The other day I decided to use up some stuff from the kitchen and made a big batch of horse treats. Extensive testing has allowed me to say that I have made the world's best horse treats. I just made another batch tonight! Here's how you too can make them:
Preheat oven to 350.
Dump some uncooked oatmeal in a bowl. I used about 1 or 1.5 cups of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats but I don't think it matters too much if you use instant or steel cut or whatever. Add some salt - a teaspoon or two. Add some baking powder*, about a teaspoon or so. Beat in two eggs and about 4 ounces of molasses. You will have nasty looking gloop.
Now start adding flour, a heaping spoonful at a time. When it gets hard to stir, start using your hands to knead in more flour until you end up with a Play-dough consistency. I probably used 1.5 or 2 cups of flour - quite a bit. You will have really unattractive brown clay now.
Put some foil or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Do you want lots of little treats or fewer large treats? Roll your dough into skinny or fat snakes, and pinch off little balls or slice off fat cookies. Stick them on the foil as close together as you want, and bake for 10-12 minutes. They're done when they're puffed up a bit and the edges are browner and they don't feel squishy. While the first sheet is baking, spread out another piece of foil and get the second sheet ready. I end up with three trays of treats, and I make tiny little treats for clicker training.
- *Use baking powder. Baking soda requires an acid to activate it, and this recipe doesn't have anything acidic. You could use baking soda and cream of tartar, but if you don't have any baking powder on hand you're not likely to have cream of tartar in your cupboard either. In that case you could omit the leavening; horses probably don't mind dense treats.
Anyway, everybody loves these little things, and they're waaaaay cheaper than Real Horse Treats or name brand cereal. I've been working with Dixie for about a week now, doing c/t for her to stand nicely while I brush her. (Yes, I am such a fantastic horsewoman that after a year, I couldn't even brush my horse without a temper tantrum. Sigh.) I haven't even refined her behavior enough to ask for "pretty ears" while I brush her, but she's already figured out that just standing still while I groom her gets treats. Today I was out of the homemade treats, so I gave her some hay in the bed of my truck and she still stood remarkably still while I curried a bunch of loose hair off of her. YAY!