Treats to give your horse this Christmas without all the sugar!
We all love treats once in a while right? Nice hot fudge brownie drizzled in a hot chocolate sauce – I could eat it every day! But I would probably be very unhealthy if I did. It’s a little bit like horses and sugar cubes, they might be okay as a treat now and again but feeding them to your horse or pony every day could cause a series of problems over the years…
Firstly let’s determine is sugar bad for your horse? Like us horses need sugar in their diet to have a healthy life, horses often get sugar naturally from forages such as grass. If you feed your horse ‘pony nuts’ or ‘Dengie healthy hooves’ like I do with Alfie, then these feeds normally contain the right quantities your horse or pony requires.
There are horses which are prone to laminitis and glucose issues, for example, Paddy my gyspy cob is prone to laminitis due to his heavy build and breed. If I fed him sugar cubes I really wouldn’t be doing him any favours even if they do taste nice, as this could cause him not only tummy ache but also aggravate his sugar levels inside his body.
Sugar cubes are not really a daily treat for your horse, they may be sweet and taste good but they can cause tooth decay and problems to your four legged friends! There are lots of healthy treats out there you can give your horse so there really isn’t much need to give them sugar cubes!
Here is a list I put together…
- Carrots – You can guarantee you will have some in the fridge this time of year ready for Christmas day, so it’s okay to give your horse one or two. Remember not to give them the whole bag of carrots as your parent’s wouldn’t be very pleased plus it’s just a treat after all!
- Apple slices – Apples are packed with vitamins so there a great healthy snack now and again. They also contain a high quantity of sugar but research shows they are more on the healthy side than not. Remember your horses can’t eat cooking apples as this can cause tummy ache!
- Watermelon – Did I actually just type watermelon I know! This week I found out that horses can eat watermelon and yes they apparently love it! I have yet to try it out on my horses to see the overall verdict but it’s a safe treat for your horse – I think it would be a great one in the summer months.
- ‘Hilton Herbs Herball’ – I first discovered this a while ago now but my horses love them. They are a packed healthy green nuggets containing only natural products, and no molasses or added sugars!
These are just a few suggestion to give your horse this Christmas instead of all the sugar! I’m sure there are so many different treats you can give your horses out there which are packed with goodness and flavour.
by Hannah Russell
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