Horse treat balls can provide hours of entertainment when hung in a horse's stall. These free-hanging treats swing as a horse tries to eat them, making them last longer than hand-fed treats and providing the horse with intellectual stimulation at the same time. Although many commercially produced treat balls are available, making your own is simple and can allow you to add in the special treats that your horse prefers. The following recipe is an adaptation of the recipe for horse treats found on the Raging Bear Ranch website.
Combine sugar, Karo syrup and water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the mixture reaches 138 degrees Celsius. Use the candy thermometer to check the temperature if necessary.
Stir in salt and vanilla.
Add sweet feed and mix until well combined.
Allow mixture to cool until it reaches a temperature at which it is comfortable to touch.
Grease hands and shape the mix into a large ball.
Place the ball on sheet of waxed paper.
Press the handle of the wooden spoon through the centre of the ball to form a hole large enough in diameter for the rope to fit through.
Place the ball, still on waxed paper, in the fridge to set until firm.
Remove from the fridge and thread the rope through the ball. Tie a large knot in the bottom to keep the ball from falling off the rope.
Tie the free end of the rope in the horse's stall so that it swings freely.
You can add in special treats, such as grated carrots or crushed peppermints, to make the treat specific to your horse's particular likes and dislikes. Be sure to pack the treat firmly so that it holds together.
Use caution when heating the mixture to the desired 138 degrees Celsius. Be sure that it has cooled enough to be safe to touch before attempting to shape the mixture into a ball.