Service Project: Make and deliver horse cookies to a horse rescue organization
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cost: $24 ($4 for carrots, $10 for oats and $10 for molasses)
Duration: 1 hour (this does not include the time to deliver the cookies)
Lesson(s) learned: Assist with the care of ailing animals
How we did it:
My daughter’s school recently learned about a wonderful non-profit, virtually in our backyard, called All About Equine. The core objectives of All About Equine Animal Rescue are to; “rescue and rehabilitate abused, neglected, abandoned, unwanted, and/or slaughter-bound animals, primarily equines; to provide animals with food, shelter, care and handling; and veterinary care, as needed; to utilize a strategic process for matching healthy, rehabilitated animals with compatible, loving, and permanent adoptive homes; to provide long term care for unadoptable animals; and to educate the community about abused, neglected, abandoned, unwanted, and/or slaughter-bound animals, primarily equines (About).”
After learning about All About Equine, Addie and her peers had fun making cookies for the horses. Yes, you read that correctly. They are called Horse Cookies! Hey, horses like treats, too! These “cookies” are not your typical chocolate chip or sugar cookies. These are cookies made with yummy, healthy ingredients that can be frozen and then thawed when you’re ready to feed them to a lucky horse.
What is really neat about this project is that your child can get “down and dirty” with these ingredients. It’s an extremely tactile activity that serves as a great time to talk about neglected or abandoned animals with your child. With Addie, since she’s only 3 years old, I focused on discussing the responsibility of taking care of animals and that sometimes people don’t always do a great job of that. I then directed the conversation to help her realize that the carrots that she was shredding up would become food for horses that were sick or hurt. Addie constantly amazes me with her capacity to care deeply for people or animals that are sick or hurt. In all the community service projects that she has done, the ones where she is helping ailing people or animals are the ones that she talks about the most. During those discussions with her, I find myself imagining what she is going to grow up to be.
Another great thing about this project is that the cookies are FUN to make! Here’s how to do it;
What you will need to make the horse cookies:
5lbs of carrots
12oz of molasses
8 cups of oats
Using a blender, food processor or knife, cut the carrots into small pieces (a food processor works the best). In a large bowl, stir in 3/4 of the molasses until the carrot mixture is thoroughly coated. Mix in most of the oats (set about 10% aside) until you have a big, goopy bowl of horse-yummyness. Add the last of the molasses, ensuring that all the oats are covered. Form large balls from the combined mixture and then roll the balls in the left over oats.
There are so many organizations that rescue horses. A simple internet search yields tons of results! Find one in your area and get your children involved in this meaningful project. Not only will they get to have fun creating the horse cookies but it’s an activity where they will get to see, firsthand, the ailing creatures that they are helping. To say that it will “connect the dots” for them is an understatement! During our visit, Addie was able to visit with a two-week-old foal (baby horse) that days earlier was on the brink of death. She hasn’t stopped talking about how she helped that “baby.” You know what? She’s always smiling when she talks about it, too! #HappinessFollowsHelpfulness
Have fun creating your horse cookies!