Safety and Horse Snacks

Before you run out and pick up a bag, let’s have a look at the various ingredients used to make treats.

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Safety and Horse Snacks
Apples and carrots have been the treat of choice of horse trainers for centuries. | Photo:

Horse treats have come a long way. Horse owners have seen the treats they feed to horses evolve from the traditional apple or carrot to baked, heavily formulated “cookies” and snacks. But are these treats any better for your horse than the traditional fruits and vegetables? Are we as horse owners doing the right thing for our animals by feeding them all of these snacks?

In the United States alone, there are more than 50 companies that manufacture commercial horse treats, adding up to a significant economic impact in the equine industry. Many companies started in small kitchens, then expanded to larger production facilities. Some other treat brands developed as an outgrowth of a company’s feed business, such as Rounders Treats made by Blue Seal Feeds.

With such clever names as Stud Muffins, Nicker Snax, Tally Oats, and Mrs. Pastures Horse Cookies, horse treats have become a staple of feed and tack stores. But before you run out and pick up a batch, let’s have a look at the various ingredients used to make treats

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Hallie McEvoy is a free-lance writer, author, and a licensed USA Equestrian horse show judge. Her second book, Horse Show Judging for Beginners, will be issued this fall by The Lyons Press. Although she lives in Vermont, she raises Thoroughbreds in New York and Maryland.

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