Can a Horse Eat Mushrooms?

Can horses eat mushrooms sounds like a strange question, to those of us who have grown up in the country we have never actually seen a horse eating a mushroom. A horse would normally avoid anything that looked like and was a fungus popping out of the ground. To the horse, the thought of mushrooms is most probably not something they would eat, but the root network or mycelium underneath the ground has delivered strong disease-fighting properties to horses for centuries.

This is interesting information that most people would never have considered. The roots are one cell thick ( very fine), and horses eat this mycelial layer every time they graze. The properties of these roots are being studied in universities that focus on Equine health. This is beneficial information to Olympic horses and Racing horse trainers all over the world, as the studies show that horses benefit from eating this layer by becoming faster, stronger, and much healthier.

Benefits of Different Blends of Mushrooms

An example of this is the Reishi mushroom has something called adaptogenic benefits that enables horses to manage stress better. Reishi makes the horse easier to train, and also gives the horse the physical benefits of being less stressed. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants, marketed to help the body resist different stressors, chemical and physical. Studies show evidence that adaptogens work, and this makes them perfect for the horse racing industry as they are a natural product, no drugs! So the blend of mushrooms is everything when it comes to racing a horse.

A horse running a long race will require a different blend of mushrooms to a short-distance sprint runner.

The Cordyceps mushroom has a history of building muscle mass and strength and has been used by Chinese athletes (1993 Olympic Games).

The world was surprised by the incredible performance of the Women’s Olympic Team and suspected drug use. However, the team said that their success was attributed to the Cordyceps mushroom, and the ability of the athletes to recover after training. After that, it was regularly used on the horses with the same result.

Can Horses Eat Mushrooms for Hoof Benefits

Hoof health can be a problem with horses, and a mushroom mixture has been used to increase hoof health. Vitamin E has been traditionally used with some success, but if a horse is racing, more is needed to keep hooves strong. The adaptogenic benefits also aid the horse’s mouths and teeth giving better dental health to the horse. The topic is being studied in the USA, as a trial in Equine University Colleges, as at the moment, there is a lack of clarity as to how the adaptogen works on the horse’s teeth. Apparently, mushrooms have no end of benefits for the horse, and over the next few years, many more will be discovered, this is great news to increase the overall health of your horse with the right blend of mushrooms.

Digestive Ulcers in Horses

Racehorses suffer from gastric ulcers, and because all that racing is stressful, once they develop a gastric ulcer they fail to perform as well.

This is where the Reishi mushroom blend can help to manage the digestive stress of a horse, and get him physically well again. It is thought that track racing irritates the horse’s gastric lining with the acid sloshing around in their diaphragm. The adaptogenic mushroom and herb mixture work by moderating the physical and psychological stress, and affecting repair to the horse’s body.

It is important that the adaptogens are used as an integrated part of the horse’s training program to keep him healthy, and that the chemist mixes in the right amount of Reishi or other mushrooms, to get the balance correct. After treatment, the horse will become more resilient and have a capacity to stay healthy for a long time leading to better performance on the track.


Who would have thought it? Can horses eat mushrooms to confer health benefits? As we have seen the right combination of mushrooms can be transformative to our racing and Olympic horses. It just might make your horse stronger and more resilient as well, and benefit his hoof and dental health.