Here is a quick breakdown of some common things people feed their horses as a treat. Remember, when picking treats for your animal the most beneficial will be the treats with no chemicals, preservatives or unnatural ingredients.
Alfalfa & Molasses
A&M is a great treat for your horse, but should only be fed in limited quantities. Molasses has a high concentration of sugar & should not be given to insulin resistant animals.
When fed in small amounts it is a great treat which can also boost energy (which can be a blessing and a curse).
Carrots are a healthy treat full of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A during digestion. Grazers generally take their vitamin A from pasture & alfalfa hay (many commercial grains are also fortified with it) so your horse doesn’t need carrots to supplement their intake.
Also note that carrots are high in sugar & their feeding should be limited for horses with Cushing’s syndrome or insulin resistance.
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The Way of Horses What’s Up Doc?
Another good & nutritious treat, apples (even apple sauce) are a long-time horse favorite. High in potassium for proper muscle contraction, nerve function & cellular metabolism, apples make a great snack.
Horses should not be given unlimited access to apples, as it can cause them to colic. Wilted apple leaves are also toxic to horses.
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The Way of Horses Apples & Horses
Because of their sweet tooth, horses like all different kinds of fruit. Each individual animal will have specific likes & dislikes. When feed in limited quantities horses may eat pears, peaches, plums, watermelon, grapes, bananas, mangoes & citrus fruits.
Horses should never be given free access to fruit with pits such as cherry, peach, plum, etc. Fruit pits contain cyanide & can be fatal if too many are consumed (bark & wilted leaves of many pitted fruit trees are also toxic). Horses also shouldn’t eat persimmons or rhubarb.
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Plants Toxic To Horses
Vegetables don’t contain a great deal of sugar & for that reason there are fewer limitations as to what can be fed. Taste varies from animal to animal – but if you find something your horse likes, chances are it is good for them. Obviously, the more organic & natural the better.
Some horses like brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, turnips, celery even lettuce.
Sugar Cubes & Candy
Horses are known for a love of sugar & sweet treats. However sugars are best fed to horses in molasses or fruit. Sugar cubes should be fed in very limited quantities. They are also dyed and processed sugar, which is hardly natural.
If you must stick to your sugary treats, buy some that only use un-dyed organic cane sugar.