Warm bran mash has been a treat given to horses for generations. In recent years, equine experts have concluded bran mash isn’t as healthy for horses as was once thought. Many horse owners still enjoy making a warm treat for their horses in the Winter, however, so they continue to feed bran mash. It’s time for a healthier alternative!
Better Ingredients for Healthy Horses
- Rolled oats are much easier for your horse to digest than bran and have a more suitable nutrient profile for horses.
- Alfalfa – Adds calcium to offset phosphorus in horse mashes. It’s an excellent source of plant protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, chlorophyll, fiber, carbohydrates, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, amino acids, saponins, flavones, isoflavones, sterols, and coumarin derivatives.
- Raw Honey – A much healthier alternative to the molasses often used in bran mash. It provides vitamins, minerals, propolis, bioflavonoids, and antioxidants. It also boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Additionally, honey has a better Glycemic Index than sugar or molasses.
- Virgin coconut oil – A source of short-medium chain fatty acids that work with other fatty acids for optimum absorption. Coconut oil also offers anti-microbial properties and supports a healthy immune system.
- Calcium Montmorillonite Clay – An unsurpassed natural mineral supplement. It also offers anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasite, and anti-fungal properties. University studies have found Calcium Montmorillonite Clay will protect livestock from toxins, including aflatoxins (which often plague grain products).
- Mixed Seaweed Flakes – Each species/color group of seaweed excels at different functions, which is why a mix is recommended. Seaweed has more vitamins and minerals than any other vegetation on the planet and it also helps to balance electrolytes. It also offers anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasite, and anti-fungal properties. Seaweed has been a secret weapon of race horses for decades.
- Ginger – Used primarily as a digestive aid.
- Rose hips powder – An excellent source of pectin, Vitamins C, E, and B complex, selenium, carotenoids and anthocyanins. Their biotin content is great for hooves.
- Unrefined French Gray Sea Salt – A complete source of highly digestible minerals and trace elements and it balances electrolytes. Gray sea salt is lower in sodium than any other sea salt. Salt may encourage horses to drink more.
The following recipe can be adjusted for yield. Not much of this nutrient-packed treat is necessary to benefit and please your horse. While it is a much healthier alternative to traditional warm bran mash for horses, it’s still considered a treat that shouldn’t be fed more than twice/week and shouldn’t account for more than 10% of the daily feed. If your horse isn’t accustomed to much variety in his diet, introduce this mash in small portions and work your way up.
Healthy Warm Mash for Horses
©Formulated by Melody McKinnon exclusively for AllNaturalPetCare.com
Start with 4-5 cups of very hot water in a feed bucket.
Stir in 2 tsp of Gray Sea Salt
Stir in 3 TBSP of virgin coconut oil until it is melted.
Stir in 3 TBSP of raw, unpasteurized honey until it is melted.
Add 1 cup of Ginger Tea (Steep sliced ginger root in boiling water until cool and use the liquid).
Stir in 1/2 tsp of Calcium Montmorillonite Clay*
Stir in 2 TBSP of Rose Hip Powder
To the above mixture, add:
1/2 cup of mixed seaweed flakes
1/4 cup Alfalfa Powder
4 cups of Rolled Oats
1 cup of chopped “greens” (radish greens, dandelion greens, beet greens, etc.)
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup of berries (blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, or a mix)
Stir it all up and you’re ready to feed this nutritious, warm mash to your horse. You may have to add more rolled oats or water to reach your desired consistency. Make sure the mixture has cooled to warm all the way through before feeding.
*Calcium Montmorillonite Clay should not be fed within two hours of any medication. If you need the mash to deliver medication, simply leave out the Calcium Montmorillonite Clay.
Note of Caution: We suggest a consultation with your veterinarian to prevent drug interactions or problems with existing medical conditions.
??? Are you a fan of warm mash for horses? Please share your experience or questions in the comments below.
Rodiek, Anne. Hay For Horses: Alfalfa Or Grass? 2001.
Kellon, Eleanor M. VMD. Horse Journal Guide to Equine Supplements and Nutraceuticals
McCabe, Vinton. The Healing Echo: Discovering Homeopathic Cell Salt Remedies. 2012.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Horse Treat Recipe: Apple and Alfalfa Muffins
Alfalfa as a Natural Ingredient or Supplement for Pets
Reader Tip: Seaweed is an Old Race Horse Trick
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