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EQUUS - - EQ LETTERS - Margaret Lee Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia

I read “Equine Cui­sine Around the World” (EQUUS 482) with great plea­sure. I have just re­turned from a va­ca­tion in Spain, dur­ing which I took dres­sage lessons at Hipica San Jose in Al­monacid de Toledo. There, as a re­ward treat, the horses are fed a good­sized piece of hard bread.

The hard bread is left over from the pre­vi­ous day. Bread in Spain does not have preser­va­tives or dough con­di­tion­ers added, so it be­comes hard by the next morn­ing. Peo­ple buy their bread fresh daily, just enough for the day.

I gave a piece of hard bread to the horse I rode each day as a re­ward. I have never seen a horse de­vour his re­ward so con­tent­edly. John Maieron Blue Bell, Penn­syl­va­nia

Start­ing at about age 19, I left the United States and lived in Canada, Hol­land, Ger­many and Eng­land while work­ing with horses. Back in the 1970s, while car­ing for 16 horses in Canada, I made my own sweet feed with oats, corn, mo­lasses and I don’t even re­mem­ber what all, but the horses loved it.

Liv­ing with my aunt and un­cle in Hol­land, I no­ticed that stale bread was fed to the horses as an end-of-day “treat,” and they liked it ever so much! There were no preser­va­tives in any of the bread so it got stale daily. Of course, they also got ap­ples and car­rots.

Af­ter this I worked at a fa­mous sta­ble in Ger­many. I was ap­palled that, for the first and only time in my ex­pe­ri­ence, the horses were not al­lowed free wa­ter, but were “wa­tered” only twice a day. The wa­ter was of­fered in large buck­ets from which they could drink their fill, but they could not have wa­ter at any other times. I did won­der why this was, but as I was a lowly work­ing stu­dent, I did not ques­tion the prac­tice.

In Sus­sex, Eng­land, I was in charge of a barn of event horses. They were fed pri­mar­ily oats and hay, with lus­cious pas­ture, but once a week, the lady of the house cooked a bran­lin­seed mash, stir­ring it all day long un­til it was very gooey and vis­cous. The horses liked it a lot.

I orig­i­nally learned to ride at Sun­ny­field Farm in Bed­ford, New York. The own­ers there had a hy­dro­ponic op­er­a­tion for rais­ing oats, and many of their horses got sprouted oats in their feed, which they loved. It was a way of giv­ing fresh greens to horses who didn’t get enough turnout.

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