Usually, when I go to the grocery store, I see carrots without their leafy-green tops. But did you know that many horses enjoy eating this part of the carrot plant? As you can see by the photos, my horses certainly do. Every once in a while, when I can find them, I grab a bundle of carrots complete with tops.
Bear likes them so much that he even performs tricks at liberty in exchange for another bite.
Apparently, most people can eat carrot tops too. I confess I have not tried any myself yet, but I am curious. If you are too, see a recipe for sautéed carrot tops at https://www.forkintheroad.co/sauteed-carrot-greens/.
Interestingly, conventional wisdom holds that there are some cautions for both horses and humans when it comes to carrots.
For example, it is thought that folks with sensitivities to alkaloids and nitrates may want to avoid them. Likewise, it is thought that horses with PSSM should not eat carrots due to the high potassium levels. And horses with EMS, like Bear, are cautioned to only eat them in very small portions (or not at all depending upon an individual horse’s current health status) due to sugar content.
If you’d like to read more about feeding carrots to horses, with or without tops, read this post from Helpful Horse Hints at
Most importantly, it is helpful to remember that even though watching our horses enjoy carrots is fun, treats are best given in moderation (for example, the above article recommends no more than one or two carrots per day for the average horse without any dietary restrictions).