Homemade Horsey Gifts: Homemade Horse Cookies


There’s a buffet of recipes on the Internet for homemade horse treats, but beware: A whole lot of them will leave you elbow deep in grainy goop and you could be scraping a shellac-like substance off your kitchen counter for months.

Fortunately, these horse treats are goop-free. I started with a basic horse treat recipe and then tinkered with the ingredients.

Easy Bake Horse Treats

(makes two dozen)

  • 4 tablespoons flax seed
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup groats*
  • 2/3 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • Mini-muffin pan
  • Cooking spray (made with vegetable oil)
  • Wax paper
  • Assorted toppings: crushed peppermints, dried apple slices, licorice tidbits, et cetera.

*Groats are unprocessed oats used in homemade granola. If necessary, substitute crimped oats (available at your feed store) or old-fashioned Quaker oats.

Directions: Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the molasses, followed by the warm water. Stir thoroughly. Lightly coat a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray. Place a rounded tablespoon of the mixture into each muffin cup. Press any topping into the center of each muffin. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, or until they feel solid and dehydrated. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and lift each treat from its muffin cup. If necessary, use the tip of a dull knife as an aid. Allow treats to cool completely on a piece of wax paper before packaging.

Crafter’s Tip: Holiday cookie tins are one way to wrap these cute treats, or you can opt for red or green cardboard take-out containers, which are readily available at most craft stores. Use horse stickers as decorations. Line your containers with wax paper before filling them with treats. For a final flourish, add a tag that cleverly includes the horse’s name, like “Goodies for Gracie,” “Comet’s Cookies,” and so on.

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Cindy Hale’s life with horses has been filled with variety. As a child she rode western and learned to barrel race. Then she worked as a groom for a show barn, and was taught to harness and drive Welsh ponies. But once she’d taken her first lessons aboard American Saddlebreds she was hooked on English riding. Hunters and hunt seat equitation came next, and she spent decades competing in those divisions on the West Coast. Always seeking to improve her horsemanship, she rode in clinics conducted by world-class riders like George Morris, Kathy Kusner and Anne Kursinski. During that time, her family began raising Thoroughbred and warmblood sport horses, and Cindy experienced the thrills and challenges of training and showing the homebred greenies. Now retired from active competition, she’s a popular judge at local and county-rated open and hunter/jumper shows. She rides recreationally both English and western. Her Paint gelding, Wally, lives at home with her and her non-horsey husband, Ron.


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