantly impact horses. They can also experience serious gastrointestinal problems like Colic if they consume too much spinach.

Can Horses Eat Spinach

How to feed spinach to your horse?

Start by adding a little spinach to your horse’s regular diet of grain, hay, and pasture. You can also feed the spinach separately to check your horse’s reaction to it and if he has any allergic reaction. 

If you get a positive response, you can gradually increase the amount of spinach. 

However, it would be best if you don’t feed your horse spinach on a regular basis. It’s best to stick with traditional hay, pasture, or any other dietary supplements the veteran suggests. 

You can give your horse 1-2 lbs each week of spinach if he really enjoys it. This is a reasonable dosage that won’t harm his digestive system.

Related article: Get the pros and cons of feeding horse feed to cows from experts in the field.

What other kinds of green vegetables can horses eat?

Horses can eat—or, perhaps I should say, enjoy—a wide variety of vegetables horses eat

Most horses enjoy eating foods like lettuce, squash, green beans, and peas. You can also supplement your diet with carrots, apples, cucumbers, pumpkin, celery, and parsnips.

Can horses eat beet greens? Well, beet greens are another vegetable that can be added to their menu. They are leafy greens that come from beets, and horses can consume them safely in moderation. Beet greens are rich in vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy choice for your horse.

And while horses will eat the same thing over and over, they enjoy trying something new every now and then. You can surprise them with peanut butter, sugar cubes, oatmeal, applesauce, etc., on special occasions. 

Apart from these…..

Other easy-to-find fruits such as bananas, grapes, watermelons, pineapple pieces, and peers are very healthy choices for your horse.

Note: Whatever new greens or fruits you want to feed your horse, start by adding small snack-sized portions to their diet. This is to check their initial response and if they can digest it. You can give your horse more of certain foods if they seem to be his favorites.

Greens you must avoid feeding your horse

Now that you know what kinds of greens horses can eat let’s talk about what they can not eat. 

There are a few green vegetables that you should avoid feeding your horse. Those are: 

See also: Looking for answers about molasses and horses? An equine vet discusses the pros and cons of feeding molasses to horses.

Frequently asked questions

Can horses eat spinach stalks?

Yes, horses digest spinach stalks pretty well.

Do horses eat spinach leaves?

Yes, Spinach is full of fiber, which is one of the primary energy sources for horses. 

How much spinach can a horse eat without getting sick?

If you are just starting to feed spinach to your horse, begin by feeding him with only a small amount of chunks. If he likes it, you can gradually increase the amount. The ideal amount of spinach for any horse is around 1-2 lbs. You should not feed any more than that at one go. 

Can horses eat fresh spinach? 

Horses can eat spinach fresh out of the box (or the ground). If you buy the spinach from a shop, it’s best to boil it in hot water, so it’s safe for your horse’s digestive system.

So the bottom line is – Can horses eat spinach? 

Yes, they can. You can start feeding your horse spinach with a small amount at first. You can give him some more if he likes it. If not, then don’t force it on him. 

Remember that you should not feed spinach to horses regularly, and you need to keep it in small chunks when you treat them with spinach. Otherwise, your horse could get sick with Colic—which is a deadly disease for horses. 

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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