We all feed our horses or ponies as a reward when training or just because we simply adore them. Choosing treats that are close to a horse’s natural foods is the healthiest choice. But some small amounts of almost any food can also be safe to feed as a treat. Many horse owners do not believe in feeding treats at all. But for those of you who do believe, there is a safe way to feed your horse with them, so be sure your horse is respectful and doesn’t get pushy or nippy.
Safe horse treats include:
- Sugar cubes
- Pitted Dates
- Hay cubes
- Apple pieces
- Carrot pieces
- Sunflower seeds (with or without shells)
- A portion if its normal grain or concentrates
Horses have different tastes too. So, your horse may love peppermints or sugar cubes more, or carrots or hay cubes.
Also, if you often carry them in your pockets and feed your horse from your hands, you might teach your horse a bad habit. He might decide that all pockets or fingers contain treats and nip at your clothes and fingers.
When a horse is pushy about getting treats it can become dangerous. It can be quite easy to get bitten or have your clothing ripped by a greedy horse. The safest way to feed your horse with treats is to put them in a bucket or feeder.
Some things are not good for treats:
- Lawn, hedge or garden clippings.
- Anything from the Cole family like broccoli, cabbage leaves, kale or cauliflower.
- Chocolate, if you are competing can cause a positive drug test.
Also, you should remember that it is not okay to feed a strange horse. The horse might be having some medical condition that doesn’t allow certain types of food.
Even though some horses can eat these things with no apparent ill effects, it is always better to stick to those similar to their natural foodstuffs.