Christmas (and all year round) Homemade Horse Treats

In the last few years, I have started to make better eating decisions; coming into middle life and getting diagnosed with a few medical issues, combined with the drive to lose weight several years ago, all contributed to my interest in whole and clean eating.

Healthy Christmas treats - Happy horse

Healthy Christmas treats - Happy horse

Yummy treats are loved by most equines. Don't overdo it, but enjoy sharing time and good treats with your equine.New window.

I started with moving my horse’s main supplementary food intake from having at-will round bales in front of them (EquiMed article about Free Feeding Hay to your horses in September) to using whole foods (carrots, apples, watermelons) as treats, and then I stumbled onto making my own homemade treats.

For the last few weeks I have put about six recipes to the cooking and “testing on the horses” and here is what I found: Misty may be an easy keeper on hay and grain, but on treats she is PICKY - so she is on whole fruit only.

Nan, on the other [no-glossary]hand, either turned her nose up or ate them like they were going out of style. Please keep in mind that these homemade treats are HIGH in calories and fat, so go easy on the treating, limit the number per day, and the number you feed at a time.

Feel free to experiment. I used non-GMO (genetically modified) wheat and organic ingredients for the recipes below. Some thoughts that occurred to me as I was testing them out were:

  • You could grind the oats into a flour-like consistency if you wanted to not use wheat in the recipe.
  • You can add or not add the egg. I found that with the egg they were a bit runny and, on the first run-through, the batter was just too wet to bake to the level I wanted them at.
  • The additional sugar is up to you. The molasses is plenty sweet and Nan ate them with and without the brown sugar.

Oat and Apple Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of oats (I used Old Fashioned Oats)
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup of wheat bran (small boxes available in baking section of your grocery store)
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup freshly grated apples (I used Granny Smiths)
  • I added about a ½ cup of whole wheat flour and an egg for binding

Preparation

Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees F. Mix all ingredients. Use a muffin tin and either a small ice cream scoop or a 1/3 cup measuring cup so that you have a consistent amount of batter per treat.

I leveled the tops off and started at about 30 minutes of bake time. I tested them every 5 minutes after that and it was about 30-45 minutes before the treats were at the crunch level I wanted. You could leave them at the 30 minute or so stage if you want chewier treats. Refrigerate in an air-tight container or zip-lock bag after treats are cooled.

Apple and Carrot Squares/Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups freshly grated apples (1-2 apples, depending on size)
  • 1 ½ cups freshly grated carrots (about 2-3, depending on size)
  • 1 cup of wheat bran
  • 1 cup of oats (I used Old Fashioned Oats)
  • 1 cup molasses
  • ½ cup of whole wheat or all-purpose flour (approximately.)
  • 1-2 eggs for binding (use your judgment)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients. Oil a 9 x 9 inch square cake pan OR use muffin tins. Spread the batter evenly in the cake pan, or portion evenly in muffin tins, and bake for about 30 minutes. (It may need more or less, depending on your oven.) The batter will start to shrink away from the sides and it will be firm to the touch. If using the cake pan, slice into squares while still warm. Keep in the refrigerator in an air-tight container or zip-lock bag.

AGAIN, please feed only one or two at a time as these are VERY rich, HIGH in calories and whole, so DO NOT OVERFEED.

Wishing all of you and yours a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON and Happy Trails….

Related products

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Perfect for baking horse treats, this Silicone 12-Cup Muffin Pan makes small muffins that are just the right size for a tasty treat. Made of 100% silicon with no fillers, it is long lasting and will not contaminate food cooked in it.

Plenty of Old fashioned Quaker oats, 2 5 lb. bags here to make nutritious horse treats galore. Grind to use in place of wheat for extra nutrition that will help keep horses fit.

Use this Golden Barrel Blackstrap Molasses for making tasty horse treats. Rich in nutrients, it adds a subtle sweetness that your horses will enjoy.

About the author

After a lifetime of loving horses, Miriam had her first horse at age 41. With Nan she has learned about breeding, foals, health issues, hoof issues, eye issues and is still learning how to become a better riding partner with Nan. She works on this with Nan while riding in Texas Trail Challenges.

With Misty, her second horse of the herd, she gained confidence on the trail riding in NATRC(North American Trail Ride Conference) and Misty is her go to girl. Her horses are her Zen place in life.

Miriam has been writing her entire life and began getting published in her early 20's. All of her work has been of the informative article type and always on topics she has become familiar with in the personal arena first. She currently lives in Central Texas but is looking at a state address change in the near future. She loves writing for Equimed and looks forward to a long future with them.

Visit Miriam Rieck's Google+ page