Readers and Their Horses Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Exactly 740 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "What are your horse's favorite holiday treats?"

results of poll on ulcers

Results were as follows:

  • Carrots: 57.03% (422)
  • Apples: 47.03% (348)
  • Candy canes: 33.78% (250)
  • Other: 26.22% (194)
  • Bran mash: 14.05% (104)
  • Homemade treats: 13.38% (99)

(Multiple selections allowed)

Readers shared their holiday traditions with their horses in the comments below.

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  • Usually, my horses and I share a box of oatmeal cookies... I don't get many...
  • manna pro apple wafers
  • banana
  • Because my horse is insulin resistant, I order her treats from SkodesHorseTreats
  • Few treats as all are too fat.
  • He loves licorice flavored crunchies
  • warm mash with carrots, apples and molasses, and a smooch!
  • Carrots and only Honey Crisp apples and lots of Mrs Pastures cookies.
  • bananas
  • Nature Valley Granola Bites, BY FAR!!!
  • Watermelon rind
  • Christmas cookies (for humans!), brownies (ditto), etcetera.......
  • cookies
  • the finger sized alfalfa pellets
  • beet pulp mash without molasses
  • Our horses will eat as many apples & candy canes as we can give them :)
  • put filled stocking up in barn on each stall and feed on Christmas morning.
  • I avoid sugery treats.
  • All of the above!
  • a handful of lucerne chaff.
  • Bananas!
  • Warm peppermint bran mash
  • candy cane bran mash is a favorite around our house
  • Ginger Snaps
  • It's a daily ritual! apples and carrots!
  • All of the above!
  • long grooming & lots of carrots
  • Pears, Mrs. Pasture's Horse Cookies
  • manna pro apple treats or pears
  • veggie cut-offs
  • Anything I have, he will eat....
  • Bran mash with carrots, apples, oats and a peppermint
  • stud muffins and pears
  • my horses love bananas,I
  • Peppermints!
  • They Love warm bran mash! Like Hot oatmeal on a cold day!
  • Creme savers from grandma!
  • I put a little bag of horse cookies, and candy canes for each horse in my horse's boarding barn
  • And probably everything else!
  • hot oatmeal for breakfast
  • Bran Mash with Purina Senior feed, carrots and candy canes mixed. Oh yes, PRETZELS!!! Lots of them:)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups steeped bran 2 cups grain 2cups mixed slice apples & shreded carrots 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Peppermints are his very favorite, but he also enjoys white wine vice Zenyatta's Guiness
  • carrot muffins and applesauce oat bars
  • Carrots for the biggies...the minis LOVE low-fat animal crackers...Merry Christmas!
  • stockings on the stall doors. We all give to our horsey friends. Homemade granola horse cookies.
  • Herbal horse treats
  • I try to stay away from outright sugar,but all others are up for grabs during the holidays!
  • warm beet pulp mash
  • beer
  • Cinnamon hard candies!
  • Bananas, cantaloup, watermelon, including the rinds, scrubbed and cut into small pieces.
  • cranberry sauce
  • Smarties Candies (sweet tarts)
  • Horse cookies and carrots!
  • Bananas!!
  • Wesley gets a "salad" on New Years Day: apples, carrots, & lettuce with a peppermint candy garnish!
  • all of the above!
  • horse cookies
  • Sweet Stripes peppermint candies!
  • peppermint
  • soft peppermint candy
  • a hot mash w/ beet pulp and alfalfa cubes 2X/day
  • Warm carrots on a cold morning!
  • pears, bananas, pink peppermints
  • don't give them treats
  • Peppermints!!
  • bananas
  • Horse wise? Lots of brushing, rubbing, kisses and carrots,and puting on Santa hats and bows.
  • Hoof snax are wonderful!!!!
  • my horses get soft and chewy carrot and oat molasses cookies!
  • My guys get apples and carrots every day with their grain. Bran mash in colder weather.
  • bananas and peppermints
  • Cheerios and peanut butter
  • oatmeal cookies
  • Strawberry Mini Wheats
  • Peppermint candy
  • I don't feed my horse sweet snacks
  • Carrots & more carrots - he doesn't like apples, peppermint - only carrots!
  • Nickers
  • Frito corn chips, popcorn,dry roasted peanuts & apple flavored horse treats
  • alfalfa mash with berry good alfalfa treats mixed in!
  • banana, black liciorous, peppermint candy
  • Range pellets
  • They luuuuurve Ginger Snap Cookies!
  • alfalfa cubes
  • Winnies cookies (organic)
  • Commercial treats are easiest fro us to find year round and our horses love the Dumor treats at TSC
  • Summer hols with my horse usually a beach!!
  • Anything peppermint!And a warm mash on Christmas Eve for all the horses in the barn!
  • Nothing out of ordinary. They don't know its xmas.
  • Bran mash with all the trimmings!
  • Apple-Carrot biscuits
  • Bananas
  • Too many horses to give "treats" it would cause a small riot
  • My horses and ponies have to geet their photos taken wearing Santa and Elf hats.
  • Apple and Oat
  • any peppermint flavored candy or treat, and of course apples & carrots
  • Peppermints
  • Candy Canes
  • Green and Red TicTacs
  • wintergreen lifesavers!
  • Holidays - schmolidays -- my kid is a Peppermint ADDICT!!! NEVER candy canes - too sharp !!!
  • apple bran mash w/ peppermints
  • Peppermint or sea salt Pony Pops - this is like equine crack for them!
  • Ginger snaps
  • Starlight peppermints!
  • They also like ginger snaps.
  • Peppermints are their favorites!
  • Every day is a Holiday as far as our horses know.....
  • pears
  • Bananas are his fave
  • Calf manna horse treats
  • molasses 'lollypops'
  • Feedmark Herbal Horse Treats
  • NIcker Makers
  • Malted milk biscuits!
  • corn on the cob
  • Just regular sweet feed.
  • put a stocking on a stall
  • Sugar
  • flavored oatmeal w/real molasses
  • Candy cane peices
  • Applesauce with cinnamon
  • Extra Hugs apple treats or extra handouts of grain
  • my horses are too fat though so I quit making them!
  • bananas!
  • stud muffins
  • sweet potatoes
  • every night we sing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
  • My Shetland loves pepermints, my horse won't touch them.
  • Hay cubes, lettuce and celery have the same 'rush' at the gate
  • Fresh oranges cut into wedges
  • Winnie's cookies
  • Treats made with bran, carrots, apples, flour and honey.
  • pears
  • they get apples bran carrots peppermints and home made treats
  • I have a fake fur collar I made for my first horse with bells on it,(45 years ago) I get it out and
  • mints
  • Skodes Horse Cookies
  • alfalfa treats
  • We go to the barn on Christmas day and become an automatic treat vending machine!
  • All of my animals will do anything for gingersnaps!
  • frosted ginger snaps, peppermints and donuts
  • Sugar free peppermints
  • I like giving carrots, the horses favorite's are all of the above.
  • peppermint horse treats
  • Our horses love jelly sandwiches! Especially strawberry!
  • Horse cookies
  • a little extra grain helps too
  • Mrs Pasture Cookies
  • don't get treats just for no reason use mana pro for rewards
  • licorice treats, ginger snaps
  • My Arabian discovered peppermint over the weekend-I've created a monster!
  • boiled oats with bran, carrots & apples, molasses & Guinness - they lick the bucket clean!
  • She does not get food treats. She loves to be groomed and have her face rubber.
  • Mrs Pastures are the favoritesof mine
  • Horse cookies
  • my horses love peppermints any time Not just at Holidays
  • Mrs. Pasture's cookies
  • Cracklin Oat Bran cereal --every horse in my barn is addicted to it!
  • apple treats( bought at feed store)
  • Morning time with the horses just walking in the cold out in the paddock, giving them the day off.
  • Chaff, mineral powder, Speedibeet, carrots and apples mixed with warm water!
  • All packaged horse treats, several kinds of cereal, sugar cubes, etc.
  • probiotic cookies
  • Good & Plenty Candy
  • sugar cubes
  • My mare loves crunchy horse cookies all year!
  • They like Peppermint too.
  • Pears from my trees
  • Sliced apples and carrots mixed in a bran mash with molasses.
  • An apple a day...or several...keep colic away!
  • health food - alfalfa cubes
  • Frosted mini wheats
  • apple with breakfast
  • they love raw pasta like rigatoli
  • Du Mor Horse cookies and Apple treats
  • Holiday bran mash with peppermints, apple juice, apples, carrots, molasses...yum
  • All 3 of my horses love peppermints.
  • All of the above!
  • horse licorice
  • My Horses ALL Love "Peppermint Treats" All year long!
  • molasses/honey
  • warm alfalfa cube mash
  • One loves Granny Smith apples and the other one will eat just about anything sweet.
  • Buckeye peppermint treats
  • Oats with DAC Oil soaked over it
  • ginger snap cookies
  • beer
  • A mix of bran mash with carrots and apples results in a lot of slurping and messy noises- so cute!
  • she's taken to eating the birdseed from the village of bird feeders, to taunt the geldings
  • peppermints
  • anything...lol
  • they get these not just at the holidays
  • nectarines, bananas that he peels himself, muffins, sunflower seeds
  • I believe all 11 think Licorice is their number one choice
  • Horse cookies, of course!
  • all of the above!
  • Granola bars! Can't be beat.
  • I always make a hot bran mash with carrots, apples and a few peppermints on the top.
  • Bread - they love it and chase if you throw it like a frisbee
  • horse cookies
  • Is also a cookie monster!
  • Bananas
  • Mrs. Pastures cookies
  • all above, plus anything he can grab, towels, blankets, my jacket-he's only 3 : )
  • Peppermint Horse treats.
  • SUGAR CUBES!
  • graham crackers
  • pineapple and mango candied fruit
  • molasses cookies
  • My horse will just about stand on his head for Sweet Tarts
  • all of the above!
  • Peppermints/Candy Canes and his annual Uncle Jimmy's Hanging Ball
  • Alfalfa Cubes
  • Granola bars
  • peppermints, dry rigatoni, marshmallows, gingersnap cookies, oatmeal cookies, shredded wheat
  • Winnie Cookies she loves them, thay are made for horse and are healthy.
  • Sugar cubes
  • My horses always get a nice bran mash on Christmas Eve!!
  • Nicker Makers by Purina
  • My horses are spoiled they get a little holiday bucket of treats
  • Carrots with tops - he hasn't seen anything green in a while
  • IR horses cnnot have such treats so lots of extra loving.
  • My horse LOVES grapes...they're his favorite treat all year long!
  • My horses get a carrot treat every day after their p.m.meal for giving me their feeding dish
  • oatmeal cookies
  • Licorice
  • Real black licorice and Ricolla cough drops
  • she loves any type of treat especially horse snax and carrots

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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