Horses are perhaps the animals closest to human beings in terms of relationships because they provide us with services, loyalty and friendship more than any other animal apart from possibly dogs and cats. Ask any horse owner and they’ll tell you their horse or pony is a friend. Also like humans, horses and ponies love candy; all kinds of candy.
Most horses and ponies will eat anything sweet with great pleasure. Like most parents most equine moms and dads are willing to allow a certain amount of sugar in the diet of their charges. For the health conscious horse owners who cannot bring themselves to allow candy on its own, candy apples are both nutritious and delicious. Horses and ponies also go gaga for blackstrap molasses which, in addition to being an equine favorite, contains ingredients which are really good for health including the molasses as well as the salt and vinegar which all horses require for optimal well-being. The molasses contains vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. Considering these are all minerals many horses have deficiencies in, molasses is a great and healthful treated served straight up or, for a treat both rider and horse or pony will enjoy, tray molasses salt water taffy.
For those horse lovers who want to make their own horse and pony sweet treats molasses cookies are easy (makes approximately 25 cookies depending on the size):
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup bran
1 cup molasses
1 cup grated carrot or apple
Preheat oven to 375F
Grease 2 cookie sheets
Put aside a small bowl of white sugar and a drinking glass with a flat bottom.
In a large bowl mix all the ingredients thoroughly. The mixture shouldn’t be too wet, and should stick together – add flour if necessary. Place teaspoonfuls 1 ½ inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Grease the bottom of the glass, dip it in the sugar and stamp the cookies to flatten a little. Bake for 10 minutes.
Every horse will love molasses and most will also enjoy other treats. For individual tastes it is a matter of trial and error to find out what the best treat or reward will be for any specific horse or pony.