We all love to treat our horses. Whether you feed treats by hand or drop treats into your horse’s feed bucket, always having a stock of horse treats in your barn is important. But buying packaged traditional horse treats can quickly add up, especially if you have multiple horses in your barn. Want some more affordable alternatives? We've come up with some great ones for you.
When it comes to treating your horse, nothing can beat carrots and apples. Look into buying carrots or apples in bulk if you have enough horses to go through them quickly. You can also ask your local grocery store if they would be willing to give you their damaged produce; this can be a great way to get apples for free, and ensures that the apples will still go to a good use.
Though not as common a treat for horses, many horses do love bananas. Bananas can be a cheaper treat alternative, especially if you feed just small portions. Consider making banana chips by slicing a banana as thinly as possible. Bake the banana slices on a cookie sheet for 2 hours at 250 degrees, and make sure to flip the slices halfway through baking.
Many horses enjoy lettuce, which can make a nice treat after a summer ride. Be sure that you thoroughly wash any lettuce before feeding it to your horse.
Did you know that bread is actually a treat that you can feed to your horse? If no one in your family likes to eat the heels of bread loaves, your horse will almost certainly take care of those unwanted slices for you.
To get bread on the cheap, consider visiting the day-old bakery sections of your grocery store. You might also stop by local bakeries to see if they have older bread that you can purchase cheaply.
If you’re looking for a replacement for more expensive traditional horse treats, animal crackers might be perfect for you. Cheap, somewhat healthy, and clean to feed, animal crackers are easy to store in your barn. If you’re looking to save even more money, try buying animal crackers in bulk, especially if you need treats for multiple horses.
Peppermints are another favorite treat of so many horses. Individually wrapped and affordable to buy, peppermints will even make your horse’s breath smell better. Their one caveat is the fact that they get pretty sticky in hot weather. Butter mints can make another great option and won’t get quite as sticky in the summer.
Make Your Own
If you want traditional-looking horse treats at a fraction of the price, consider making your own. There are countless recipes for make-your-own horse treats available online, but a good basis is to combine shredded carrot, oats, molasses, oil, and flour. Combine the mixture thoroughly and stir and adjust the ingredients until the mixture is firm, then roll into small balls and place the treats on a greased cookie sheet. Cook the treats at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Remember, since homemade treats do not have preservatives added, you do need to feed them within a few days or they will go bad. Of course, getting rid of horse treats is never a big problem in a barn full of horses!
When you choose treats for your horse, be sure to keep any medical issues in mind. If you have any questions about which treats are appropriate for your horse, consult your veterinarian.
Original Source: Affordable Horse Treat Alternatives