Can horses eat bananas??? AM, Pennsylvania
Sometimes the simplest questions are the best! Yes, horses can eat bananas, and in some countries they’re the preferred treat for horses. In the US we’ve trained our horses to like apples, carrots and peppermints better (my retired thoroughbred will do ANYTHING for a peppermint!) However, bananas are safe for horses to eat, as long as they don’t make up too much of their diet. Forage first!
There was an interesting study performed in the UK not too long ago that ranked flavors horses prefer. All of the eight horses in the study universally accepted these twelve tastes:
The ones with numbers indicate their rank in a second study that directly compared them to each other. Finally, in a third study she compared the top two flavors and found that most horses chose fenugreek over banana.
We use this research at SmartPak in our product development, incorporating fenugreek as a flavor in many of our SmartSupplements. Not only do horses love the taste, but people love the vanilla-like smell. I recommend you experiment with the flavors listed above, and find the ones your horse likes best. Who knows, this knowledge may come in handy when you have to give him medicine, encourage him to drink water, or just want to reward him for a job well done!