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Do You Have a Recipe or Binding Agent Suggestion to Make Horse Treats?

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    Do You Have a Recipe or Binding Agent Suggestion to Make Horse Treats?

    I am feeding a Vitamin E supplement to my horse and I would like to combine it with her senior feed into a dough which I could feed her in biscuit-like treats. I have a couple of reasons for this. One is that a treat will allow me to hand feed without a powdery mess dribbling through my fingers. It will give me the option of tossing the cookies onto her hay and avoid having the powder just fall through and get ignored at the bottom of the tub, and I can make sure each horse gets right amount of cookies. I would be able to monitor the treats when I feed from a bucket and make sure that they are completely consumed.

    I don't mind a little molasses or sugar but I don't want to use too much.

    Baking the treats is out of the question because it is too much work and it would diminish the potency of the vitamin.

    Would All-purpose flour be okay from a nutritional point of view? I used to make those salt-dough ornaments which would be dried or baked, and they would have a nice crunchy texture and would hold together well, but I don't know if that refined starch is bad for horses? Of course I would reduce or eliminate the salt. I would think that the relatively small quantity of starchy flour would not be harmful, but has anyone heard about negative effects of using flour? How about other starches that would make a stiff dough? Any recipes?

    Last edited by PeteyPie; Aug. 11, 2020, 03:42 PM.
    "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

    #2
    I'm curious to see the experts weigh in because I've often opined I wish I could just feed a treatball with all of my horse's supplements in them. I would think a little flour is okay, especially if your horse isn't metabolic.

    I am not sure how this impacts potency, but I once used this recipe (tweaked) to give a horse a bunch of powder medicines (including Vit E). I froze them. Did not include chocolate chips or coconut - but did add chia seeds:
    https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/no-bake-energy-bites/
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

    Comment


      #3
      No bake cookies don't have to be stored in the fridge or freezer, and might make a really nice "supplement cookie" but are pretty much a caramel with added ingredients. The small amount of sugar is probably not a big deal for a horse that's not metabolic, though?

      This recipe here: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recip...ookies-recipe/

      Has 2 1/2 cups of sugar in 4 dozen cookies, for 0.8 tbsp in each cookie. Chocolate isn't a necessary ingredient. Might work?

      Comment


        #4
        I used to bake horse treats using old fashioned oatmeal and molasses. I did add in flour to hold it all together. wet, it was so very sticky. can you try it dry? or how about putting the powder on a slice of bread and drizzling molasses over it and then giving it to your horse. I would fold it up to keep my hands cleaner

        Comment


          #5
          How much powder is involved?
          A tablespoon or so could probably go into a fig newton type cookie. Slice cookie in half, mix powder into the filling & press halves together.
          Cookies come in all sorts of flavors besides fig.
          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            I'm going to try dried salt dough with a small amount of senior feed mixed in for flavor and aroma, and add the Vitamin E. Apparently, Vitamin E doesn't break down with cooking at the same rate as some other vitamins, but it does diminish the longer it is cooked. So I will make an experimental batch and press the cookies to different thicknesses and let them dry. I know from trying something similar a few years ago with other ingredients that the senior feed has to be used very sparingly because it makes the mix so friable that it won't hold its shape. I suspect many horses would be happy with just the salty cookie without the addition of senior feed, but since mine are so picky about treats, I want to put something familiar in the mix.

            The good news is that the salt content can be quite high, nutrition-wise. My googling has yielded that horses should be eating about two tablespoons of salt per day, so I don't have to worry about overdoing the salt in the salt dough, only about flavor. For example one recipe calls for 2 cups flour per 1 cup of salt plus water to get a good consistency. 1 cup of salt equals 16 tablespoons which means that the whole recipe could be divided into eight servings. That portion would barely supply one day's supply of salt, and I wasn't envisioning giving that much to each horse per day. So the only issue remaining is flavor, and whether that amount of salt will yield a pleasing cookie or an unpalatable one. In the past, I have made ornaments with a smaller ratio of salt and they turned out fine as a craft product so I know they will hold their shape and texture if I use less salt.

            I'll let you know how they turn out.

            In the meantime, two questions remain which I have been unable to research, although I started, so if anyone has info on this, please add it:
            1) Does the presence of salt in a mixture with Vitamin E cause or accelerate any deterioration in the vitamin?
            2) How will the act of drying the cookies affect the quality and potency of the vitamin? I think I read something about air exposure being bad but I'm not sure.

            If air/drying is a problem, I was thinking I could make a paste of vitamin powder and molasses and made a sandwich cookie. I would experiment with the wafer thickness to find the most appealing texture. That way I could make up a canister of wafers ahead of time, I could even bake them if I wanted, and then I could assemble a smaller supply of cookies, maybe a weeks' worth at a time, so the vitamin powder would stay fresh.

            You know what's going to happen. I'm going do all of this experimentation and my horses will refuse to taste any version of my invention.

            "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

            Comment


              #7
              You might try psyllium husk. It gets very viscous soaked in water. I've used it to make low-carb crackers, but I would think that you could make horse treats dehydrated at a low temperature.

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #8
                outerbanks77 Thanks. Did you use psyllium plus flour in your recipe or did you completely leave out the flour?

                "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

                Comment


                  #9
                  I wouldn't use psyllium husk when trying to get supplements in a horse. I've been told by vets not to feed that when I feed supplements. Psyllium husk is one of the big ingredients in Sand Clear; it picks up all the "detritus" floating around in the stomach. You want the horses to absorb the supplements, not have them ferried off in a goopy ball
                  AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                    I wouldn't use psyllium husk when trying to get supplements in a horse. I've been told by vets not to feed that when I feed supplements. Psyllium husk is one of the big ingredients in Sand Clear; it picks up all the "detritus" floating around in the stomach. You want the horses to absorb the supplements, not have them ferried off in a goopy ball
                    It would be a fraction of the amount that is fed in SandClear, unless you're feeding a lot of treats. For a big batch of crackers, I use like 1-2 TBSP, so each treat would have like 1tsp, max. Plus, you are wetting it to form a gel with your other ingredients, not feeding it straight.

                    PeteyPie, the crackers I make have some ground up seeds, but no flour of any kind. If you Google keto seed crackers, the recipes would explain how to use the psyllium husk.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ground flax is a good binding agent if you dampen it.
                      That said, I am feeding a glucosamine/chondroitin/msm supplement which is almost 1/4 cup of powder, not terribly tasty. I mix 1/3 cup of quick cooked rolled oats with daily dose of powder, about 1 tbsp of molasses and mix it to a dryish crumble. I add this to her premeasured ziploc bag of feed, BO just dumps it in her tub. It is easy to see if she has finished it all (she does!)




                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        Today I made a slurry paste with senior feed, Vitamin E, water and salt. I fed the first part in a bucket and when she got bored with it, I dumped the rest on a flake of hay and she ate the whole thing as I watched. That will probably be the easiest solution.

                        In the meantime, I made a salt dough using
                        4 cups flour
                        1/2 cup salt,
                        1/2 cup senior feed pulsed in my mini food processor,
                        5 tablespoons Molasses,
                        about a half a cup of leftover oatmeal made from Old Fashioned Oats,
                        1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon,
                        water, enough to make a stiff dough.

                        I cooked the flour for a few minutes before adding it to the recipe in order to kill any salmonella or whatever they say we have to be careful of these days. I tasted the dough and it is still way too salty for me. I can't taste the cinnamon at all, and it could use more molasses for my taste but I will try it out and see if the horses like this salty version before I try something different. I need to think of it more like making salty crackers and just use a tablespoon of salt next time. Actually, I might leave out the senior feed altogether and try to make an actual cracker that horses and humans both like.

                        The dough is resting now and I will knead the Vitamin E into one portion and then make Vitamin sandwich cookies with another portion. If the sandwich works, it might make sense to just use commercial gingersnaps instead of making my own dough.



                        "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I know flax is used as a binding agent for people with egg allergies; could you use flax seed? Here is a link:

                          https://www.food.com/recipe/flax-veg...stitute-104832
                          I loff my Quarter horse clique

                          I kill threads dead!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            According to the interweb “Vitamin E is a very stable substance in foods, and is not easily destroyed by cooking or freezing, as are some other vitamins.”

                            I made antihistamine treats for my horse so I could hand him a cookie over the pasture fence vs bringing him in for a bucket 2x a day. The antihistamine was heat stable, but I made a standard recipe (threw in corn meal, rolled oats, crushed antihistamine pills, molasses) and divided into the number of doses. Dried it in the toaster oven at like 100-200 degrees for a few hours. Was still soft/chewy in texture. Worked great!

                            By the way, for a horse a molasses cookie or two is nothing. Unless they’re verging on systemic collapse, a couple treats won’t kill them. I fed these to a PSSM2 horse with no detectable change in that issue.

                            Comment

                              Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Xanthoria View Post
                              According to the interweb “Vitamin E is a very stable substance in foods, and is not easily destroyed by cooking or freezing, as are some other vitamins.”

                              I made antihistamine treats for my horse so I could hand him a cookie over the pasture fence vs bringing him in for a bucket 2x a day. The antihistamine was heat stable, but I made a standard recipe (threw in corn meal, rolled oats, crushed antihistamine pills, molasses) and divided into the number of doses. Dried it in the toaster oven at like 100-200 degrees for a few hours. Was still soft/chewy in texture. Worked great!

                              By the way, for a horse a molasses cookie or two is nothing. Unless they’re verging on systemic collapse, a couple treats won’t kill them. I fed these to a PSSM2 horse with no detectable change in that issue.
                              That's great news, about the cooking and freezing. Thank you so much for the help. I was concerned about the heat no only regarding cooking them, but also storing them. I would like to make these cookies and be able to leave a few days' supply by the alfalfa so the barn worker can just toss them in the feed tub when he feeds hay. It's hot outside so I was concerned that storing them in the summer temps would ruin the vitamin. As I type this it occurs to me that I could use a small cooler to store them in.

                              I made a starchy firm dough and have so far tried one mix with added Vitamin E, water, and molasses. I mixed and kneaded it, rolled it into balls and pressed them flat into cookies a bit larger than 3" diameter. I placed and pressed them onto a dab of senior feed, sprinkled more on top and pressed it in, and let them dry for a day. I mixed these in two sets. The second set I added what I thought was too much water because they ended up being more of a thick batter than doughy. That set turned out better, because they dried harder. The added senior feed garnish was a mistake; it increased the crumbly consistency and some broke into several pieces even with careful handling. But I'm getting closer. The horses liked them, so I was relieved about that.

                              If I just added a larger ratio of my flour-based elastic dough I would get a harder cookie but I'm trying to use the smallest amount of commercial flour I can due to the time and labor of making giant batches and the cost of the flour. A few cups of flour is nothing, but I don't want to go through ten pounds a week.



                              "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

                              Comment


                                #16
                                No healthy suggestions, but Rice Krispies with marshmallow comes to mind as a treat that isn’t cooked and binds .

                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Chall View Post
                                  No healthy suggestions, but Rice Krispies with marshmallow comes to mind as a treat that isn’t cooked and binds .
                                  Forget the horse. I love those things!
                                  "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

                                  Comment


                                    #18

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Anybody tried banana? I have a fjord who LOVES banana, and it seems wet enough to work to stick things together.

                                      Perhaps applesauce?

                                      Comment

                                        Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by aregard View Post
                                        Anybody tried banana? I have a fjord who LOVES banana, and it seems wet enough to work to stick things together.

                                        Perhaps applesauce?
                                        So far I am coming up with a paste which I can dump onto the hay. It stays together and doesn't dribble down, and the horses are now getting used to me dumping it on there and they look for it, so it really accomplishes the goal of getting them to eat their vitamin E, and it is quick and easy for me to dump onto the hay. I'll bet banana would work well for a paste. Unfortunately, I'm not yet totally happy with my success in accomplishing my original goal of making hard cookies although I'm improving. Specific requirements I am trying to achieve are:

                                        - Anyone can feed them. A non-horse person could easily follow an instruction such as "Give four cookies to each horse once a day." A paste is not so easy because it must be dumped with some care so that it lands in one spot and on top of the hay; it can't be tossed from the other side of the fence into a feed tub (I could go on a whole different tangent about attempting to do just that).

                                        - In that vein, cookies are easy and fun for me to hand feed as a treat.

                                        - A hard and substantial cookie tossed into a feed tub would be easy for a horse to find and she would know to search for it.

                                        - Several days' worth of cookies can be made in one batch so that I am not preparing a concoction every morning. I'm tailoring my recipe to an eight-day supply; eight because it's easy to divide into halves and quarters and the volume is not so great that I can still use a mixer or knead it by hand. Using a paste involves too much daily prep time. It's relatively easy for me because I'm home, but it's E.V.E.R.Y day and in the future when this pandemic is over and I want to maybe take a vacation, I will need a product which is easy for someone else to administer. If I were in a high-end barn with more skilled horse keeping this would probably not be an issue, but I'm not and it is.

                                        - Cookies can be stored on site next to the hay. I would worry that a paste would get moldy or spoil if I tried leaving several days' worth.

                                        2DogsFarm had the great idea of fig newtons:
                                        How much powder is involved?
                                        A tablespoon or so could probably go into a fig newton type cookie. Slice cookie in half, mix powder into the filling & press halves together.
                                        Cookies come in all sorts of flavors besides fig.
                                        I'm using 3/4 cup per day of Vitamin E powder which yields a dose of approximately 5000iu per day for one horse and half that for the other. If it were just a tablespoon scoop this whole process would be much easier. The volume is large: 6 cups of powder for a batch which would last for eight days. I'm intrigued with your recommendation and I think it would be worth taking a completely different tack, leaving out the flour altogether and trying a recipe with fig newtons, molasses, vitamin E powder (which fortunately, the horses like), and maybe some water. I could roll it into a log and cut it into cookies, or form cookie balls and dry them that way. Maybe dates would be a good addition. They are really sticky.

                                        Today I have a baking dish of bar cookies, still using the stiff dough which I made a few days ago. I cut them up last night and placed them on a rack to dry harder. They are the most promising batch so far. I'm getting closer!
                                        "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

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