3 Pumpkin Horse Treat Recipes That Your Horse Will Love

3 Pumpkin Horse Treat Recipes That Your Horse Will Love

With all the tasty pumpkin treats for people at this time of year (#PSL!!!), I find myself asking if there is a way for my horses to enjoy this scrumptious seasonal flavor as well.

Can Horses Eat Pumpkin?

In my hunt for the perfect “Pony PSL” the first question I needed answered is whether or not pumpkin was safe for horses to eat. Fortunately, this article from Equus came across my news feed which shares research that the regular jack ‘o lantern style pumpkins and sugar pie pumpkins are safe for horses to consume in moderate amounts. Not all squashes are safe for horses to eat though, so be careful and limit your creativity to just a few pumpkin-only snacks.

Why Feed Pumpkin to Horses?

In addition to being delicious, pumpkin has many health benefits that horses and humans can enjoy.
  • Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A. Horses without grass or fortified feed are commonly slightly deficient in vitamin A. “The most common signs of Vitamin A deficiency are dry, scurfy skin and hair coat, and runny eyes and night blindness are other symptoms. There’s also a slower resistance to respiratory infections, stress and diarrhea.” Source http://www.horsefeedblog.com/2011/07/vitamin-a-for-horses/.
  • Pumpkin has more Potassium than bananas. According to the Huffington Post, “potassium helps restore the body's balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.”
  • Pumpkin is full of fiber, which makes it satisfying and good for digestion.
  • Pumpkin is known to help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Pumpkin seeds are extremely nutrient dense with protein, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and tryptophan.

Recipe #1: Crunchy Pumpkin Horse Cookies

Bake these delicious crunch pumpkin cookies for your horse this fall.

These delicious crunchy cookies can be fed as a reward or just because! Make a bunch because they go fast! They are super healthy and don’t contain refined sugars or cereal grains. If you don’t want to use canned pumpkin, you can make your own puree from plain baked pumpkin in a food processor. If you are buying canned, make sure it’s just pumpkin, no sugar or spices.

1 cup Pumpkin Puree (canned or fresh)
1 cup Alfalfa Pellets
¼ cup flax meal

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Soak the alfalfa pellets in just enough warm water until they are completely soft. Mix in the pumpkin and flax meal. Spoon into quarter sized lumps about 1” apart on a baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes or until they are crunchy but not burned. The idea is more to dehydrate them than to bake them, so if they are starting to burn, just turn the heat down. If you want, you can squish a pumpkin seed into the top of each one before baking.

Recipe #2: Creamy Pumpkin-Beer Mash

This is a great, good for the tummy indulgence after exercise on a cool night. Apple cider vinegar is incredibly healthy and horses love the flavor. Chia and flax are a good source of Omegas and help clear sand or particulates from the intestines.

Zenyata drinking Guinness Beer in the stables.
The famous Zenyatta enjoying her Guinness Beer.

Guinness beer has been traditionally fed to horses to help them recover after hard work. It contains anti-inflammatories and helps with appetite, digestion, and hydration.

1 cup Beet Pulp Pellets or shreds
1 cup Alfalfa Pellets
¼ cup Chia or Flax Seeds
¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Pumpkin Puree (canned or fresh)
½ cup Guinness Stout beer

Soak the beet pulp for 4 hours in 4 cups hot water until it’s fully expanded (no hard spots). Add the alfalfa pellets, chia or flax, and the pumpkin puree. When you are ready to serve, pour 4 more cups of boiling water over the top and mix rapidly and thoroughly to avoid hot spots. Pour the Guinness beer over the top. Serve immediately and remove any uneaten portions (ha!) right away to avoid spoilage.

Recipe #3: Apple Pumpkin Muffins

Bake apple pumpkin muffins for your horse this fall with this easy recipe.

These tasty muffins are adapted and horsified from The Minimalist Baker. The best part is that you can share them with your horse! You might be hard pressed to share though. These muffins are mighty and will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! These are more suitable for a special occasion than an everyday training treat. Source: http://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-pumpkin-apple-muffins/

1.5 cup general purpose or whole wheat flour
1/3 cup old fashioned oats + extra for topping
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup coconut or soy milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray muffin tin with canola oil. Mix flax with 2.5 Tbsp warm water in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree, soy or coconut milk, brown sugar, and oil to the flax mixture. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon mix into wet ingredients little by little. Add apples and oats and stir again lightly until just combined. Spoon into muffin tin until each is filled to the very top. Sprinkle oats or pumpkin seeds on top (optional). Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and then store in an air-tight container and refrigerate to ensure freshness.

I hope you and your horses both get to enjoy some tasty pumpkin treats this fall! But remember, everything in moderation!

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