Youth News

Healthy Horse Treats

March 19, 2010

A healthy horse is a happy horse!

Two Bits

Horses are like kids: they love treats and yummy snacks! Because horses are herbivores (plant eaters), they naturally enjoy plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables and grains.

But they also will eat other foods made from flour, like bread and cake and even some dairy foods. Many horses also have a sweet tooth and will nibble on jelly beans, peppermint and gummy candies; these super-sweet treats should only be given in very small amounts (two ounces or less).

There are also many foods that are NOT horse-healthy that every horseman needs to know about. Foods and plants to avoid altogether are: tomatoes or potato plants; avocado, cherry and peach pits; mustards; any yard and shrub clipping or tree bark; plants known to be toxic, like hemlock, foxglove, yew, ragwort and nightshade. For performance horses, absolutely no chocolate, sodas or caffeinated drinks, spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, persimmon, willow leaves or sassafras. These ingredients can affect a horse’s competition drug testing.

Know what your horse is grazing or feeding on at all times, especially when you are away from the home pasture or feed bucket.

Even though there are lots of thing which you shouldn’t feed a horse, here’s a fun recipe for cookies which you horse will love!

Crazy about horses? Test your knowledge with AQHA’s Junior Master Horseman program. You can even earn certificates!

Sunday Horse Cookies

1 cup uncooked oatmeal

1 cup flour

1 cup shredded carrots

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons corn oil

¼ cup water (one quarter cup)

¼ cup molasses (one quarter cup)

Mix ingredients in a bowl in the order listed. Roll dough into small balls and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Horses love ‘em!