The answer is yes. It is true that horses love watermelon. Especially during hot summer days when they get thirsty. And not just the summer, horses can be fed watermelon at any time of the year. But they should be given sparingly and only when they are hungry.
You might be surprised at how much they like the flavor. This is especially true if your horse tends to have a sweet tooth. While we might not like the flavor of the watermelon rinds, your horse will happily crunch it down with a mouthful.
Why Should They Be Given Sparingly?
Watermelon is a sweet treat that your horses will love. And while small quantities are healthy for horses, tossing an excessive amount might lead to colic or digestive problems.
Horses exert on a daily basis, hence require good amounts of proteins, vitamins, and nutrients in their diet on daily basis. Watermelons are filled with high water content, which might lead to making your horse feel full after eating an excessive amount. And therefore, reject their normal food, over time, leading to a severe nutrient deficiency.
How Much & How Often Should You Feed?
While there are no specific guidelines about the quantity and frequency of how much watermelon to be given to a horse. It’s ideal to keep everything in moderation.
Making it an occasional treat might be a better alternative. The ideal amount would be one or two slices occasionally. So that your horse can enjoy the alternate diet changes while keeping their cravings in check.
Horses can be fed a variety of fruits such as peaches, tangerines, strawberries, plums, mangoes, etc. They’re all safe to feed the horse in small quantities.
While some horses may like the citrus flavors of these fruits, some will not. Watermelon is a great alternative if your horse is having trouble eating any other fruit.
How To Feed Watermelon To A Horse?
Watermelons can be covered in pesticides and bacteria such as E-coli, which can transfer onto the flesh if cut unwashed. So, Firstly wash the outer with clean water and a scrubber to make sure you get rid of the bacteria sitting on the surface.
Rather than placing the entire fruit in front of the horse, you need to prepare a moderate-sized plate with medium-sized diced watermelon pieces to avoid any choking hazards.
And if you’re adding the rind along with the flesh, make sure to chop it up into small cubes before feeding the horse. If horses are given large pieces, they start to lodge up inside the throat and might choke the horse.
Children love to throw leftover watermelon rinds over the fences. And while that is a fun activity, feeding a whole piece with the flesh intact will be a much better treat for the horse.
Can Horses Eat Watermelon Seeds & Rinds?
Watermelon rinds are perfectly healthy for a horse, packed with goodness in itself, the pink flesh offers a more natural sweetness and minerals to the fruit. They can even be fed with the seeds still intact.
Although some horses might not like the taste of watermelon seeds, there’s no harm in them if they’re eaten in moderation. Like apple seeds, watermelon seeds have a minuscule quantity of cyanide inside the seeds which makes them taste a bit bitter.
Cyanide takes about 24 hours to leave the body after consumption. While Occasionally eating the seeds doesn’t do any harm, they should never ever be taken on their own.
But if you’re still worried about whether or not to feed the watermelon with seeds, you can always purchase a seedless watermelon to feed your horses.
Can Horses Eat Frozen Watermelon?
Some people argue whether or not to feed the horses frozen watermelon. It is perfectly safe to feed frozen watermelon to your horses.
A refrigerated watermelon, either chilled or frozen is both ideal options here. Since we all know that watermelon tastes better when cold. Simply refrigerating until moderately cool would be the best option on normal days.
The cold watery flesh will be enough to keep him cool and refreshed, making the rinds more chewable as the fruit melts inside the mouth.
The frozen watermelon treats are often fed to horses during summer. They’re crunchy enough for the teeth and savory for the mouth to keep the summer heat off.
However, horses have weak dental tissue. Feeding them a hard frozen block of watermelon might lead to dental issues. Especially if you’re freezing the watermelon rinds along with the flesh.
Older horses can have difficulty chewing the rinds. So it’s best to occasionally feed them a chilled piece of watermelon flesh without the rinds.
Is Watermelon Fruit Sugar Healthy For Horses?
The sweetness of watermelon not only tempts the appetite but also the nose buds of animals. And horses are no exception to it. Doesn’t matter how mouth-savoring the fruit is, it is repeatedly advised that it should be fed in moderation.
One serving of watermelon is 90% water, with just about 1 gram of fiber and 9 grams of sugar. Which is roughly only 10% fruit sugar.
Natural fruit sugars are perfectly healthy for horses. And can be found in all plants, veggies, and fruits. In certain veggies or fruits, the sugar content is more than watermelons, and they’re fed to horses quite often by bucketfuls.
In simple words, a horse would have to eat a very excessive amount of watermelon before the natural fruit sugar becomes a problem. Which leads to laminitis and colic illnesses.
However, some older horses might develop an insulin-resistant disorder. Whether its, PPID – Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction or, EMS – Equine Metabolic Syndrome. They should be avoided watermelon completely to maintain healthy blood sugars.
Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Horses
Nutrients and vitamins should be consumed through many different types of natural eatables. Varieties of fruits and veggies should be included in the diet to maintain healthy physic and proper health.
Watermelons are packed with amino acids, potassium, and minerals. The rinds are packed with vitamins B6, C & A. They’re a healthy snack for horses as well as humans.
Watermelon rinds are packaged with fiber. Typically, horses gain their daily fiber requirement from hay and grass. And the ones that are fed with grain feed tend to perform better. Adding a new source of fiber through watermelon will be a healthy change for the horse.
Horses need a dietary substance to keep their blood pressure under control due to their pro-active lifestyle. Watermelon rinds offer ample amounts of amino acid citrulline. Citrulline then converts to arginine. Which leads to the production of nitric oxide due to arginine increment.
Nitric oxide relaxes the blood vessels, hence increasing blood flow to certain parts of the body. It is also credited to aid in fighting cancer in horses. Giving fast healing to the wounds.
Horses sweat and urinate on a constant basis. They lose large amounts of potassium through urine. And if the horse is on a low forage diet, the potassium deficiency can result in life-threatening physical ailments.
Typically, a horse gains potassium from Hay, Forage & Grass. Adding few slices of watermelon rinds to their lunches can provide an ample amount of potassium that the horse needs for their physical well-being.
Can Horses Eat Other Types Of Melons?
Horses can eat all types of melons without any health complications. Whether its Galia, Cantaloupe, Musk Melon, Honeydew, or any other type of melon. The taste and nutritional value vary from fruit to fruit.
Some horses can be picky eaters and might not like the taste of some melons, while others eat all kinds. But all the types of melons are perfectly safe to be fed a horse in moderation.
Watermelon Treat Ideas For Horses
We’ve established the fact that horses love watermelons. Here are some of the watermelon treat ideas to wow your hungry bud:
Watermelon Ice Cones
Making a good summer watermelon ice cone for your horse will be a real treat for the animal. Simply wash and peel off all the watermelon rind from the flesh. Freeze the chopped flesh for about a day. And then grind it with a blender to make an ice cone.
Rinds are hard on horses’ teeth and freezing them makes it harder to chew. So, always make sure that you remove the rinds before freezing the watermelon.
Another way you can serve watermelon to your horse is by simply removing the rind and freezing the flesh chopped into small bite-sized pieces. The icy outer will give enough crunchiness and will melt perfectly inside the mouth. Keeping them hydrated and refreshed.
This is a more easy and typical way of feeding watermelon to the horse. Simply chop up the pieces into blocks. Some horses prefer the rinds, while some prefer flesh, and some enjoy both equally. You can either serve the watermelon blocks chilled or at room temperature.
Another great way to feed watermelon is by chopping it up like minced meat. You can chop up small pieces of watermelon rinds are well. But make sure the pieces are finely chopped in case the horse swallows a large quantity.
Bran Mash Surprise Mix
Horses are fed bran mash on a weekly basis. Mixing that dinner with small pieces of watermelon can be a nice tasty surprise for the horses.