Nearly all horse lovers and owners give their horses treats occasionally. Whether it is for a reward for a job well done or just a hidden treat in their feed, your horse will love it. Treats can be given to your horse or pony as a reward after a riding session, used as a training aid, to help catch them if they get out of the fence or just to show you love them. Treats are called that for a reason, and are meant to be only occasionally enjoyed by your horse. Be sure to vary your timing so your horse doesn’t come to expect a treat every time every time you come to the barn.
Making homemade horse treats for your horse is always the best and smartest option. Most grains, fruits and vegetables are safe for horse treats, as they are included in commercially produced horse treats sold in feed and produce stores. The digestive tract of horses has a delicate balance of microbes and bacteria that keep your horse healthy. High amounts of treats and other items that aren’t part of their normal diet can upset their intestinal tract and add more calories than they require.
Grain, Molasses and Dried Fruit Homemade Horse Treat Recipe
- 1 Cup flour
- 3/4 Cup beer
- 2 Cups molasses
- 1 lb grain
- 1/2 Cup dried fruit
- Mix the flour, beer, and molasses thoroughly. Add grain to mixture slowly and mix well. Then, mix in the dried fruit.
- Pour the mixture into an oiled 12x15 inch pan and place in a 250°F oven.
- When the mixture starts to firm up after 25 minutes, remove the pan and cut the contents into bite-sized pieces. Then, return the pan to the oven for 40 minutes and bake until the treats are firm and mostly dry.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool before taking the treats out.
- Place the treats on a cooling rack overnight.
Your horse will enjoy these homemade treats made with love. If you are looking for more gourmet homemade horse treat recipes, visit https://www.saddlebox.net/horse-treat-recipes-how-to-make-our-gourmet-horse-treats/.
Listed below is a reference of treat ingredients that are usually safe to eat for horses:
- White and Whole Wheat Flour
- Cinnamon in SMALL amounts
- Peanut Butter
- Oatmeal - rolled oats, steel cut oats, Irish oats, quick oats
- Sugar, brown sugar & powdered sugar
- Peppermint and most hard candies (NO Chocolate)
- Food coloring
- Fruit - grated apples, bananas, raisins, dried fruit
- Vegetables – Pumpkin, Carrots
- Cereal like Fruit Loops, Rice Krispies, Cheerios
- Beer – Yes beer!
- Cookie Icing, frosting & sprinkles
- Corn oil and corn syrup
- Graham Crackers
- Ginger snaps and gingerbread
- Ice cream cones - sugar cones and cake cones
- Pancakes and waffles
- Nuts – peanuts, almonds, cashews
- Seeds – sunflower, sesame, chia
Feeding your horse treats can be a fun addition to their diet, however keep the following points in mind:
Be cautious of hand feeding. Most horse owners don’t have any issues, but if your horse becomes demanding or nips, just toss the treat in their grain bucket instead.
Only give treats to your own horses. Each horse behaves differently and you don’t want to feed one to an aggressive horse or to a horse on a special diet that could have adverse reactions to the treat.
Treats are a wonderful way to indulge your horse, but remember that they are not necessary to their normal diet. As long as treats are given in moderation and you are watching your horse’s signals, there is no wrong way to include treats into their otherwise balanced and healthy diet.
SaddleBox is the monthly subscription box for horse owners. Each month you'll get treats, grooming products, tack and more! We're trusted by thousands of horse lovers, and shipping is always free. Visit our website at: https://www.saddlebox.net/.