Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone. And each year I find something that Nic (or for that matter any of my horses) loved!
It all started about 30 years ago and now has became sort of a 'tradition'. Plus it helps to get rid of left-overs that wouldn't fit into the refrigerator. The first time I took some stuff up to the horses, they sort of sniffed 'em, looked at me, sniffed again and then began to eat. Ultimately they discovered even sprouts taste good -- after they've been rolled in a little butter, cinnamon and sugar. But before any vegetable was introduced into their diets, I did some research to make sure they were horse healthy.
In Sam's (one of my past trail horses) case he'd eat -- or at least try-- just about anything in his feed tub. He wasn't big on lettuce but he loved cabbage. Once he got a candied apple cut neatly into fours! He sniffed and rolled them around the feed tub for awhile and then discovered it was sweet. So he spent about two hours just licking the red sweet flavoring off the skin. Next he chewed and chewed those apple chunks with his eyes closed and the expression, "I LOVE this candied apple".
Sam was more the 'dignified' eater. He'd sniff everything first. Look around to see who was watching. Sniff again. Look around. Sniff. And then begin to rearrange what was in the feed tub. He was the only horse I owned that arranged everything into little piles before he'd stop, look it all over to make sure everything was arranged just right -- and then begin to eat. What he liked the most -- oats -- first. Then flattened corn second. Next barley. And so on. The only problem Sam had was when mixing, I'd try to 'bind' it all together with something sweet. Usually maple syrup for the holiday. As Sam divided his feed, the syrup would get all over his nose and mouth. When he was done, he'd spent another couple hours walking around licking his lips and trying to reach that one spot on his muzzle his tongue wasn't long enough to reach!
Bud always got a little bucket full of lemons. He'd eat a whole lemon by biting into it, juice dripping into the feed tub. They'd all be about 2 inches in diameter and cut into halves. It would take him about an hour to eat all of 'em. He'd eat about 4 or 5 halves and then wander over to get a drink from the trough. Then back to the lemons. When all the lemons were gone, he'd lick the feed tub, get a drink and stand there smacking his lips. He had the freshest breath of any horse in the barn!!
Sig was the stay away from MY feed tub horse. Put anything in his tub and he'd look around to see if another horse was looking or getting close. He'd never kick or try to bite but he'd lay his ears back and circle the feed tub on the ground. He'd even drag it into his stall to keep another horse from getting a nibble. His favorite Thanksgiving treat was celery. Cut into one inch pieces he'd carefullly pick up two or three and eat 'em. Chewing and crunching thoughtfully.
Nic's favorite Thanksgiving treat is carrots -- cooked with a little cinnamon on 'em. Both Nic and my husband loved 'em. Usually I made carrots for dinner but since my husband has passed away and I'm not a big carrot eater, I only make enough for Nic. I'm probably about the only person anyone knows who cooks carrots and cinnamon for a horse's Thanksgiving dinner!!
If you have a favorite 'treat' for your horse, let me know. Nic might enjoy it too......especially if it has carrots and cinnamon in it!
Hope all of you had a Happy Thanksgiving......with or without carrots!
Bonnie and Nic