A "HEARTBROKEN" Flintshire woman is warning people not to feed others' horses after the sudden death of her horse which fell ill.

Paige Binnersley, from Buckley, lost her four-year-old horse Apache over the weekend - who she had bottle fed when he as just a few months old.

While a vet said cause of death could have been any one of a number of things, a strong possibility was poisoning from being fed something that he shouldn’t have.

And just a few weeks before his death, Miss Binnersley took to social media to warn people not to feed Apache after noticing people had been feeding him carrots, cabbage and other vegetables.

She says some horses, including Apache, have very specialised diets, or could be allergic to certain types of foods.

Miss Binnersley, 19, explained: "A lot of people don’t realise how complex horses are and their digestive system is - they cannot be sick so end up with something called choke if they eat too fast or too much.

"A lot of people also don’t realise how many things are poisonous to horse - even something as simple as a tomato can cause serious harm to them.

"And any sort of saturated fat is bad for anyone, but especially horses - their gut isn’t suitable to digest it.

"People often think, no doubt with the best intentions, it’s a good idea to throw their scrap peelings in field for horses, like potatoes, when this can lead do severe poisoning The potato can cause toxicosis from the chemical build up in acidic or mouldy peelings.

"The odd carrot to some people may seem fine, but a lot of equines are kept a routine diet. People may think they are doing the right thing if they see a ‘skinny’ horse in the field, which is usually on a specialised diet just like Apache was but ultimately it’s not them who pay the price if something happens.

"I’m not saying that this was what definitely caused him to be so ill but a very strong possibility with him deteriorating so quickly."

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A heartbroken Miss Binnersley said she wants to get the message out there that it's not ok to feed other people's horses.

She said: "Please don’t feed others' horses - you wouldn’t feed someone else's dog or child, so it shouldn't be any different with a horse.

"I have never known pain or heartbreak like this and will cherish every memory I had with him - I'm going to miss him so much.

"I just want to say a massive thank you to Jo from Wrexham Equine vets who was brilliant with both myself and Apache and stayed with us for hours whilst we decided the best option, she really made a hard decision easier."

Dr Mark Kennedy, horse welfare expert at the RSPCA, said: "You should never feed someone else's horse anything without their permission. Horses may be on specialist diets to control issues such as laminitis or obesity, and also food that might seem innocent may actually be highly toxic to horses.

"Many common plants, for example, are toxic to horses. In particular, never, ever dump grass clippings in fields where there might be horses. Horses can gorge on grass clippings very rapidly (compared with grazing naturally) causing choke or gut blockages, and they rapidly ferment in the gut making horses seriously ill, all potentially leading to the horse's death.

"We publish downloadable guides on this and other equine health and welfare advice, at www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/horses/health

"If you are concerned about the welfare of a horse or any other animal, for example because you believe they do not have enough to eat, please call our cruelty line on 0300 1234 99."

North Wales Police took to social media on Wednesday to say: "North Wales Horse Watch and vets at Frynwy Equine Group are appealing to the public to please refrain from feeding horses while out on walks. 

"There has been a recent increase in reported incidents of horses suffering from colic, choke and poisoning after being fed unsuitable foodstuffs by people out walking.

"Please do not grass cuttings, garden waste, carrots, potatoes, apples or any other items to any horses, ponies and donkeys that you may encounter. 

"Thank you for your cooperation."