We bond with our horses through time spent together, lots of loving and with food! They also deserve a little treat now and again. Looking for yummy, delicious, affordable, and simple treats to make for your beloved horse? Have a look at the various options you can make below:
Carrot, apple, and oat balls
- 3 cups oats
- ½ cup plain flour
- 2 grated carrots
- 1 large apple, diced
- ¼ cup molasses or ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Grease a cookie sheet or line with baking paper.
- Combine the carrots and apple.
- Mix the flour and oats together in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in the apple sauce and molasses/honey into the bowl with a wooden spoon or mixer.
- Add the carrots and apple and roll the mixture into small balls. If they are too crumbly, add a little more honey. Alternatively, if they are too stocky, add more flour or oats.
- Place the balls onto a greased or lined baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for no longer than a week.
- Serve as an occasional treat.
Cinnamon and oat treats
Joanne from Stable Table & Crafts has mastered easy cinnamon and oat cookies for horses which you can stuff into your pockets and handout (if your horse doesn’t sniff them out before you get the chance).
Swap the cinnamon with anise, fennel seed or ginger in each batch for a change that your horse will love!
- 4 cups oats
- 1 cup flower
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ to 1 cup water
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¼ cup honey
- 1/3 cup vegetable or coconut oil
- Working in batches, grind the oats in a blender or food processor until it resembles a coarse flour. Optional: for a natural appearance, only partly grind the final batch (±1 cup) so that oat flakes remain recognizable.
- Place the oats in a large bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix well.
- Make a well in the center and add the molasses, honey, and oil. Mix with a large spoon or with your hands. If the dough is crumbly, add a little more water to form a stiff dough sticky enough to form a ball.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees Celsius. Roll teaspoon-size pieces of dough into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Flatten the balls with the curved bottom of a small jar or the palm of your hand. You will need two baking trays.
- Bake for 45 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through the baking time.
- Lower the oven temperature to 225 degrees Celsius and bake for another 45 minutes.
- Rotate the baking sheets again and bake for another 30-45 minutes.
- Test the readiness by removing one from the tray and allowing to cool. Treats are done when the cooked cookie breaks crisply and feels firm when pressing a fingernail into the top. If the treat feels soft or moist, add more baking time as needed. This depends on the amount of water you added and how your oven cooks.
- Store treats in an airtight container and enjoy sharing with your horse.
Delicious treats that don’t require much prepping
Besides the usual apples, carrots, or sugar cubes, try some of the following:
Raw fruits such as:
Full of potassium and so good for your horse. Feed them peel and all, they will love you for it.
Not only do grapes make a great treat whilst riding, but share a few here and there for the ultimate bonding between you and your horse. Frozen grapes are delicious too!
Melon or Melon rind
It’s a hot summers day, you’re enjoying your deliciously juicy slice of watermelon and your horse is looking at you with “googlie” eyes. Well, sharing is caring! It might be a sloppy mess but well worth the fun.
The rind of any sort of melon is yummy and low in sugar, making a great treat for any horse including those with Cushing’s or insulin resistance. Cut the rind into smaller blocks for easy eating.
Dried, pitted dates and dried figs are sweet and give a great burst of energy. They are packed with vitamins and minerals and horses love the taste. These used to be a staple food for horses in the Middle East once upon a time.
It is important to remember that too much of a good thing is bad. These are treats, not food. While your horse might try to dig in your pockets or stretch and turn their neck and head to reach you from their stable, don’t fall for the cuteness. Go easy. Any new foods are unfamiliar to the gut and upsetting the gut flora might result in some nasty mishaps such as colic. One or two small servings per day is plenty.
- Equestrian Barns & Architecture: Start Living the Dream. 2021. Healthy Treats for Horses. [online] Available at: https://equinefacilitydesign.com/equine-care/healthy-treats-horses.htm [Accessed 29 November 2021].
- Stable Table and Crafts. 2021. Homemade Horse Treats with Cinnamon & Oats – Stable Table and Crafts. [online] Available at: https://stabletableandcrafts.com/recipe/homemade-horse-treats-with-cinnamon-and-oats/ [Accessed 29 November 2021].
- Mama on the Homestead. 2021. How to Make Simple Homemade Horse Treats. [online] Available at: https://mamaonthehomestead.com/homemade-horse-treats/ [Accessed 29 November 2021].