Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lip Smackin' Good?

Before I started leasin (and eventually bought) My Boy, I looked into leasing an older Arabian gelding. I met the owner at the boarding stable where the horse was kept and she introduced me to the horse. She told me was his favorite treat were sour patch kids candy. She even showed me where in her tack locker his stash of candy was. That's right, sour patch kids.

I personally have a weird feeling about feeding my horse candy, or anything that isn't made to be fed to a horse. I snack on power and granola bars when I am horsin' around. My Boy always smells them and gets all sniffy and drools (well not real drool, probably just mental drool.) So one time I broke off a little nibble for him. That is about as extreme as I get when it comes to feeding him "people food." For him, it's strictly a snack diet of apples, carrots, and horse treats.

One the way to see My Boy yesterday, I stopped to pick up a bag of supplement at the farm store. While waiting for the cashier to ring me up, I looked at a big bag of what looked liked homemade horse cookies. I set them down and turned to sign my receipt, and the cashier handed me a little sample Ziploc of the very same treats.

They are called Bearstone Bites and are made in the Pacific Northwest, which is pretty neat. They are about the size of a fifty-cent piece and look very sticky with molasses (one of the ingredients.)

I took one of the Bearstone Bites when I went to fetch My Boy from the pasture. Here is a picture of me feeding it to him.

Notice you do not see the cookie? It was gone before I could snap the photo. Along with four of my fingers. I kid, I kid. I rarely feed my horse from my hand. I always put treats in his grain tub. I do not want to encourage him to be a nibbler. I only did it this time to get a picture.

I haltered My Boy and led him to the grooming area. And you know what he did on the whole walk there, and continued to do once I tied him up?

He licked and smacked his lips forever.

I could not tell if he liked them, or, if the sticky molasses was irritating him. I ended up giving him a handful of dandelions and once he chewed those, the smackdown ended.

These are the horse cookies I typically have on hand for My Boy:

They come in peppermint, carrot, and apple & oat flavors. My Boy isn't a fan of peppermint. I buy these because they say they are made of natural ingredients, are affordable, and I like the big tub. Once the tub is empty, it would be a good size to use for other things, like packing grain for traveling.

I think they look a little like doggie biscuits myself, but My Boy loves them. I take about 3 out every time I go catch him. I keep them in my pocket until he is haltered, then I put them in his grain bucket. Got to keep the incentive strong for a horse that is sometimes challenging to catch!

I do not think I will be taking My Boy sour patch kids, or licorice, or Popsicles (quick: what movie is that from?) anytime soon. But someday, if he's really lucky and I'm feel generous and it's a low-anxiety-about-horses-eating-people-food kind of day, I might be willing to introduce him to one of my favorite candies:

Wait, what am I thinking? I'm saving every last bottle cap for myself!


  1. I have to admit I have never seen bottle caps before you introduced them. Perhaps they don't come down in my area. They kinda look like sweetarts.

    Why am I hungry all of a sudden? lol

  2. OH man, I am literally salivating at the sight of those bottle caps! They are my favorite snack, too!
    My second favorite is Runts. Do you know of them?

    I wonder if My Boy was licking and smacking like dogs do when they eat peanut butter, because it's so sticky?
    Or maybe he just liked it. It looked kind of like a rich pastry in a package. A 'Little Debbie" horse cake? hehehe

    You are much more disciplined that I. I always feed Baby Doll her horse cookies, carrots and apples from my hand. I love that hands-on connection and closeness from hand-feeding her.
    She's not a nippy girl and has never been greedy and tried to eat our fingers. In fact she's always very soft, and gentle when we give her treats.
    I like that she knows where her food actually comes from, even though many folks say it's a no-no. Of course, with some horses who are nippy and greedy, it's a better idea not to hand-feed.

    Oh yeh. Did I forget to mention that My Boy is the cutest appy ever?

  3. Bearstone Bites rock! I don’t feed treats at all, but when I picked up that same sample pack a month or so ago I just about ate them myself! They are probably the ONLY treat I would ever buy. But I haven’t bought any...yet.

  4. Oh, and for those who want to know where to get them:
    Bearstone Ranch General Store on eBay.

  5. Well, I have to say it all looks yummy, even the non-people treats! The Bearstone cookies look a lot like the no-bakes my mom used to make when I was a kid. The ones she made were chocolate & peanut butter tho, not molasses :)

    When the vaccination reminder cards for the cats came this spring from the vet the postcard they were on was printed with a recipe for horse treats, which I thought was kind of neat.

    I can't remember amounts, but the ingredients were unsweetened apple sauce, corn meal, rolled oats, a bit of flour, and some molasses. After they baked you had to cut them immediately. Actually, I tasted (well, it was all stuff I would normally eat, right?) and they weren't too bad, just a bit bland and sort of grainy texture-wise. They didn't seem dry enough to keep for long, though, so I took the whole pan out (9"x9") and divied them up among the feed pans.

    They seemed to go over well, after the initial, "What's this? It's not grain! Grain doesn't thump!" reaction.

    Have to admit, my pony growing up was probably fed a lot of unusual things - peanut butter and banana sandwiches were a favorite. He wasn't very picky, though.

  6. I don't know but to me it looks like he enjoyed those new treats. i'm gonna go with the molassas sticking to his mouth for all the licking.

  7. I personally don't feed my horse "people food" as treats. But I do hand feed them. Of course they are very well mannered about it or I would stop!

    The Bearstone Bites look like horse cookies we have here, only here they're called Stud Muffins. (gotta love that name!)

    Mmmm.... Bottle Caps, I haven't seen those in a LONG time!

  8. Hi Pony Girl! Thank you so much for your nice comments on my latest post! I think of you as a nice neighbor to visit too!! :o)

    I'm with you on the treats. I stick to natural things too, carrots, apples and natural ingredient cookies. I do feed out of my hand but my guys are okay with it and aren't nippy. My grandkids love to give the ponies a treat and they are so gentle taking it out of their little hands. If they did get nippy that would be the end of it and it would be in the bucket only! Can't imagine sour patch kids!!! I don't even like those!!

    What are bottle caps? Are they like Sweet Tarts?

    Thanks for making my day!

  9. The only time my Chewie enjoys "people treats" like granolas or soda-pop, is at shows, usually early in the morning while I'm primping & fussing over every strand of mane. He's a HUGE fan of granola niblets, and dr. pepper.

    I never thought of those plastic cookie containers as grain-travel storage. That's awesome!

  10. Those bearstone treats look a lot like the Stud Muffin treats we have back east. My horse wouldn't even eat them. He could tell by smelling them they would be to sweet for his sensitive pallet :P Those pictures of his tounge coming out to lick were adorable!

  11. I feed Jack those same treats! Though I bought them in a gigantic bag, so I don't get the handy container. Fortunately I have tons of Farrier's Formula supplement buckets sitting around, and they perfectly fit into two of those buckets. I've never fed him anything but carrots, apples, and treats. I tried giving him a banana once, but he spit it out!

    I've never had Bottle Caps, either. What are they like? I do like Sour Patch Kids, though! But if I eat candy, I'd rather it be chocolate ;-)

  12. My last appy would knock you down for some watermelon, he LOVED it! My guy now likes the general treats of apples and carrots and most cookies, although I have found that he has an aversion to the mint flavored cookies. Your gonna shun me but I'm not a big treat person. I have found with my experiences with other appys that they cen be a little um cough cough PUSHY! especuially when they start to expect treats for doing something good. So every once in a blue moon I'll give him treats for no specific reason just to be nice so he isn't always expecting them. Due to his past abuse and lack of food he can be quite aggressive when it comes to food so I would rather not encourage that behavior. It's bad enough that when you throw hay out into the pasture he literally attacks it and head butts it across the paddock. Yea, I know he is strange. But he's all mine!

  13. Our horses would be like W.H.A.T.??? Nope-no special treats for these ranch ponies-LOL. Except for Megan's Paint Pony. She feeds him-Doritos. He loves them. That is one strange little horse.

    They all do like their cake though. We do feed that from our hands-haven't noticed anyone getting nippy because of it. But when we boarded our horses in AZ-the other boarders would feed our horses treats and they did get nippy. One horse actually bit Megan in the head. That was the end of that-I posted signs requesting that they did not feed the horses from their hands. I never have been able to figure out why those horses got bad about biting and we have never had trouble with any others?!?!?

  14. Peppermints go over big here, along with the run of hte mill apples. carrots, watermelon, etc... My old Jack would pitch a F-I-T of epic proportions for.... hambugers. With bun, and ketchup. (I can hear you now Pony Girl- you just said a HUGE "EEEEWWW! Beef for a HORSE!") He ate Doritos, Corn Chips, CheezIts, Watermelon, Mand M's, and donuts, PBJ's and pastry. He loooooved pastry and donuts. It wasn't but a bite here and there, and he was a steel lined garbage gut.

    These days, I stick to peppermints as the most exotic treats....

    For ME though, its gotta be CHOCOLATE. Brownies, M&M's, Choc Chip cookies..... Chocolate.

  15. Well I will say ours gets carrotts, apples, watermelon, pears sometimes, not all the time. I have shared my granola bar with my mare before, she really like it! But I don't give them anything else! SAvannah has to be careful or Angel tries to steal whatever she is snacking on when she is outside! I swear she smells food miles away! Little pig!

    Never heard of the treats before. Hubby would kill me if I bought special horse treats! The dog doesn't even have any!

    Thanks for sharing a great post! I remember SPK from when I was younger, you know they don't taste the same!

    As for me-CHOCOLATE!!! I agree with Mrs. MOm!

  16. I've never heard of bottle caps before either. Now I'm kinda wondering what they're like. They look yummy.

    A while back I started to feed my cat 'human grade' dry food. The ingredients looked really good and included things like blueberries, and cranberries and garlic. So, I sampled one........

    I couldn't get it out of my mouth fast enough! He likes them though.

  17. those are the treats that we use. our horses don't like the peppermint either. they love the apple. :)

  18. My horses love just love the treat you show there in the big tubs. Classy hates any treats. She just isn't sure what to do with them. Unless it's apples, all my horses love apples. =)

  19. I give the goats the same treats too! They love the apple molasses the best. They don't care for the peppermint at all.

  20. Don't know why my other comment I wrote didn't go through. But anyway, we use Stud Muffins for the herd. They just love them, they look similar to Bearstone Bites.

  21. I will have to check out the "stud muffin" horse cookies, thanks for the recommendation! Somehow they just sound fitting for my very studly Appy boy, don't you think? ;)

  22. Boy am I behind on my reading!! I can't believe there are people out there who don't know what bottle caps are!!!! They are good!! I love sour patch kids too!!

    My horses don't get treats too often. I only buy them if my kids beg me to. We always toss out a watermellon and the horses love that. Not all of our horses eat treats. The ones we have raised here won't eat apples or carrots. We have never fed them those so they don't like them. Ones we have bought from somewhere else though, they will eat anything. They love apples and pears, pretty much anything you give them.
    I won't let my kids hand feed our horses. They normally drop the apple on the ground, or we put it in their feed buckets in the stalls.

  23. I too give my horses the apple and oat treats. Also carrots, but I will not give them treats laced with molasses or sweet feed as this is just too much for my horses. They don't run enough to burn all that energy these "hot" things do to them.
    I just read an article (I should have remembered the place I read it). That no horse needs sweet feed, or molasses or sweet grains. That horses do best on nothing more than the hay/alfalfa with an occasional apple or carrot treat.
    I do confess, one of my horses does not like apples, but loves apple treats and she likes popsicles.

  24. Howdy! As founder & creator of Bearstone Horse Cookie Co., I am thrilled your horse(s) enjoyed the sample of Bearstone Bites! Our products are made only with horse-friendly ingredients- No Added Preservatives.
    If you would like a free sample for your horse, email me at Bearstone Horse Cookies are now being sold in over 41 stores in 16 Washington State counties. To find a store near you, check our website at

    Happy Holidays!!


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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