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Healthy Treats For Horses

Whether you want to motivate your horse to learn new skills or just want to strengthen your bond, treats are the quickest way to a horse’s heart. You can even use treats to help your horse learn to tolerate a potentially scary new experience, like trailering. Choose wholesome treats for your horse to give them a tasty, well-deserved reward without putting their health at risk.

Healthy Treats For Horses
Many fruits and veggies can be used as tasty, healthy treats. Apples and carrots are popular favorites. Keep in mind that many fruits and veggies are high in natural sugars and a diet rich in produce can lead to high blood glucose levels.
An excess of glucose in the blood causes the pancreas to produce more insulin. Over time, the horse can develop insulin resistance, which is linked to complications like equine metabolic syndrome and recurring laminitis.
Celery is a great option that’s low in sugar and high in fiber and many vitamins and minerals. It can be given whole or chopped to prevent choking if your horse tends to eat quickly. Horses can also eat the leaves at the top of the celery stalk.
Bananas are another popular treat for horses. They’re great for giving before physical activity as a pre-workout snack, as the extra potassium helps prevent muscle fatigue. Bananas can be given whole, skin-on, or may be chopped.
Homemade treats like Stud Muffins, usually made with molasses, oats, and carrots, are a great occasional snack. The molasses acts as a quick source of energy, while the fiber in oats offer long-lasting energy, making them great for active horses.
Naturally, sugar cubes and candies like peppermints and candy canes are high in glucose. One or two small bites are unlikely to harm a horse that does not have any chronic health issues, but a piece of fruit would be a healthier way to satisfy your horse’s sweet tooth.

Treats To Avoid
Seeds and pits can be a choking hazard for horses. If you choose to give cherries or peaches, always remove the pits before feeding.
Nightshade vegetables, including potatoes, tomatoes, adn eggplant, are toxic to horses.
Bread, donuts, and baked goods may be a treat for us, but for horses, the doughy texture can lead to impaction colic.
Ask your veterinarian before introducing any treats to your horse’s diet if they have a chronic condition like Cushing’s disease or Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP).