Article from College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A &M University
November 25, 2010. Full article on HorseChannel.com
During the holiday season, humans enjoy plenty of special treats, so why shouldn't horses? There are a number of healthy treats that your horse can enjoy. These treats can provide pleasure and add beneficial nutrients to your horse’s diet. However, they can also precipitate into behavioral problems.
“Some fruits and vegetables make healthy horse treats,” notes Dr. Glennon Mays, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “However, feeding your horse foods other than their usual grain and forage can result in some unwanted results.”
“Many horses enjoy apples and an apple cut into pieces makes a wonderful treat,” states Mays. “Apples should be cut into pieces since a whole apple may cause your horse to choke. Whole apples are the perfect size to become lodged in the horse’s esophagus.” “Nutritionally, apples provide your horse with potassium which is important for proper muscle contraction and nerve function. Also, potassium is an electrolyte which is important for cellular metabolism,” explains Mays. “Additionally, apples provide calcium and phosphorus. Calcium is important for bone growth, muscle and heart function, and milk production. Phosphorus is required for bone structure and energy metabolism. Apples also provide all important fiber to the equine diet,” notes Mays.
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