Thursday, January 17, 2019

d.i.y.: hanging horse treats

I thought about titling this sticky horse balls, or sweet hanging balls, but the internet is a scary thing…I'm not sure I want to read those comments…(I'm sure I'll get them anyway…)

And if your horse is on some sort of gluten-free, vegan, no-sugar diet, then you should probably just skip this post. This is for the horse that enjoys the occasional disgustingly sweet treat, which will get all over his face and forelock, this is for you. If you horse is "trapped" inside from the rain, as Major thinks he is, this treat will provide hours of entertainment.

You’re still in the mood for it, here is the basic recipe. As with all my recipes literally almost everything can be substituted, I’m not always sure with what, but go ahead and try it if your horse hates “X” thing!

Major's Sweet Treat

2 cups molasses (or corn syrup)
1-1/3 cup sugar
1/2 to 1 cup corn meal (could use flour)
2 cups feed (whatever: hay pellets, sweet feed, rice bran, oatmeal)

You are essentially making an old school popcorn ball, for our horses. (Anyone remember when you'd get popcorn balls at Halloween? So tasty! So potentially filled with razorblades was the rumor! Love the 70s)

livestock molasses is very inexpensive, this was like $8 for a gallon, should last a long while!

all the things!

Ok, anyway: Combine the molasses and sugar until dissolved on medium-high heat, then cook until 300 degrees/hard crack stage. You can do the hard-crack water/candy test (but seriously, just get a cheap candy thermometer, I use it one-two times a year and have owned it for 20 years…).

This took about 30 minutes. Soon all the hair on your hands will have burned off, and burning pieces of sugar candy will be close to whizzing through the air. Now you can stop and mix the lava mixture into your ingredidnets. You don't have much time!

knuckles burning, cook faster!

I used a bundt pan for tiny cakes that I have rarely made cakes in, perfect for this, already a hole! Grease super well, this mixture will stick to everything. I pressed it in with waxed paper, it hardens really quickly (which is why there are no pictures of this step)! You could also hand-shape the mixture into a shape with the rope already in it.

I popped them out of the pan about 20 minutes later (the cooking pan I added some boiling water to melt the rest of the sugar off). Later I tied some fancy hay strings through it.


Major was super happy with his treat. Did it make the rain more tolerable? I think so. He managed to work through to the middle in three days, when it fell off on the floor. Then he ate the rest in like 5 minutes. The other one is waiting for another rainy day.

Yes, this is how I entertain myself in the depth of dark winter. But remember: Tomorrow the daylight will be 1 minute 31 seconds longer. This is what my weather app told me. I'll be counting....

sunset over treat


  1. Awesome, I'm scared of what sort of fighting the donkey and horse would get into though.

    And, Germany is a molasses and corn syrup free country. *sigh*

    1. Maybe they'd share politely...probably not!

      You can always omit the syrup portion of any recipe like this, and just use water and sugar, it just takes a bit longer (you're essentially making a grain lollipop!)

      Sad that you have no molasses, do they have golden syrup or black treacle (which is like molasses, made from unrefined sugar) to at least make gingerbread?

  2. Major makes an excellent treat model!

    Val went through one of those Uncle Jimmy's hanging treats like it was his job - it might have lasted an afternoon lol.

    1. Of course it was his job! I've never tried an official Uncle Jimmy's, maybe they're even tastier.

  3. These look good enough for human consumption!! I was cracking up reading your alternate post title ideas. Can you imagine the blog traffic you'd get from THOSE Google searches?!?!? Hahaha...

    1. Some molasses mixture fell on the counter, and became a little hard candy. It was delicious! I’m just waiting for those comments to come through moderating...hah!

  4. Anyone have an idea of how to make this as a low sugar/ low carb version? Maybe stevia for the sugar? Honey instead of molasses( although that might be equal in sugar!) ???