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As I'm preparing to show, I'm starting to hit nerves. In the past, when I hit nerves in other activities, I would suck on candies or gummies. Or pretty much anything that wouldn't melt in my mouth too quickly and that I could focus on. What I'm pretty much asking is, is there anything that would last in my mouth for a little bit, that is also horse friendly?

Back then, I would grab the gummy sharks. They were sweet and hard, so my attention was on it for awhile. What am I looking out for, other than excessive sugar in the candies?

I'm really only asking because as much as I would like to say I won't give him any... chances are he'll get a few. (You know how horses are.) Please don't judge me, or yell at me for this question. I realize giving high sugar candies to horses is a big no-no. If there isn't any, I'll find a horse friendly equivalent. TIA.
 

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Otis's previous owner used to give him licorice, and he's still alive, lol. Mints are pretty common candies people give to horses. I share none of my candies, they are all mine!
 

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My horses like Dutch Licorice, especially School Kritje, peppermints of any kind, butter scotch drops, pretty much anything that's real sweet. If you give them Dutch Licorice, look for "Salmiak" and "Dubble Zout", those can be VERY strong on the ammonia end of the scale (food grade ammonium chloride is used for the flavor) and the ones marked DZ and/or coated with a powdery white-ish substance are the strongest. The horses loved the School Kritje (school chalk), it's kind of peppery and sweet, not so much the DZ's. Can't say about American licorice, I can't stand the stuff, so haven't tried it on them.
 

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I always given them polo mints and extra strong mints as a treat.


My old gelding loved the taste of tablet and toffee thanks to a neighbour. The toffee was stopped but i did give him the occasional square of tablet if I'd some left at the end of a packet. To look after his health, I'd have to struggle to eat it myself :Angel::smile:
 

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Mine like Altoids. Have one named after his favorite flavor - Cool Honey.


Unless you are just pouring them by the pound down his throat there is no reason to work yourself up over a treat. An average horse at maintenance calories needs 15,000 calories a day. One Gummy Shark (good sized) has 35. The sugar is insignificant at that level. I'd worry more about the gummy nature and it sticking to his teeth since a horse doesn't brush. Even then that worry would be so far down on my list...
 

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Peppermints (I see these are popular) and butterscotch. My husband used to give a treat at the fence when he fed in the evenings. By the time they all got to the barn the gelding had his crunched up and gone. The mare savored hers and still had hers in her mouth.
 

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I keep an assortment of hard candies for horse treats. Peppermints, jolly ranchers, butter scotch disc, sweet tarts. My gelding loves oranges peel and all. Gummy bears are also a big hit so have those for treats also.
 

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Peppermints for sure, and I have given butterscotch hard candy to a few. The ones I gave a jolly rancher were not at all a fan! I think it's too sour to them, or at least to some, plus they do stick to teeth, so like others mentioned you have to be careful. One or two bits of candy won't hurt anybody, no bigger than they are. They're amazingly good at crunching hard candy that takes us ages down to dust in a matter of second.

I'd just say be careful of having any candy in your mouth when you go into the ring (I assume you wouldn't, but not certain of intention here) because there's always the risk of breathing it in if your horse surprises you too much :) Ask me how I know that can be done with hard peppermints!
 
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I have heard of several people giving their horses snickers bars. I personally have never given mine anything sweeter than an apple, because I dislike most candy myself I pretty much never have it around. I'd try butterscotch buttons though as I love those.
 

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I would suggest not giving chocolate. Don't want to screw up a drug test in a sanctioned show.
 

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The hard type candies I have shared have been a cough drop here and there when I am sick with a cold.

My sweet tooth seems to be getting away from all the candies and heading more into fruits nowadays,I get bags of freeze dried fruits..apples,peaches,banana slices and a mixed fruits..we both prefer the apples..they are at the Dollar Tree stores for 1 dollar, so pretty economical to share with my riding donkey. I also like the dried caramel apple chips,they take longer to soften up than the freeze dried stuff. These are good to take with on trail rides too.
When I do ride with a hard candy/cough drop I make a conscious effort to put it in my cheeks, don't wanna coke to death on a ride!
 

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I don't know if nuts are bad for horses, but mine have tried to eat those fruit and nut health bar things when I have them around. If they hear a wrapper they come trotting over looking for snacks.

My horse ate some cheetos once. Guess she liked the salt on them.
 

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Peppermints help cover up the smell of nervousness on your breath, and contain very little (if any) sugar! Soft peppermints won't have sharp edges if the horse decides to swallow them, but they should last a while if you're using them to concentrate during a show. Should be quick to swallow if need be.

I'm so glad that you're concerned about this question. I hope I can provide some helpful information in a kindly way. Here are some instances where I would not feed my horse candy:

1) If I know that my horse is underweight/overweight, or has a veterinary-confirmed metabolic problem, such as IR or cushings.
2) If I know that my horse already showing signs of digestive upset or transition, sometimes indicated by diarrhea.
3) If I know there was a recent change in diet, and my horse is still transitioning to the new feed.
4) The candy has significant nutritional value, several complex ingredients, or contains primarily sugar/chocolate. (Such as Snickers - caramel, nuts, chocolate, etc.)

Please let me nudge in here and say that sugar content in candies really isn't the end-all, be-all of nutritional safety here. A small amount of sugar every once in a while shouldn't hurt a healthy horse - it's just quick energy. But no, my main concern would be this: any time you feed your horse something outside of his usual diet, it can cause small stress (not even noticeable to the horse), or a large and obvious problem... depending on what's in the food and how much of it was eaten. I'd go into more detail but that's beyond the scope of this thread - a small, simple candy once in a while won't hurt.

Oh, someone mentioned honey? Do be aware that honey is naturally antibacterial, and the upper portion of a horse's stomach contains necessary bacteria (it starts the fermentation of sugars, starches and purified fructans.) I don't imagine a little could hurt, but little deviances stacked up over time can become bigger issues. Always better safe than sorry.
 

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Trigger and I often share green apple flavored licorice. I'm not a peppermint fan, but he loovvesss a real peppermint candy as much as he likes the horse snack peppermint treats.

Supes has been known to enjoy beef jerky.
 

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Feathers7 I am aware that honey is an antibacterial. An Rx antibiotic destroys far more than a small amount of honey given as a treat or smoothed on a bit ever would. The effect is also not cumulative as bacteria have amazing capacity to reproduce. Either way The Altoids Cool Honey does not have honey in it - just natural flavorings that give it that essence.
 
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