There’s something so rewarding about the way a horse looks at us post-ride, eagerly awaiting their treats after putting forth their best efforts. We hate to disappoint them, so here is a list of ideas to give your horse as a treat if you’re looking to mix things up from the standard mints, carrots, and store-bought horse treats.
1. Granola Bars
Granola bars are full of ideal ingredients for horse treats, and you don’t have to spend any time baking. Specifically, Nature Valley granola bars, which we all love to hate because of their crumbly consistency, are an ideal post-show or post-ride snack for your horse. An added bonus is, if you like them too, there is one bar for each of you to enjoy inside each packet. Horses don’t care if they leave crumbs in their stalls, and you can always let them lick the crumbs off your hand as an extra reward. If your horse really takes a liking to these granola bars, stock up on them in bulk at Costco!
Everyone knows horses love apples, but have you tried offering your horse other fruit varieties? Many hors
es love bananas, and some will even eat the banana peel! Others
like oranges and some will even eat watermelon (including the rind on occasion). Be sure to check whether it’s safe before feeding your horse an unusual fruit, but in limited quantities most fruit makes for a great equine treat.
Another snack you can occasionally share with your horse, Pop-Tarts are the perfect amount of sweetness without being overwhelming for your horse. They’ll provide a boost of sugar and the contrasting textures will give your horse something to think about, too. An interesting trick would be to determine if your horse has a favorite flavor of Pop-Tart. Try a few flavors and see how your horse responds to each one.
4. Potato Chips
Potato chips aren’t something commonly thought of as a delicacy for horses, but they pack in all the elements horses are looking for. They’re salty, flavorful, and have that nice crunch horses seem to love. Just beware if you give your horse one potato chip out of your bag, they may expect many more as you finish your snack. You may want to bring two bags of chips to the barn.
Save these for those hot summer days to cool your horse down with an extra pop of flavor. You can buy popsicles in any flavor or even make frozen fruit bars at home for an extra serving of fruit for your horse. Just be careful they don’t also take the popsicle stick if they try to eat it in one bite!
Not every horse will go for a doughnut, but some can down a whole doughnut in one bite. Maybe start small by purchasing a bag of doughnut holes to see if your horse likes them and to avoid too much sugar at once. Doughnuts can be a fabulous end-of-show dessert to thank your horse for a job well done.
Of course, not all horses are going to like every treat you offer them. Remember to always keep your horse’s health as the top priority by staying on top of ingredient lists and monitoring for anything that may be harmful or that may upset your horse’s stomach.
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