Halloween is at that special time of year when pumpkin spice lattes and scarves are everywhere again and everyone gets to host their very own trick-or-treat fashion show. But what do we do with our horses when the spooky season rolls around?
Have you ever thought about dressing your horse in a costume? Or maybe you’d prefer to just enjoy the changing of the seasons with a trail ride.
Whether you are a raving Halloween fan or just a casual celebrator there will always be fun things to do around this holiday for you and your horse.
Keep reading to find out a few of our favorite autumn activities.
1. Trick-or-Treat With Your Horse
Have you ever wanted to include your horse in your costume? Or maybe you felt bad that you had to leave your horse home while you went out to have a ball?
Why not host a trick-or-treat at your barn?
Kids of all sizes (and ages) love candy. So, plan an event early in the evening. Decorate stalls, and hang up treat bags for each horse. You could also get everyone together and host a trunk-or-treat at your barn. All of the adults can decorate their vehicles and the kiddos can ride (or walk) their horses around to each car to get something tasty.
Tell the families to bring their own horse-friendly treats to put in the buckets on the stalls so that your equine pals don’t feel left out of theon the holiday fun.
2. Costume Horse Shows
Before you go to a horse show that has a costumed event make sure that your horse is okay with having loose pieces of fabric blowing in the wind around them, loud bells, or brightly colored and sparkly outfits. Sometimes horses will spook at the most unpredictable things. Make sure you put in the desensitization work decision work before you go.
Don’t have an idea where to look for costumed horse events? Check out a few of these:
- October 21-23: OPtHA Poor Pumpkin Jubilee and All Breed Show in Salem, OR at the Oregon State Fairgrounds
- Saturday, October 29: All Breed Schooling Show in Walla Walla, WA at Walla Walla County Fairgrounds
- Saturday, October 29: BCHW Winery Ride and Halloween Costume Contest in Yakima Valley
- Saturday, October 29 – Sunday, October 30: NWGHA All Gaited Breed Halloween Spooktacular in Eugene, OR at the Oregon Horse Center, Prairie Complex
- Wednesday, October 26 – Sunday, October 30: Columbia River Reining Horse Fall Spooktacular in Redmond, OR at the Deschutes Expo Center
BONUS EVENT! Support a non-profit by going to Operation Hug a Horse- Halloween Edition. This 501(c)3 adopts wild mustangs and trains them to help people heal from emotional trauma.
3. Dress Up Your Horse
Does your horse have a hard time with costumes? Try body paint.
If you are not as skilled in the sewing arena as you’d like to be, why not try painting your horse? There are so many fun designs that you can paint on your horse. Skeletons, dragons, cutie marks (for a My Little Pony themed outfit), or even painting your horse to look like a pirate ship would be a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit.
If you decide to go the painted pony route make sure you use paints that are safe, non-toxic, and water-based. Kid-friendly Crayola paints are the best ones to use and will wash off easily. You can also try human-grade face paint or special animal (temporary) dyes to get just the right look this Halloween.
Stop into your local Wilco Farm Store for a variety ideas to decorate your horse.
4. Bake Halloween Treats for Your Horse
Pumpkin horse cookies recipe
Make sure to always double check with your Veterinarian to ensure this recipe is right for your horse.
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie)
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cup whole oats
- 1/3 cup wheat germ
- 1 tbsp flax meal
- 2 1/2 cups of wheat flour
- Halloween cookie cutters
- Preheat your oven to 325F.
- In a large pan or pot pour the apple juice, canned pumpkin, molasses, and vegetable oil. Mix together on medium-low heat. When the mixture has simmered for 5 minutes (with frequent stirring), take it off the heat.
- In a separate bowl mix the oats and wheat germ. Then add the wheat flour and flax to the mixture.
- Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry mixture until you have a doughy ball.
- Place dough onto a surface that has flour on it (this will prevent it from being sticky)
- Roll out the dough ball till it is even and flat. If it continues to stick to your roller add more flour.
- Take your cookie cutter of choice, dip it in your flour, and press it down into your dough. Don’t pick up your raw cookie designs yet. Keep pressing your designs until all of your dough is covered.
- Now try to lift the excess dough without damaging your cookie designs.
- Grab a baking sheet and put down some parchment paper or aluminum foil
- Take a butter knife (a cheese knife could work too) and try sliding it under your cookies to place them on your baking sheet.
- Bake them for 30 minutes. You may need to leave them in longer or take them out sooner depending on how your oven works.
- Repeat steps 5-11 until all of your dough is used.
- If you want to add a topping, drizzle a little extra molasses and stick your treats in the fridge until it hardens.
Voila! Tasty Halloween treats for your horse!
5. Plan an Autumn Ride Through the Leaves
Maybe you’re really not into Halloween, but fall is your favorite time of year. Plan a trail ride with friends where you go to a special place and ride through the fall colors. Riding through the leaves can be a great training exercise and also a great way to celebrate the changing of the seasons.
A trail ride doesn’t have to be about the destination. Make it about the journey too.
Take pictures in the leaves with your friends and post them to social media. Bring a hot beverage and some cups with you, and at the end of the trail ride enjoy something to warm yourself up with.
If you decide to enjoy the crisp fall air try to plan this trail ride before the autumn rains start coming in. That magical spot in the middle of October when everything is pretty, but not so soaked that you’re sinking up to your knees and mud (depending on where you live) is a fantastic time to go for a colorful trail ride with your best friend.
In need of supplies to make your Halloween dreams come true? Haunt your way into your local Wilco Farm Store for the spooky items you can’t find anywhere else.
We would love to see your horse photos, use #mywilcolife on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag Wilco Stores.