Homemade horse treats are a wonderful way to boost the health of your horse, and a great way to use ingredients you have around the house while reducing packaging waste. Fun for the family, healthy for your horse and great for the environment – everybody wins!
December was always a magical time at the stable. We’d be all bundled up, and if I was really good, there would be hot chocolate for me, and extra special treats to give to the horses. Now, over 50 years later, I still think of those extra special moments at the stable, going from stall to stall with my homemade horse treats. It seemed to me they knew when I was coming to visit, and even now, just thinking of those times brings a smile to my face.
THE BENEFITS OF FESTIVE INGREDIENTS
Rich in natural sugars and contains all the principal vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, silicon, vitamin A, vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, niacin and protein.
Used to help treat a variety of gastrointestinal problems, including nausea and flatulence. Known as an antibacterial and antifungal agent; a sprinkling of cinnamon can help heal a cut faster. One teaspoon of cinnamon contains as many antioxidants as 1/2 cup of blueberries.
Rich in digestible oils and an excellent source of fiber, which helps to remove worm eggs.
Contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant even more powerful than vitamin E – 50mg to 80mg are found in a 100g serving of cranberries. Proanthocyanidins (another antioxidant) help strengthen blood vessels and improve delivery of oxygen to cell membranes. Ellagic acid can cause apoptosis or “cell death” in cancer cells. Cranberries also contain fiber, manganese and vitamin K, and are rich in vitamin C and tannins, which help keep bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract, and support healthy teeth and gums.
There are more than 300 types of honey in the United States alone. Darker honeys contain the most antioxidants. Honey is soothing to any inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, and is also nature’s “band aid.”
A strength-giving cereal. Soothes the digestive tract and the nervous system. Low in starch and high in minerals, especially potassium and phosphorus. Also contain calcium, magnesium, and are rich in B vitamins and a good source of iron. Oats support strong teeth, hooves, nails and hair.
A homemade horse treat favorite! Heart smart and rich in antioxidants, a diet rich in red apples helps inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Contain phytochemicals, lycopene and anthocyanins, lots of vitamin C, calcium, chlorine, fluorine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulphur and trace minerals. Red delicious, northern spy and Ida red have more potent disease fighting antioxidants than other apples.
Contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, tryptophan, zinc, vitamin B1 and diet fiber. Also a source of sesamin and sesamolin, which belong to a special group of fibers called lignans that have been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure in humans, and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin also protects the liver from oxidative damage.
An excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium. Also contain vitamin B1, vitamin B5, copper, tryptophan and phosphorus. Their phytoesterols can help reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance immune response, and even decrease the risk of some cancers. The seeds also have anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits.
While homemade horse treats have evolved over the years, the basics remain the same – something that tastes good, and something that is packed with goodness. Have fun making your “apple slides” and “carrot shots,” and do try making your own wreath. It’s lots of fun, and one more way we can celebrate the joy and love of the holiday season.
AUDI DONAMOR HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY CREATING SPECIAL NEEDS DIETS FOR ANIMALS FOR OVER TWELVE YEARS. SHE IS THE FOUNDER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH’S SMILING BLUE SKIES CANCER FUND AND THE ONLY TWO-TIME RECIPIENT OF THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER CLUB OF CANADA’S SILMARIL KENNEL TROPHY FOR THE HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND.