By Harper Slusher
Loving my horses, I tend to spoil them with goodies— giving them a lot more treats than I probably should. Because they get so many treats, it is especially important to me that the treats I feed them are high-quality; both for the health of the horse and for the health of my compost pile. Unfortunately, most commercially available treats are large hunks of non-organic flour and sugar laced with artificial flavors.
I worry that feeding my horses these treats made with GM products grown using herbicides and pesticides may adversely affect their health. The chemicals in these goodies also end up in the manure pile and finally in the compost I use in my garden.
In addition to the quality of the treats, the large size of commercial horse treats also poses a problem. I prefer smaller treats. I enjoy teaching my horses tricks, which usually requires plenty of treats, but feeding a horse many large, GM treats is bad for a horse’s health. In addition to all of these problems, commercial horse treats can be quite expensive.
So, what a better way to get healthy horse treats than make them myself? The recipe I created uses a minimal amount of flour and is made with natural ingredients so that you know what your horse is eating!
3 cups organic uncooked old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup organic applesauce
¼ cup organic molasses
½ cup organic flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Next, add the molasses and applesauce and stir until well-incorporated. Once mixed, form the thick batter into teaspoon-sized balls and place them close together (but not touching) on a sprayed* cookie tray.
Bake the treats for 15 to 20 minutes and then remove from oven.
Leave the treats on the tray for 5 minutes to allow time for the treats to cool and harden.
Once completely cool, store the treats in an airtight container. Makes about 140 small treats.
*When making treats, I spray the cookie trays with coconut oil, but you can substitute this with any spray of your choice or grease the pans with butter.
Harper Slusher is a young farmer and photographer dedicated to growing organically and protecting the environment.
Originally published in Mother Earth News