Everyone who has horses buys treats of some description. Be it to bribe them into a trailer, or to persuade them to leave their field mates. For me, I use treats for Phoenix’s various carrot stretches and to disguise Otis’s sweet itch tablets.

Anyway, this means that I ended up in the tack shop the other week looking at rows and rows of various treats. And honestly, it’s mind boggling.

And expensive.

Let’s take a look, and compare the prices.

Spillers horse treats – £6.29 per kilo.

Global herbs treats – £10.79 for a three kilo bag. That’s £3.60 per kilo. Half the price of the Spillers ones!

NAF treats – £7.29 per kilo. These are by far the most expensive on the market.

Equine America treats (these have coconut in and get a suspicious sniff when first offered) – £7.95 for four kilos. At £1.99 per kilo they are almost four times cheaper than the NAF ones.

This is where it gets interesting. A tub of Baileys Tasty Treats is £9.29 for five kilos. That’s a reasonable £1.86 per kilo. If you’re going to buy a tub of treats, this is probably the best value for money.

That is, until you realise that these treats are identical to the 20 kilo bags of Baileys Fibre Plus nuggets. Which can be purchased for £10.25.

That’s fifty pence per kilo!

Obviously we bought the twenty kilo bag and decanted them into several Quality Street tins so that they didn’t lose their freshness.

I was horrified at the daylight robbery in the tack shop. We equestrians really need to consider how much we spend on treats. Horses don’t care if their treats come in colourful packets or not. We’ll consider the sugar levels, obesity and negative effects on behaviour of various treats another day. A horse treat only needs to be bland and with a low calorific value. Really, the pure fibre approach of Baileys tasty treats is perfect and I’m yet to meet a horse who’s turned their nose up at them. But what is wrong, is the extortionate price difference between a “treat” and a “feed”. Also, consider the environmental impact of a paper bag (which can be used to store potatoes over winter) carrying twenty kilos of treats, compared to the equivalent twenty plastic bags of alternative treats. By being attracted to the pretty packaging and falling for the marketing ploys we’re all being taken for a ride.

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