Thursday 25th of November 2021
Horse Nutrition

Dodson & Horrell’s Horsey Christmas Treats

It’s not long to go now until the big day and whilst you may have sorted presents for all of your family and friends, sent your cards and ordered the turkey, you may be wondering how you can treat your horse over the festive period.


Historically there have been a whole host of feedstuffs recommended to provide a little festive cheer; from adding in a tipple of Guinness as a boost to iron content, to providing the horse with their very own eggnog to boost protein! These practices were carried out by owners when the majority of feeding was done with hay, haylage and straights such as oats or barley.

In 2016 however, we luckily no longer have to look to our store cupboards for inspiration as feed companies have provided all of your horse’s essential nutrients in their hard feed or balancer.  This does not mean that your horse cannot receive a Christmas treat, indeed a warming, herbal mash provided on a cold, crisp day will be very well received or alternatively you could make your very own version of a horsey Christmas pudding!



product-image winter-mash-soaked

Dodson & Horrell’s Horsey Christmas Pudding recipe:

2-3 cups of your usual hard feed

Grated apples, pears and carrots

A dash of cinnamon

A good glug of molasses

Stir together and voila a perfect pudding for Christmas afternoon or after the Boxing Day hunt!

So apart from all the festive fun what are the other considerations you should take into account over the holidays?

·       Monitor your horse’s water intake. You have probably heard the recommendation of providing warm water for a horse to drink whilst it is cold- this is a good practice as some horses would rather go thirsty than drink ice cold water so providing some room temperature water throughout the day can encourage drinking up. You can also increase water intake by supplying a really well soaked and sloppy mash or beet.

·       Speaking of mashes, a warm bran mash has been the staple of many a horse’s diet over the colder months however did you know that this may actually unbalance the diet due to the nutrient profile of bran? Instead provide a mash that has additional ingredients to keep everything in a balance.

·       Finally do not skimp on your horses forage intake, this acts as a central heating system as heat is produced during forage fermentation keeping your horse lovely and toasty on cold nights.

Sarah Kearney BSc (Hons), PGCert, Nutritional Advisor

Enjoy your Christmas with your horse and if you have any questions about winter feeding plans please contact our Nutritional Helpline on 0845 345 2627 or visit


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