Today's Snack: Let's make horse
treats that are actually pretty good for humans, too. Take your pick of several choices. See the
recipes below. If you are lucky enough to have a field trip planned to a riding
stable, call ahead and see if the owner will let you bring one or more of these
treats for the horses. The owner is likely to have rules about how and when
these treats may be fed, so don't be disappointed if the owner says "no." But
if you make one or more of these treats, be sure to eat some of these horse
goodies yourself. They're totally edible, and good for you. Don't be surprised
if you start galloping around and nickering to your friends!
Horse Treat Recipes
cups dry oatmeal
3/4 cup grain
3 cups bran
1 cup molasses
You can purchase the grain and bran from a farm supply store or a health-foods
store. Mix oats, grain and bran together in a bucket. Drizzle in molasses while
mixing with your hands. Shape into a thin rectangle on a cutting board, as you
would do with sugar cookie dough. Use cookie cutters to cut into fun shapes
such as horsed or horseshoes, and place them on a cookie sheet with a spatula.
At Christmas time, use angel or Christmas tree shaped cookie cutters. Bake at
375 degrees for 8 minutes.
1/2 cup sweet feed
4 packets of Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
4 packets of Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal
1/3 can of regular oatmeal (or 4 packets)
3 cups Kellogg's Cracklin' Oat Bran Cereal
4 oz molasses
You can purchaser bran and sweet feed from a farm supply store or a health-food
store, and the rest at your grocery store. Mix dry ingredients in feed bucket.
Add enough hot water to just cover the dry ingredients and let set for 12
minutes. Add molasses and stir.
1 cup flour
½ cup wheat germ oil
1 cup water
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 apple, peeled
2 large carrots, finely chopped
2/3 cup dark molasses
10 peppermint candies, crushed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Form
into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball. Bake until crispy and dry.
after-school excursion is to go to a horseback riding stable. You can have a
basic lesson in riding and a chance to ask a horse expert questions about
horses. If you are lucky enough to do something like this, you can make one or
more of these treat recipes to bring with you for the horses you meet.
To find stables
in the Omaha metropolitan area, go to After School Treats' section on Lessons,
Classes and Clubs and look under Horses:
Horseback riding lessons are a
great way to help a child with balance, coordination, focus and
self-confidence. When you can learn how to make a huge animal like a horse
listen to you, and obey your commands, it can be a big shot in the arm to your
own feelings of self-control, and maybe make you obey those "invisible" reins,
halters and bridles that adults have on YOU when they . . . ride herd on YOU.
It takes a lot of eye-hand coordination to get a saddle,
bridle and halter on a horse, and it does take some time to learn how to do it.
But the rewards are lifelong for those who acquire the simple, but universally
popular skill of knowing how to ride a horse.
One of the best things that horseback riding does for you is
it teaches you safety and respect for animals. A Quarter horse may weigh 1,000
or 1,200 pounds, or more. That's big! If you take riding lessons, one of the
first things you will learn is to NEVER walk or run behind a horse or make
sudden movements, because no doubt you will get kicked. And that can hurt you!
It may even break a bone. So it's an important rule, that you never walk or
stand BEHIND a horse.
Horses are "prey" animals. That means they are not the
"predator" - they are the ones which are scared of the predator. They are the
ones who run away. Good thing horses are so fast! But if you want to succeed
around horses, you must remember that fact. Use your "horse sense" and a little
understanding of horse psychology to be reassuring, calm and quiet around
horses. Don't be afraid of them, but don't give them any surprises, either.
That's when they might kick, run away or do other things to keep themselves
from danger that might end up hurting you.
You must learn to approach a horse from his or her right
front whenever you do anything around a horse - put on a halter, pick up feet
to clean them, and so forth. And if you ever do cross behind a horse while
grooming or working with the horse, you simply trail your hand gently on the
horse's back flanks, just to let him or her know for sure that you are back
there, but no harm will come.
Another safety tip: you never want to be in flip-flops or
other shoewear that expose your foot skin or are only thin coverings. Boots are
best, but at least solidly-made tennis shoes are a must. This is not only
because you might step in you-know-what. It's also just in case the horse steps
sideways suddenly - maybe an ambulance goes by or a dog suddenly barks - and
steps on your foot. The weight of such a big animal might break the bones in
your foot. So show the horse some respect and give him or her some "space" to
protect your own body while you're around horses.
A great thing you'll learn around horses is balance. That
can pay off in all kinds of ways in the rest of your life: balance for sports,
and the other kind of "balance" - in the way you think. If you lean too far in
one direction or another, unwisely, you will fall off a horse. It's the same
thing with life!
Another way that you learn balance from horseback riding is
that you have to use both your right leg and arm, and your left leg and arm. If
you want the horse to go to the right, you press with your left knee. The horse
has been trained to move away from pressure. So guiding a horse actually trains
YOUR mind, since you have to think ahead of where you want the horse to go, and
make your body move correctly to guide the horse in the right direction.
For fun, here's a word search on horse breeds. You might
want to look up what each breed looks like in a horse book or online resource: