Partnered Pony Blog

Apple Seeds

After I eat an apple for breakfast, I divide the quartered core between the ponies.  It hadn’t ever occurred to me that there might be a problem with this until I read the headline, “Are Apple Seeds Bad for Horses?”  It took me a few days to get around to reading the article, so I kept wondering what I would learn.  Also, I have an end-of-year holiday ritual called ‘wassailing the ponies’ that includes feeding apples to my ponies, so I was very curious if I could safely continue the ritual.

Wassailing Madie in 2017

Wassailing Madie in 2017

It turns out that apple seeds have a very small amount of cyanide in them.  That fact was the inspiration for the article whose headline I saw.  The author concluded that it would take a dose of upwards of 270 apple seeds to harm a 200 pound human, so a vast number to harm an equine.  Most apples contain 20 seeds or less, so it’s very unlikely that a human or equine could suffer adverse consequences from apple seeds under normal circumstances.  Other fruit pits are more problematic, including peaches, plums, and apricots – more for their fibrous nature than the cyanide they contain.  (1)

So I will continue my habit of sharing my breakfast fruit with my ponies, and I will continue my wassailing ritual.  The ponies and I will all be happy!

  1. Thunes, Clair.  “Are Apple Seeds Bad for Horses?,” article #171544,, 5/6/19.

© Jenifer Morrissey, 2019

More stories like this one can be found in my book The Partnered Pony: What’s Possible, Practical and Powerful with Small Equines, available internationally by clicking here or on the book cover.