Silly question... do YOU cut apples?
My friend always told me that you should cut apples in half before you give them to your horse, since if they got a whole, round apple in their mouth they could choke. Ok, made sense to me. So I have always done that. But got to thinking that may be just one of those "old wives tales" and although
I do it, and it kind of lets him enjoy his treat a bit longer... is there any truth to it? Do YOU cut apples in half for your horses?
I cut apples in half. I also break carrots in half. Brock tends to get excited and guzzle too fast so I never feed them unsupervised. I have seen a school horse choke trying to do a whole carrot at once and I had to pull it out, but not sure about apples.
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I chop them up to make them last longer. I've never heard of a horse choking on an apple, but I guess it could happen. Better safe than sorry I guess. Plus, if you cut it up, you can steal a piece for yourself :D
I'm strange about my treats (usually apples or carrots, although sometimes I'll put a bit of molasses and sugar on a slice of apple for her). I like to use them as a reward for Indie if she's behaving.. I know people say that treats cause a pushy horse, but in the past few weeks, Indie has become much more respectful of me. Not because of the treats, but because I continue to correct her if she gets pushy. Treats are just there for when she shows improvement and I usually give her a bit of an apple for after I do her feet since I'm still treating them and it's nice that she stands still for me.
As for cutting them up, I usually cut them up into 1/8s so that they last longer. Lately, I've just been leaving 1/4 slice for after a ride and then I save the 1/8s for when she shows improvements in things on the ground. She doesn't seem to mind that it's only a little slice either. :-)
I chop up the big carrots, apples whole or half, corn cobs broken to small pieces, melon rind -cut up. I put treats in a feeder-never hand feed.
Mine don't get apples but they do get the occasional pear off the trees in my yard. I don't cut them, I toss them in the grass in the pasture and they make giant messes biting into them. I stopped hand feeding them long ago because having pear juice running from wrist to armpit isn't all that enjoyable. I've not had one try to get the whole thing in their mouth (but they are very large bartlett pears and it's likely not possible). I do help out the old man though, he has just a few teeth left and can't chew them anymore - I peel, core and run them through the food processor for him. Yep, he's slightly spoiled - he's put up with me for 30 years, he's earned it :wink:
For the babies I do, or older horses that have never had them, but all my oldies just eat them whole, the piggies. LOL
I always do! Better safe than sorry for choking, and I cut mine in fourths - given as an extra special treat, as they get lots of cut up carrots daily! :)
Sometimes, if I cut them up though it's usually because I'm going to ask for multiple behaviors (Indie has this current trick where she can "ask" for a treat by touching her chest with her muzzle), or I'm feeling stingy and want to make the apple last longer or split it between two horses. :lol:
I suppose if the horse in question was likely to gulp their food, I'd be more careful, but neither of my mares have ever had that problem. They were taught from when they were very young to be respectful and slow when taking treats, so I guess it just translated into how they ate it as well.
I cut, but mostly because I usually give just half to each. With that being said it must be split for my paint (with smaller mouth), who simply can't (and won't) take the whole one (so she'll bite off little pieces :wink: ). My qh doesn't mind to suck in the whole one, then she just smashes it in a mouth, and then chew.
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