With cold weather looming, many people start thinking about giving their horses hot mashes — both as a treat and as way to encourage them to drink more water. When I was growing up, we fed the horses a hot bran mash every Sunday. It’s long standing tradition that was supposed to help prevent colic in working horses in theory because of the laxative effect of the wheat bran. During the winter, it seemed to be a great way to pamper our horses. Certainly it made us feel better.
Nutritionists now discount the benefit of feeding bran (the traditional ingredient) as not having the “laxative” affects ascribed to it, but adding warm water, carrots and a few apples to your horses feed is a nice treat. For many years I also fed soaked alfalfa cubes or beet pulp too.