Finding the Perfect Horse Treats
I haven’t always been a big fan of giving my horse treats. Instead, I typically used praise and many pats for a job well done, but over the years I’ve changed my opinion on the matter. I think it stems from rewarding my dog during her training, and now I truly enjoy providing my horse with treats along with physical praise.
When I first brought my double registered Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse and Rocky Mountain Horse Two Socks home, he wasn’t enthusiastic about receiving any type of food from my hand. I offered him carrots, apples, and even sugar cubes, but he just turned his head away. I figured maybe it was because I was offering them out of my hand, so I decided to place them in his feed tub. He still didn’t touch them. I left him alone with the treats, and when I returned the treats remained. I conducted this little experiment one treat at time to avoid overwhelming him with different tastes and smells, but to my surprise he didn’t eat any of them.
I then decided to order packaged horse treats to see if Two Socks might like those. Luckily, SmartPak has a wide variety of treats to pick from, so I was certain I would find something he would love. In the beginning, it was a trial-and-error process, but from the first time I offered him Mrs. Pastures Cookies for Horses, he absolutely loved them. This was the first treat he actually took from my hand!
Mrs. Pastures Cookies by far “took the cake,” so to speak, for Two Socks. He instantly approved and would keep smelling my hands to see if I had more hidden away in my empty palms. Now he stands at the tack room door to remind me that I must give him some cookies before I go. He stretches his neck out and his nose follows me around until I give him his reward. He makes me laugh so much, it’s completely impossible to resist him.
I now make sure I always have these cookies on hand, as I feel he would be offended if I didn’t give them to him. When Two Socks is done with his tasks for the day—be it standing nicely for a brushing, lunging, or going out for a trail ride—he expects his treats. He will wait patiently at the tack room door with his neck outstretched and his tongue sticking out slightly between his teeth with the look of expectancy in his eyes. Who could resist that?
His other favorite treats are Rounders Horse Treats in the Spiced Apple flavor. When I first offered these to him, I knew he was expecting his Mrs. Pastures Cookies, so he was a little surprised by the new flavor and tossed his head and smacked his lips a bit. But Two Socks warmed up to them almost immediately and took the second one without any hesitation. These are now another favorite of his.
I then decided to try something a little different and purchased the SmartCookies Guilt-Free in Peppermint Pattie. Admittingly, it took a little more time for him to warm up to these due to their size or the new flavor, but he truly enjoys them now. He knows the sound of the bag and will wait with his outstretched neck for a handful of his SmartCookies.
I particularly like how small these treats are. I can easily put a couple in my pocket to reward him for a job well done or to give him something just because. These are very convenient for on-the-go rewards. I’m so glad we found his favorite kinds of treats; I will always keep plenty of all three on hand.