It’s not like you don’t shower your horse with love during the 364 OTHER days of the year, but Valentine’s Day is definitely a day you can show your horse a little extra love. Here are a few ways to do it:
1. Treats – Just like people, horses love treats. Slip a few extra commercial treats in his bucket or just feed by hand. In addition to carrots and apples, Kentucky Equine Research says that these are OK, too. Alternatives include: raisins, grapes, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe or other melons, celery, pumpkin, and snow peas. A few peppermints or sugar cubes are also OK. But no matter how much love you want to show your horse, only give these treats in moderation as most horses don’t need the extra calories and they can disturb your horse’s delicate digestive system. Also, while most horses will chew these treats, some just inhale them, so be sure that pieces are small enough so he won’t choke.
Say “no” to onions, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and any other food that tends to produce intestinal gas or belongs to the nightshade family.
Do you want to share your candy this Valentines Day? Some horses like chocolate and a small piece won’t hurt anything, but instances have occurred where competition horses have tested positive during drug testing, so be aware.
2. Toys – a ball or hanging treat left in the stall after you leave may be just the thing to keep your horse from getting bored when you’re not around.
3. Vacation – Spend some time together, but not working. Go for a relaxing trail ride or, even better, take your horse for a hand walk on a trail where you can both relax and enjoy nature.
4. Massage – if you know the basics (and there are plenty of videos), you can give your horse a simple massage that will relax him. If you’re not comfortable with it, hire a licensed equine massage therapist to come and give him a “spa treatment.”
5. Upgrade his stall – If possible, add a paddock to your horse’s stall to give him more time outside. You can keep it from getting muddy by first putting down some stall mats. Or change his door to a Dutch door where he can hang his head out and watch everyone go by. Add a basket or ceiling fan to his stall to help keep him cool during the summer. Consider installing a stall mattress in his stall for a little extra comfort and support.
There are so many options when remodeling your horses stall.. luckily we are here to help!
6. Lingerie – OK, not really. But maybe it’s time for your horse to get a new blanket, saddle pad or halter. And, of course, as long as you’re at the tack store, maybe you can get a Valentine’s gift for yourself!
We wish you and your horse a very happy Valentines Day filled with lots of love and relaxation!