The holidays are officially upon us. During the holidays, we give friends, family members, and even people we don’t know gifts just to see them smile and be happy. For most people who own horses, they know that they’re more than just an animal — they’re family. Each one has their own unique personalities and traits that makes them so much fun to be around and work with. In this blog, Equine Catalyst, the makers of the best all-natural equine vitamin and mineral supplements, will give you a few ideas on how to spoil your horse this holiday season. We’ll give you ideas for their favorite treats, as well as the health benefits each one offers for your four-legged friend. But be warned, as all of these treats, no matter how healthy or nutritious they are, should be given in moderation. So, without further delay, let’s get into the best treats to give to your horse this holiday season.
1 - Apples
A classic equine treat and deterrent of doctors, apples are great for horses to snack on during the holiday season. Apples contain many vitamins and minerals, but don’t carry enough to be especially beneficial on their own. High in vitamins A, B, and C, apples also contain folic acid, which helps the body produce and maintain new cells. Apples also contain many essential minerals like calcium, which helps build and maintain bone density, magnesium, which helps maintain nerve function, and potassium, which helps regulate normal muscle contraction and blood pressure.
Though they’re high in essential nutrients, apples do have a lot of sugar and can be hard for horses to digest if they eat too much. Some horses may also try to eat apples whole, which can cause choking or intestinal discomfort. We recommend letting your horse have one apple every so often to keep them healthy, happy, and ready to work.
2 - Pumpkin
A staple around the holidays, pumpkin is a tasty treat for both humans and horses, not counting them in pie or spiced latte form, of course. Pumpkins are high in vitamin A, which helps boost the immune system. They also contain high levels of beta-carotene, which helps maintain healthy eyesight. These orange gourds are low in calories and sodium but high in water concentration and fiber, meaning your horse will be able to feel fuller for longer without eating too many calories and becoming bloated.
Pumpkins are a bit higher in fat and can be harder to digest for some horses’ GI tract. Pumpkin seeds can get caught in horses’ throats, leading to choking or other health concerns. Though pumpkins are healthy and provide excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Limit servings to just a couple every so often, and be sure to pick out any seeds or stems before offering it to your horse.
3 - Carrots
Another classic horse treat, carrots offer many essential vitamins and minerals for horses. Containing vitamins A, B, and K, carrots are a great holiday snack for horses. Like their orange friend the pumpkin, carrots help with eyesight, thanks to healthy amounts of beta-carotene. They’re also known to help lower cholesterol and contain very little amounts of fat. Potassium is also found in carrots, which helps control blood pressure and muscle function.
Normally, carrots are a great treat for horses to have. But for some horses, raw carrots can be hard to digest, especially in older horses. Some horses may also try to swallow carrots whole instead of chewing them, which could be a choking hazard.
Other great holiday treat ideas for your horse:
Sugar cubes/peppermint candies
- Melons (all kinds)
Veggies you should never feed your horse:
- Brussels Sprouts
We here at Equine Catalyst hope you’ve found this blog to be helpful. Equine Catalyst offers some of the best all-natural horse vitamin supplements on the market. All of our equine supplements are made from plants and will never hinder your horse’s digestion. Learn more about Equine Catalyst, shop our horse supplements, or contact us today to answer any questions about our company or our products.