Cats     |     Dogs     |     Horse Sports & Training     |     Horse Care   |     Small Pets

Getting the best in

savory Horse Treats

Help Rescue Homeless

Pets with a Gift

of One Dollar


It's about Horse Treats 
By:  Jane R. BicksD.V.M.

As I walk into barn after barn, small and large, I am very pleased to note that most of these horse owners have developed some type of health care program for their horses. It usually encompasses shelter, feeding, grooming, and exercise. However, I had no idea that so many horse owners supplemented their equine's daily meal, often including more than one supplement as part of the daily nutritional program for their horse.

I found that most of the daily nutritional programs generally include a concentrated grain feed (100% complete & balanced or consisting of individual cereals), forage, either fresh or dried, and one or more supplements that correspond with problems the horse may have as well as general nutritional support similar to our daily multi vitamin/mineral supplement we take, and treats.

The ingredients obtained in the many of the supplements include synthetic or natural vitamins, minerals, electrolyte mixes, antioxidants, oils or fatty acids, whole foods such as brewers yeast, mushrooms, aloe vera, garlic, RiceX TM (bran), herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Treats are becoming more popular then ever. Horses are often given treats daily or at particular times only. Most of the treats consist of cereals including barley, oats or corn, molasses, dried carrots or apples, and may have vitamins and minerals added.

Many of the treats are preserved naturally, but others are chemically preserved. Few of the treats offered nutritional benefits other than the major ingredients that are included in them.
It seems as if treats are selected based on their price and smell.

I don't think that many of the horse owners realize that the giving of treats is part of their daily care for their horse. They are still being treated as an accidental addition even though they are incorporated into the horse’s daily routine.

Since most horse owners take the time to map out some type of a care plan for their horse (sophisticated or very simple), I firmly believe that treats must be taken more seriously.

If they are going to be given, then they should offer the horse an explicit health benefit. Their ingredients should be read and price should NOT be the only selection criteria.

The decision to give treats can be based on their usage as motivational tools or simply as a gift. The nutrients within the treats are supplemental to the horses daily nutritional program and have the opportunity to supply the horse with a healthy variety of nature based ingredients that enhance your horse's health without the need to be given daily and in specific amounts.
Some of the ingredients that I favor include:


*  Brewers, sele-nized, or nutritional yeast, or RiceX TM Stabilized Rice Bran. These ingredients provide a naturally balanced source of B vitamins, amino acids (protein components), and minerals.

Any treat containing these nutrients would enhance any good hoof care program. While all of these ingredients support a healthy immune system, RiceX TM has become a favorite of mine.
Perhaps it is because of the ongoing university study that has been investigating it's positive over all health benefits as well as it's contribution to a healthy immune system. I love the fact that RiceX TM contains over 70 antioxidants! 

*  Apples provide soluble fiber and are excellent sources of vitamin C. While horses have never been thought to require additional vitamin C, many believe that older horses benefit from the addition of Vitamin C.

Vitamin C was one of the earlier antioxidants studied and was made famous by Dr. Linus Pauling. Just 100 gms of an entire un-peeled fresh apple contains 1500 mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for bone and tissue growth, as well as being an excellent antioxidant.

Apple Sauce delights the most finicky horse. When the skin is included, we have a rich source of Pectin, a healthy soluble fiber which supports a healthy digestive tract. 

*  Maple Syrup, and honey are natural sweeteners which enhance taste and provide a horse treat with specific nutrients.
Pure maple syrup for example, is the concentrated portion of maple sap. Sap provides the trees with water and nutrients for the formation of buds and leaves. Included within maple syrup is an array of naturally balanced minerals which can be considered as an additional source of potassium and calcium.
It supplies a concentrated source of energy contributed by it's high amount of digestible carbohydrates.
*  Honey has been called nature's gift to mankind. It is made by bees from the nectar of flowers. Some of it's positive health benefits are contributed by it's B vitamin content and rich mineral supply particularly potassium. Also included in its health benefits is its own particular antioxidant named pinocembrin.
*  Flax Seed meal is an excellent source of fatty acids, particularly omega 3 fatty acids, known for it's contribution to a healthy looking skin & coat as well as an enhancement to many allergy and immune support programs.

Most people don't realize that is also contains protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If I  were to put it into a category of natural ingredients, I would add it to the one containing RiceX TM stabilized rice bran. Both can be considered to be a well rounded food topping.
*  Friendly Bacteria such as acidophillus is generally part of a program to enhance nutrient digestion. It is used in senior or debilitated horses. It is generally given as a powder, liquid or paste supplement. It is recommended by veterinarians in times of stress.
*  Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and MSN are popular supplements for aging horses or are part of a healthy bone program. These can be given individually, or in combination. Like most supplements, these are available in powder form, and in paste.

As a veterinarian that is primarily concerned with the nutrition of animals, I urge horse owners to purchase those treats that contain one or more of the ingredients mentioned above.

For example, if your horse's daily care includes grooming, one or two daily meals with the addition of a skin and coat supplement, hay, and pasture turn out time with treats given at various times, it only makes sense that the treats you give ADD more to the horse than grain and sugar calories.

The inclusion of RiceX TM, brewers yeast, flax seed meal, or wheat germ given daily or at odd times, makes treat giving more than just a gesture. It give us the opportunity to fortify our horse's health with true natural balanced nutrition.

We know that you are very concerned about the health of your equine friend. To assist horse owners like yourself, have treats that are Highly Nutritious with Top Quality Ingredients that will be beneficial to your horse

Custom Search

Horse Calendars

Plush Horses

Gifts for Horse Lovers