Harvest time means pumpkin time! But what does that mean for your horse? You might be surprised to find out that pumpkin is a safe and fun treat for horses. What are some benefits to offering your horse a festive pumpkin treat?
Pumpkins can double as a treat and a toy for your horse. Throw an entire small pumpkin in with your horse and let them roll it around, paw it, bite it, etc. The entire pumpkin is safe for your horse to play with and eat. Stall bound horse? Tie the pumpkin up by the stem and hang it from the rafters or stall bars for a great boredom buster.
Believe it or not, pumpkin is a healthy treat for most horses. Pumpkin is 90% water, so it can help offer additional hydration. It is also low calorie and has a low glycemic index, great for easy keepers or horses with metabolic concerns. Pumpkin is also high in vitamins A and E, meaning it supports growth and development, a healthy immune system, and strong muscles.
The seeds of a pumpkin are highly nutritious for horses. They are safe to feed raw or roasted. To roast the seeds, scatter a few cups of the cleaned raw seeds on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. Bake at 250F for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pumpkin seeds are high in nitric oxide, which supports healing. The seeds are also a good source of zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. Pumpkin seeds are also a safe treat for metabolic horses.
Millions of people purchase pumpkins this season - but that means billions of pounds of pumpkin turns to waste every year. More than 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkin is added to landfills in the US alone every year. Giving the pumpkin to your horse means less waste in the landfill. They are an environmentally friendly toy and treat!
Pumpkins are a great choice to offer your horse. As with anything, feed pumpkin in moderation. Also be sure to avoid other types of squash or uncommon, ornamental types of pumpkin - traditional orange carving pumpkins are safe and ideal.
Happy Harvest and enjoy those pumpkins with your horse!
The Info Pony