Horse Health

Share Thanksgiving with Your Horse with a Special Treat or Two


Thanksgiving isn’t just for people.

 photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Horses and other animals enjoy participating in the festivities, especially when it comes to receiving a few treats. Many horse owners feed their horses a treat or two while training, but horses enjoy a treat now and then as a reminder of the ties that bind while spending a few enjoyable moments simply hanging out.

Anything related to horse feed makes a good treat, but a few treats you may not have thought of include

  • Small pieces of pumpkin or an entire pumpkin,
  • Pitted dates or raisins,
  • Sunflower seeds, shelled or unshelled,
  • Sugar cubes
  • Peppermints
  • Seasonal treats made with pumpkin, molasses, or other tasty ingredients.

Some horses can become over excited or aggressive when they sense that treats are available, so keeping control of the treats in a bucket or basket can be helpful. If you keep treats in your pocket and feed from your hand, some horses become pushy while trying to get at the treats.

When thinking of appropriate treats for a horse, it is important to realize that some things are not good for horses including:

  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Acorns
  • Chocolate
  • Anything from the cabbage/broccoli family

Some treats can create a choking hazard so make sure pieces are small enough not to get stuck in the horse’s throat and when it comes to hard treats such as peppermints or sugar cubes feed only a few to prevent the horse from gulping them down in a lump.

Here’s a recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Crunchy Cookies if you have the time and are in the mood to prepare a special Thanksgiving treat for your horse:

Oatmeal Pumpkin Crunchies
1 cup dry oatmeal
1 cup flour
1 cut chopped pumpkin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1⁄4 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Mix the oatmeal, salt flour and sugar in a bowl.
3. Stir in the chopped pumpkin.
4. Stir in the vegetable oil and the molasses.
7. Form into small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.
8. Put in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

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