Everyone likes to give their horse a treat now and then but is it good for your horse’s health? Is feeding treats really ok? Senior nutritionist at Equerry horse feed, Louise Jones, answers:

Yes everyone enjoys a treat once in a while and your horse is no different. Whether as a reward, or just because you love your horse, there’s nothing wrong with feeding them one every now and then.

Apples and carrots are the most popular treats among horse owners and contrary to popular belief feeding a fresh carrot or apple will not provide the horse with too much sugar. In fact, fresh carrots contain approximately 5% sugar, which is less than would be provided in hay.

However storing fresh fruit or vegetables can be a pain as it tends to rot and can attract vermin. As an alternative consider using treats designed specifically for your horse. Equerry Minty Horse Treats are low sugar treats which combine the natural goodness of peppermint and spearmint and are completely cereal-grain free. Other great treats include Baileys Tasty Treats and Spillers Herb Treats as well as many more.

Some horses can get too pushy if regularly fed treats by hand so in these cases it’s safest to put the treats in their feed bucket. Finally, remember that there are certain foods that aren’t suitable as treats, for example: chocolate, which contains banned substances (e.g. caffeine and theobromine).