I can’t believe how quickly the seasons are changing, and Thanksgiving is only a few days away! For many of you, thoughts of a big, juicy turkey, warm gravy, and sweet pumpkin pie are the things that come to mind in anticipation of the holiday. I know it sure does for me! But then again, when am I NOT thinking of food?! Although I won’t be partaking in the feast (my owner says he can’t find a chair large enough for me to sit at the table….I was slightly offended), try to remember to show your equine pals how thankful you are to have them by baking them some homemade goodies! Every horse deserves to be a little spoiled, and preparing horse treats can be a fun activity for horses and humans alike.
While there are many resources to find recipes for horse treats both online and at your local bookstore, it is important to know which ingredients are healthy, and which ones could be potentially toxic. St. John’s Wort, tomatoes, chestnuts and bull or horse nettle are a few things you want to steer clear of when making homemade treats. Poppy seeds, licorice, and cocoa or tea leaves, while not necessarily harmful, should be avoided if you’re competing because they could cause your horse to test positive for banned substances.
It is also important to keep in mind any special dietary concerns as you prepare your treats. Cushing’s or laminitis prone horses should not have any sugar or molasses. Also Quarter Horses (like me) with Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP) cannot have foods high in potassium, such as bananas.
Treats are a great way to show your horse friends you care this holiday season, and also make great gift ideas for your human barn buddies! So what are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen and start cooking! And be sure to save a batch for your favorite friend Nelson!