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Get festive, get baking: Home-made Christmas Treats for your Horse!

Christmas is a time for giving and indulging. Of course, we also want to include our horses in the fun, but a question on the minds of many horse owners is “how do we safely include our horses in the Christmas festivities?” We have found some safe, cost-effective home-made treats, that are a fun way to make something for your four-legged friend and can be especially entertaining for the kids to get involved in either at home or as a group activity for pony camp. First let’s outline the do’s and don’ts of horsey “sweets” then we can take through some ideas of DIY treats perfect for your holiday stable visits!

What can’t horses eat?

There are a number of foods which are not safe for horses. The following foods are to be avoided as they can be toxic/poisonous to your horse. Furthermore, anything belonging to the nightshade family can be toxic to horses and are best kept for your own Christmas table.

  • Caffeine
  • Avocado
  • Pitted fruit
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Meat products
  • Dairy
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes

What can horses eat?

The good news is that there are plenty of things that your horse can eat. It’s important to note that as with all things in life, treats should be fed in moderation. It is also best to make sure that whichever fruits or vegetables you decide to use, that they are sliced into pieces that are small enough to avoid choking. Also, remember that treats should be carefully monitored in laminitis-prone horses as higher sugar intake can cause further issues.

  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pear
  • Celery
  • Boiled pumpkin
  • Strawberries
  • Melon
  • Beetroot
  • Swedes
  • Turnip
  • Parsnip
  • Mint


Peppermint Bran Mash

  • 1 cup crushed candy canes or peppermints
  • 3 – 5 cups of bran
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 2 carrots grated
  • ½ cup of molasses
  • 2 cups of sweet feed

Crush candy canes and dissolve in 2 to 3 cups of boiling water. Let them sit until the water has cooled until warm. Mix all of the ingredients together (except for the sweet feed) in a feed bucket. Add more warm water to create a soup-like consistency. Cover the bucket with a towel and let it sit until it has cooled. Spread a thin layer of the sweet feed across the top and garnish with a sprinkled crushed candy cane.

Oat and Apple Muffins

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of apples
  • 1 cup of molasses
  • 1 cup of wheat bran
  • ½ a cup of brown sugar
  • ½ a cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg

Preheat your oven to 150°C. Mix all of your ingredients together, making sure that it is mixed thoroughly. Using a muffin tin, spoon out equal amounts of the mixture. Bake for 30 – 45mins depending on how soft or crunchy you would like the treats to be. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Treat Balls

  • 3 carrots grated or even add some apples
  • 1 cup of porridge oats
  • 1 cup of cool mix
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp of molasses

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Mix all of the ingredients together and roll into small balls. Place on a lightly greased or lined baking tray and bake for approximately 20mins.

If cooking isn’t really your thing then don’t worry, there are also a large variety of pre-packaged treats on the market as well as the fresh fruits and vegetables mentioned earlier in this article.

Don’t be scared to experiment, sometimes the journey is just as, if not more fun than the destination. We hope you and your horse have a happy and safe holiday season.