Can Horses Vomit

Can Horses Vomit? The Reality Will Shock You.

Can Horses Vomit? It’s a known fact that horses do not vomit. Many people know this, but few understand why they don’t. Most animals, including mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds, can vomit. What makes horses different? Let’s find out in this article.

It is necessary to understand how the body of the horse works so that you can determine why it cannot vomit. A horse owner should understand what this means. 

Can Horses Vomit?

Humans and most animals vomit whenever their stomach is upset or eat something poisonous. Even though this phenomenon is common to almost all animals, it is not the case with horses. Horses cannot vomit, and you cannot make them do so.

Can Horses Vomit

Can Horses Vomit?

What makes horses incapable of vomiting?

There are two possible reasons for this. Firstly, horses are not capable of throwing up physically. For the second reason, you can learn how horses have evolved this way while animals of other species have not.

What makes horses incapable of vomiting

What makes horses incapable of vomiting?

1. Horses’ bodies make it nearly impossible for them to run.

So let us have a closer look at the first reason. An animal’s ability to vomit depends upon a coordinated sequence of reflexive movements that must all come together to accomplish this task. From personal experience, you probably know that you need to take a deep breath, close your vocal cords, raise your larynx, and close off your airways to begin the vomiting process.

Once the diaphragm contracts, the pressure is relieved. Pressure is exerted on the stomach by contracting the abdominal walls. By doing this, you are opening the “doors” of your stomach, allowing the vomit to escape. You can only throw up when all of these events happen simultaneously.

Horses can’t throw up because their bodies are not designed for food to flow in the opposite direction. Their food can only flow down, not upward. For example, horses have muscles that prevent them from opening the valve that allows them to vomit.

The horse has an esophagus but joins in at a lower angle. When the stomach is distended, it causes the valve to be even closer, making vomiting even more difficult. These are just a few reasons why horses cannot vomit. Let’s move on to the second reason. 

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2. Vomiting isn’t necessary for Survival.

Why are horses so different from other animals in that they do not vomit physically? There can be a lot of different answers to this question. It is impossible to know the exact answer. We can only assume.

According to some people, vomiting may have been used to remove toxins from the body. Horses only graze on pastureland and are incredibly picky about what they eat. Most of the time, they do not come into contact with toxic materials. As a result, they may not develop the need to throw up regularly since they aren’t consistently exposed to poisonous items.

Do Horse Vomit

Do Horse Vomit?

There is also a concern about how the horses run. A horse’s intestines move when it gallops and hammer on the stomach. Such an action would result in vomiting in other animals. Horses must not experience the same problems as running.

Lastly, horses eat very differently than animals that vomit or regurgitate their food. As an example, cows regurgitate food so that they can consume it. Birds and Wolves also vomit their food to feed their young. Since horses do not do either of these things, they do not have any requirement of the reflex to survive.

Have you heard of horses vomiting before?

It has been reported that some horses have vomited, even though horses aren’t designed to do so. Choking probably caused the vomiting experience. Perhaps, the item was stuck in the esophagus, making the horse expel it from its esophagus, not its stomach. Technically, this is not vomiting.

What makes horses different

What makes horses different?

In addition, horses can regurgitate if they are critically ill. The body vomits whenever it is in a meditative state. On the other hand, regurgitation occurs when muscles are weak, causing food to spill from the mouth. Regurgitation may appear similar to vomiting, but the process is different.

Awareness for Horse Owners

Since horses do not vomit, you might wonder if you need to pay extra attention to your horse. It does not have the means to throw up if it ingests something poisonous. Should you be aware?

It is essential to ensure that you do not feed your horse anything toxic. For instance, avoid feeding horses nightshades. Otherwise, they will be unable to get the food out of their system. As far as the horse owner is concerned, a horse’s lack of ability to throw up does not make much difference.

In the end, horses were designed to behave in this manner. They are not required to have the same abilities we do. Therefore, it is unlikely that your horse will accidentally consume something it may need to throw up.


Even though horses are built like us in many ways, one way that they are different is that they cannot throw up. It is primarily because their esophagus and stomach are very different from ours, resulting in the impossibility of a vomiting reflex.

Horses likely evolved this way because they don’t come in contact with poisonous items often. They also don’t need the reflex to feed their young, and they must be able to run without inciting a vomiting response. Because of this, it isn’t that shocking that horses cannot throw up.

Horses are loving and caring animals. You may also read about the horse that showed its love and emotions for its owner’s family.

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