do horses eat leaves

Do Horses Eat Leaves?

Horses are herbivorous animals that typically eat grass, hay and grain, but that’s not all they can consume. They can sometimes also eat certain types of leaves, depending on the species of horse and the type of leaf.

Types of Leaves Horses Can Eat

In general, horses may eat the following types of leaves:

  • Edible Garden Leaves: Horses may enjoy the occasional nibble of lettuce, kale, and other garden leaves.
  • Leaves from Horse-Safe Trees: Most varieties of apple tree leaves and woody shrub leaves are safe for horses to eat.
  • Other Leaves: Horses may be able to consume some leaves from yew, pine, and fir trees depending on the amount consumed.

Leaves that Horses Should Avoid

It is important to note that horses should never consume any type of poisonous plant, as this can be fatal. Common poisonous plants that horses should avoid include:

  • Oak Trees: All parts of an oak tree are toxic to horses.
  • Yew Trees: The leaves, seeds and bark of a yew tree contain a deadly toxin that can quickly kill a horse.
  • Buttercups: All parts of the buttercup plant are toxic to horses if eaten in large quantities.


In conclusion, horses can safely eat certain types of leaves. However, it is important to make sure that the leaves are known to be safe for horses to consume and that they are not poisonous. Additionally, horses should never eat large quantities of leaves as this can cause digestive upset.

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