Healthy Horse Treats

Would you prefer your horses to have a treat with ingredients you recognize instead of chemical equine equivalents of Twinkies?

In order for our animals to maintain good health, it is important to know what they are eating, even in their treats. Call me old-fashioned, but a pony going through McD’s drive through for a hamburger and soda are not my idea of Horse Treats (as in a popular video).

If you have horses with a restricted low sugar, low carb diet, or have animals with allergies, then you have even more special concerns with what you are feeding them. Be careful when looking at treats labeled “no sugar” – just like human treats, you might find surprises like “corn syrup” or “maltodextrin” which will still raise your horse’s glucose.

The following are all made with real food ingredients, not chemicals!

Skodes Treats – Low starch, large variety – made from herbs, fruits, nuts and spices. Buy freshly baked or just order the ingredients and bake it yourself.

Winnies Cookies – Baked Fresh from organic ingredients with lots of vitamins and nutritional value. No sugar added, no preservatives and no chemicals! You have to try these – and the best part is: for a small shipping fee you can get a generous  sample. Both my horses and dogs love these.

Hilton Herballs – no sugar worries here, just herbs and a little alfalfa. They are evidently tasty since horses love them.

Ginger Ridge – No preservatives, all natural ingredients.

Emerald Valley – beet treats come in apple, cinnamon and licorice flavors.

Natural Horse Treats – made for her own Insulin Resistant horses, she guarantees her product.

Nicker Treats – made from flax seed and flavored with ainse or peppermint. Your Cushings horses will thank you.

The Treat Barn – all sorts of goodies, but my favorite are cookies for the IR pony, made with Organic Soy Flour, Milled Flax Seed, Water Peppermint Oil, Licorice Oil, Cinnamon, Cloves, and Ginger.

Tiger Tail Foods – This little gem of a company makes homemade treats for your equines. Wonderful goodies you can feel comfortable feeding your babies. Made from oats, barley, bran, apples, carrots, and a hint of molasses – you can also get a custom made cookie.

Homemade Cookies

If you want to get really creative and have the time, you can always make your own treats at home. Do you have a good recipe? Please share!

Here are just a few recipes I have found:

Tami’s Apple Treats: Combine 2 apples, 2 cups of quick cooking oats, one egg, and a little bit of honey or molasses in foods processor.
Pour onto a lined baking sheet and bake 450 degrees for about 20-30 min, let cool and break into chunks.

Fruity Treats: 1 1/2 Cup Oat Flour,  1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, 1 Cup of any fruit chopped (apples, peaches, bananas). Stir ingredients, if it is too runny, add more flour until thick and gooey. Drop onto baking sheet it rounded spoonfuls and bake for 15 min at 350 degrees. Should be crunchy when finished.

Organic Tropical Cookies: 2 cups organic rolled oats, ½-3/4 cup organic apple juice,
2 organic apples chopped into small pieces, ½ cup dried organic mango or guava, ½ cup shelled raw, unsalted sunflower seeds, 2 tablespoons molasses, 1 cup bran (wheat or rice) Instructions: Mix everything together. Drop on ungreased baking pan by teaspoonful. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Apple-Carrot Cookies: 1 Cup grated carrot, 1 apple – grated, 1 Cup Rolled Oats, 1 Cup flour, 2 Tbs cooking oil, ¼ cup molasses, pinch of sea salt. Mix apple and carrot, fold in oats and flour, then stir in oil and molasses. Add Salt. Spread dough onto baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until brown. Let cool and Break up into pieces.

Senior Snack cookies: 1 Cup feed (whatever blend you use), 1 Cup rolled oats, 1 Cup chopped apples, 1 Cup flax, 1 Cup molasses; Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with baking paper. Combine all ingredients and drop small spoonfuls on sheet. Add a few drops of water or oil if you need to moisten mixture. Bake 35 minutes, let cool completely then Store in an air tight container.

Ginger Herbal Cookies: 1 Cup oat flour, 1 Cup oatmeal, 1/2 Cup shredded carrot, 1/4 Cup molasses, 1/2 Cup water,  1/4 Cup meadowsweet herbs, 1/4 Cup Chamomile herbs (or any herb you want your horse to benefit from) 2 Tablespoons ginger powder, 1 Tablespoon raw sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt; Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients, drop spoonfulls on baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Bake until golden brown. (about 45 minutes to 1 hour)

**Fresh baked cookies are healthier and beneficial for your horses because you know exactly what you are feeding. I love that they are soft and chewy with the same texture of cookies we eat! But remember all fresh baked cookies  must be consumed  quickly and kept from spoiling as well.

Nature’s Sweets

Don’t forget to offer plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, especially if your horse has limited access to grass grazing.

Fruits horses enjoy: Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Berries (Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Sweet pitted cherries), Grapes, Mangos, Nectarines, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Plums, and Watermelon (rinds too, as long as the melon is ripe and sweet). If your horses are not sensitive to sugar you can also feed dried fruits such as Dried Apricots, Dates, Prunes and Raisins.

Vegetables for horses:  Carrots of course, but also feed Greens! (this includes but is not limited to: Carrot Tops, Beet Tops, Turnip Tops, Dandelions, Lettuces, Spinach, Kale and Cabbage. You can also offer Peas, Green Beans and even Sweet Potatoes. In my experience Celery is not so welcome, even though it is safe to feed. I just learned Corn Husks are also a welcome treat. You may be able to collect husks from your local grocer’s aisle (if they have a been where customers shuck the ears) and take them home for your whole barn to enjoy. I am not talking about the corn kernels or the cob — only the green husks. Make sure they are fresh, with no mold or dust and only give a small amount in one setting.

Do you Juice? Your horses will thank you if you give them the juicing rinds.