June Evers, author of The Ultimate Guide to Horse Treats, shares two of her favorite recipes. Also, Carey Williams, Ph.D., Rutgers University equine extension specialist provides some practical tips for horse health while feeding special treats.
“While I know (the horses) don’t know it’s a special time of year—every day is special for them—it sure makes me feel good to prepare these treats. It’s especially fun if you have an old silver platter and walk down the aisle in the barn serving off the silver platter,” says Evers.
When making your own equine treats, Williams cautions to be aware of potentially toxic ingredients, such as St. John’s Wort, tomatoes, chestnuts and bull or horse nettle. If you compete, you should also steer clear from ingredients such as valerian, poppy seeds, licorice, and cocoa or tea leaves, which could potentially test positive for drugs.
If your horse has special dietary concerns, remember that, too, as you prepare treats.
“Cushing’s, laminitis or Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM) prone horses cannot have any sugar or molasses, similar to a diabetic human,” Williams explains. “And Quarter Horses with Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis cannot have feeds high in potassium, such as bananas.”
With these cautionary tips in mind, head to the kitchen and try mixing up some of the tasty treats below.
Carrot & Apple Pâté with Faux Caviar
2 carrots, diced
1 medium apple, sliced
1/3 cup honey (or molasses)
1/3 cup bran
1/4 cup water
Handful of horse feed pellets
Handful of raisins
Place apples, honey (or molasses), bran and water into a blender. Add carrots slowly and blend until pureed. Mixture should be pasty; add more bran if necessary. Spread liberally onto each hay cube and top with one raisin and a sprinkle of pellets (the “faux caviar”).
Tri-Color Apple & Carrot Salad
1 large handful of hay
1 to 2 carrots with the tops, sliced
2 red apples, cut in sixths
2 green apples, cut in sixths
2 yellow apples, cut in sixths
Straighten out hay and cut with scissors into pieces approximately 10 inches long and place in a feed bucket. Arrange in a criss-cross pattern, making a circle flat on the bottom of the feed bucket. Cut the tops off the carrots and tuck the green tops in around the edge of the criss-crossed hay.
Arrange sliced carrots and the apples in a decorative manner, alternating the colors of the apples. To garnish: Place a sprig of carrot top in the center of the salad.
These recipes are excerpted from The Original Book of Horse Treats by June Evers, www.horsehollowpress.com
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