Every horse owner would love to give their horse treats that are the best and healthiest. On the other hand, horses won’t be hesitant to grab whatever you put on the table. Horses love eating, and knowing the best to give them, how much of it, and how often can be quite a challenge.
So what are the best and healthiest treats? Most vegetables and fruits are healthy treats and the best a horse can get. Horses have a habit of eating small portions but frequently. Therefore, some horses grab huge gulps, which causes choking. Thus, before giving them the treats, ensure they are in small pieces.
Best and Healthy Treats for Horses
Horses love something new other than the grasses. Here are some treats that any horse can enjoy, from seniors to foals.
- Carrot and Apple Ice Lollies
Carrot and apple ice lollies are perfect for summers. Ensure they are in small pieces and the apples with no cores. The freeze ice cubes on top will also be fun for the horse when it avoids the cold cubes to reach the delicacies.
- Commercial Treats
Commercial horse treats are available in most stores. However, always read the label before feeding your horse. Purchase packets with ingredients related to natural feeds, no chemicals, and low sugar concentration.
- Stud Muffins
Stud muffins look like cakes and are similar to feeding balls that birds eat.
- Roped Swede
Tie a swede on a rope and hang it on the stable’s ceiling. This treat is not only fun but makes the horse active due to the many movements.
Bananas have many health benefits in horses. They are rich in potassium, have natural sugar, and provide energy. A horse can eat bananas with peels or not but can be pretty messy.
- Flavored Health Licks
Prepare sticky sweet blocks and hang them on a ceiling, mount on a wall or put them in a bowl. Ensure the equipment you use to give the horse a treat is friendly, as horses may end up eating everything as they try reaching the pleasure.
- Home Bake
If you are not interested in the commercial treats, you can try and make them at home. In addition, you can get online recipes for horse treaties and bake your treats free from chemicals.
Though they will always advertise online treats as healthy, go for healthy flavors like carrots, apples, and mint. Alternatively, make your own to ease the risks.
Best Treats for Horses with Laminitis
Having a horse with insulin or Cushing’s disorders is a painful experience. Their feed should have low sugars and carbohydrates, which can be boring for your buddy at times. It’s nice to reward your laminitis horse with some sweet treat to break the ingestion thing.
Laminitis should be the least of your worries. There are horse treats with low sugar that take care of delicate systems for such horses. However, they need to have tiny and limited amounts. Some horse owners give their horses excessive treats without knowing how much they are compromising their wellbeing.
A little mint, alfalfa cubes, and carrots will still consider the laminitic rules. You only need to be cautious about what amount of each you give to the horse.
Ensure your horse avoids eating treats such as:
- Candies like jelly beans and peppermints
- Apple sauce
- Flavored yogurt
- Cookies. It applies to humans too!
- Most cereals, chips, and pretzels
Consider treats such as:
- Apple peels
- Shelled peanuts
- Small hay cubes
- Beet pulp without molasses
- Alfalfa pellets
- Pumpkin seeds
- Candies with no sugar
- Cherries without pits
However, if you would like to feed your horse with manufactured treats, consider these:
- Meta bites
- Nicker treats
- Beet treats
- Meadow mints
Best Horse Treats for Training
Treats are one of the essential tools during training. It keeps them motivated with the training. Most people believe that giving horses food during exercise will make them pushy and have biting behaviors, which is not the case.
A horse will have such behaviors if you give them inappropriate treat portions. But with the right proportions, it is fun for both you and the horse. The training memories tend to last longer.
However, the choice of food during training is an important aspect to consider. Here are some of the recommended healthy training treats.
1. Dry Treats
- Home-baked treats
- Alfalfa pellets – Alfalfa and Timothy cubes
- Sunflower seeds – preferably the black ones since they have a good amount of calories. Mix them with hay cubes or pellets
- Grass pellets
- Commercial dinner grains or pellets – any commercial one is recommended. They have lower sugar levels and are more nutritious than most commercial treats.
Be cautious about how hard the cubes are. Hard cubes can cause significant problems for the horse. If the cubes are too hard to swallow, it’sIt’sCushing’sstable’swon’t best to soak them first before feeding the horse. To know if the cube is too hard to consume, try breaking them using your hands, and if they dont break easily, then something needs to be done.
Furthermore, check out for highly concentrated cubes. Some hydrate in the horse’s stomach, making it thirsty during training.
2. Dry and Easy to Consume Treats
- Fresh grass
- Blackberry leaves
- Dandelion leaves
- Thistles, especially the leaves and flowers
3. Moist Treats
- Pear pieces
- Chunks or sticks of winter carrots
- Apple pieces
4. Messy but Healthy Treats
- Wet bran
- Soaked beet pulp and other dinner pulps
Unhealthy Treats During Training
- Commercial treats since they have high sugar and molasses concentration.
- Breakfast cereals like cheerios
- Sugar cubes
- Tic Tacs
Equine experts recommend you give your horse according to what the trainer suggests. Some treats depend on behavior and season.
The best treats for training horses are those with the lowest value. It motivates the horse’s willingness to works. However, give your horse what keeps it going during training.
If you adjust to high or mid-value treats, ensure you don’t switch to low. Just make it easy, healthy with nutrition balance, and dry and easy to feed with hands.
Soft Treats for Horses with no Teeth
Old horses seem like no treats buddies. There are some treats designed for senior horses without teeth. However, the condition can be more unpleasant if the horse has also lost its front teeth since it can’t graze.
Thus, if chewing will be difficult for the horse, make a soup out of the treat. In addition, you can blend or add some water to the pellets. But for manufactured ones, ensure they don’t have chemicals that are irritating to the gums.
Vets recommend treats such as soft hay cubes and mashed feeds like alfalfa pellets and alfalfa hay. Focus on treats rich in fiber, like soaked beet pulp. It’s not only fibrous but also easy to chew and a good source of energy.
How to Make Homemade Horse Treaties
There are homemade horse treaties that will save you canned snacks. Besides being easy to make, they are cheap and free from unnecessary chemicals. Here are some of the recipes you can try at home:
1. Horse Cookie
- Grated carrot
- Vegetable oil
- Mix a handful of the grated carrot and apple and put them on a baking sheet
- Place the sheet in a 325 degrees oven heat
- Bake until it turns golden brown
- Cool for some hours
2. Carrot Treat
- Grated carrots
- Vegetable oil
- Your horse’s favorite feed (optional)
- Mix the grated carrots, molasses and oil evenly
- Add flour, oat, salt, and the optional horse feed. Mix until it forms a sticky dough
- Use a scoop or hands to create one-inch-sized balls.
- Put the balls in a baking sheet and place them in a 350 degrees oven. Bake until it turns golden
3. Unbaked Cookies
- Peanut or sun butter (preferred for horses allergic to peanuts),
- Powdered sugar
- Uncooked oats
- Granola or puffed wheat
- Small pieces of apple chips
- Mix milk, sugar, and peanut butter evenly
- Add the other ingredients and stir
- Place the mixture on wax paper and let it stay still
4. Sparkly Flax Snax
Oats, flour, flax meal, coconut oil, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and molasses
- Mix flour and oats
- Mix cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, coconut oil, and flax meal evenly in a different bowl
- Combine the two mixtures and add molasses. Mix until it forms a dough
- Make tiny balls and fit them on cookie sheets
- Add favorite glitter colors (optional)
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes
- Cool before feeding the horse
What Treats Are Bad for Horses?
Horses seem easy animals to feed until you realize some foods are bad for horses regardless of how fit they appear for them. They include:
- Lawn chippings – they cause choking and alter with the hindgut pH. They also have harmful plants.
- Tomatoes and potatoes – some horse owners feed their horses with tomatoes and potatoes. They may not have notable effects, but it’s better if your horse doesn’t consume them.
- Cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbages – too much of it leads to severe gas.
- Unpitted fruits – pits choke horses.
- Sweet feed – too many sweet grains cause diet imbalances.
- Chocolate – though horses like chocolates, they act as drugs in their bodies.
- Bread and donuts – bread is too doughy for horses and can block their digestive systems.
Why You Should Give Treats To Your Horse
Treats are more to your horse than just enticing rewards. They enhance the horse’s wellbeing and make its life better. Here are some of the benefits:
- Treats Reinforce Horses Positively
Treats act as favorable reinforcement, and you can use them to teach your horse whatever you want it to learn since they are intelligent, willing, and quick to learn. It’s also a way of making your horse respond hence creating a solid relationship with your horse.
- Enhances the Horses’ Stability
Treats enrich the stability of the horse. Since horses respond well to treats, it is encouraged to feed them with treats rich in forage. It makes the horse happy, calm, and free of stress.
- Powerful Stretches
When the horse does a mighty stretch, it creates core strength, improves the horses’ back, and enhances flexibility. You can use treats to exercise your horse into lateral bending, hollowing, and rounding.
There is only one rule regarding horse treats; ensure you give them moderate amounts. However, keep them as natural as possible. If you opt for the manufactured ones, read the suggested quantities on the packets. Additionally, treats with less sugar are greatly recommended.