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Animals        < Previous        Next >


Horse Treats


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


Horse Cookies


2 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.



Christmas Mash

1 lb. bran
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
1 apple
3 carrots
4 oz molasses
Hot water

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.


Peppermint Cookies

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour
cup wheat germ oil
1 cup water
cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
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.




A classic 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:


By Susan Darst Williams Animals 09 2008




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