Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stockings and treats for the horses

I mentioned in an earlier post that to celebrate Christmas I was making stockings and treats for all of the horses at the barn.

The stockings took the longest. I bought four cheap stockings at Target, sewed brown felt "horseshoes" on them with heavy red thread, and wrote each horse's name on a stocking with holiday-colored 3-D paint. Sewing the horseshoes on was time-consuming, but the stockings all looked great when I was finished!

The treats were pretty easy to make. I used the last recipe on this list of homemade horse treats, because it called for peppermint extract rather than crushed peppermint candies. I also left out the food coloring, because the horses don't care what color their treats are, and because I don't think artificial dyes are good for horses (or us, for that matter).

The treats contain flour, Grape Nuts cereal, corn syrup, cooking oil, and peppermint extract. The mixture is a little dry, so you do have to use your hands to shape the treats into balls. The recipe doesn't make very many — about 30 quarter-sized balls, I would estimate — so I doubled it. Without food coloring they look a little bland, but they smell fantastic, even to me!

Homemade peppermint horse treats

Panama, who has never had anything this pepperminty before, loves the treats. The first few times I gave them to him, he did that enthusiastic head-bob that horses do when they eat something they have never tasted before. He is not normally very mouthy (not mouthing was one of the first things I taught him), but he loves these treats so much that he forgets his manners and goes looking through my pockets!

I stuffed the stockings with ziplock baggies full of treats for the horses, and Christmas cards for their owners. In this picture you can see the stockings hanging on the peg board in the tack room:

Christmas stockings for the horses

Decorating stockings and making horse treats was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed having something to give everybody. Next year maybe I'll also hang up some tinsel in the tack room (where the horses can't get it).



At December 29, 2008 at 10:33 PM, Blogger Reddunappy said...

awww spoil those babies! I have been meaning to tell you, thats a great picture on your header! My brother in-law used to have a mini pony colt and a young male llama that used to play wrestle like that, the funniest thing to watch. Both of them have found new homes now but I will never forget watching them.

At December 29, 2008 at 11:55 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks! My brother-in-law took that picture. For the first year after we rescued Panama he stayed with my in-laws, and they had the donkey. He and Panama were the same age, and they loved to play together! I have some really great photos of the two of them.

Sadly, my brother-in-law had to sell the donkey a couple of months ago. If I had someplace I could board him I would have taken him, but we couldn't do it, for a variety of reasons.

At January 17, 2009 at 10:20 PM, Blogger Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I bet the other boarders were so surprised and grateful for the horse stockings and cookies. How thoughtful of you.

Is that something all the boarders do for each other during the holidays?


At January 19, 2009 at 4:35 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...


No, I think that was just me! :o) It was fun, though -- I enjoyed doing it.


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