This week, most of the United States is experiencing a deep freeze. Even places in Florida have reached the freezing mark, while some of us Northerners are struggling with below zero temps and crazy winds. Unfortunately, for equestrians, this can halt your riding and training routines, and it makes barn work a pure struggle.
Through the winter we hear – How cold is too cold to ride? Are lessons on today? Will my horse be turned out? And while it is often times a personal choice (my ‘too cold’ is different than your ‘too cold’), one thing is for certain – we have to keep in mind the comfort and health of our four-footed friends. And honestly, a day off here or there won’t hurt (you may just need an extra lunge before your next lesson).
So today, because it is actually 0º, not including the wind-chill, I think we should all treat our ponies and horses to a delicious, warm bran mash. Here is one of my favorite recipes. Give it a try for an afternoon snack!
I like to use beet pulp – mainly because we have it regularly available at the barn, and it is a better fiber source than bran itself.
- ¼ - ½ bucket of dehydrated beet pulp, cover with boiling water (use about twice as much water as you have beet pulp) and let it soak an hour or two – it will still be warm, especially if you keep it covered with a towel in the tack room or feed room.
- Cut up carrots and apples and add them to the warm beet pulp mixture.
- Have some mints or left over candy canes from Christmas? Drop those into the bucket as well!
- I also add a handful of oats or sweet feed to the bucket.
- Mix! (a LARGE wooden spoon or sweat scraper will do the trick)
- Serve! This will make about a bucket, so there is PLENTY to share throughout the barn. I usually give about a scoop per horse.
Stay warm, friends!