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Trick or Treats For Your Horse
 By Winniefield Park   •   31st Oct 2017   •   983 views   •   0 comments


Soon the streets will be filled with ghosts, princesses, superheroes, and dinosaurs. Halloween is a great time to get dressed up, and if you can include your horse in the fun, all the better. Horse shows often have costume classes this time of year, and thatís a good excuse to raid closets, second-hand stores and hobby stores for the materials to make your prize winning costume. Horses can indulge in some of the treats that get handed out, and even some of the decor, after the fun is over too. Hereís what you can and canít feed your horse from your trick or treat bag, or decor after Halloween is over.

Ornamental Corn
Yes, itís okay to feed your horse small quantities of ornamental corn. There is nothing different about multi-colored corn kernels other than the color itself. Strip the dry, clean kernels off of the cob. Traditionally, whole cobs were fed to horses over the winter according to the Kentucky Equine Research Center. If your horse doesnít chew them thoroughly though, they could present a choking hazard. Iíd opt to throw these on the manure pile or compost pile just to be on the safe side.

Stalks too used to be fed. But, those ones that have been decorating your front door all autumn probably should be pitched in the compost heap. Corn that is molded, whether itís the cob, kernels or plant can be toxic to horses. You canít see the mold, so you wonít know itís there. Chances are, just a stalk or two wonít be a problem. But with so many other treats around why bother?

What about candy corn? A little handful is fine, proportion just as you would feed lump sugar or other special treats.

Pumpkin
We see a lot of pumpkins lying in the field after Halloween. Theyíre grown for jack o'lanterns, but after the holiday, leftovers are used for livestock feed. Is it okay to feed them to horses? Yes, it is, within reason. Donít pitch your scorched and candle wax splattered or rotted jack oílantern over the fence. Likewise, throw away any pumpkin that has paint or any type of adhesives on it. Thatís common sense. You donít want your horse eating that.

But fresh, clean pumpkin, in moderation, is fine for horses. Some horses simply wonít like them. You can leave them out to roll them around or tie up little ones as stall toys. Just donít feed a large number at a time, because of course, abrupt changes in your horseís diet isnít a good thing. And remove the woody stem because it is a choking hazard. You can also feed cooked pumpkin, perhaps to dress up a serving of beet pulp or cook into a treat.

While pumpkins are fine, some ornamental vegetables we see this time of year are not so great. Gourds are unsafe, and some types of squash are high in sugar, which can be a problem for some horses.

Other Goodies
Want to share your potato chips, licorice whips or chocolate bars? Keep in mind that chocolate contains theobromine, which shows up in drug tests, and so might black licorice. Too much sugar isnít good for your horse, and greasy chips arenít great, but a few probably wonít hurt. Lots of candies are gooey and sticky and will be hard for your horse to chew. Apples should be chopped up before you or your horse eat them. You might find your horse turns its nose up at many of these things too, not recognizing them as food.

So use common sense when feeding your horse Halloween treats. Feed only small amounts as eating a large amount of any feed can cause your horse to become sick. You donít want the person dressed up as a veterinarian calling at your door. Thatís a really scary thought.
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