When I went away recently with 2 of my horses, this was the first bit of packing to be done. It’s a standard part of my food shopping, multi-packs of mints.
All my horses are used to me having polos in my pocket, and rewarding them frequently. None of them bite. They don’t even nip. The most they do, occasionally, is a very gentle search with their muzzle, a polite indicator that they know where the treasure is (right hip pocket) but that I somehow seem to have forgotten about it.
My horses are all ridiculously easy to catch, they come running. I’m quite happy to accept that it’s probably cupboard love rather than outright devotion.
They’ll do silly things for me, like accept the indignity of weeing into a bucket which I hold up under them when I bring them into the stables. Saves bedding, prevents having smelly stables. They know they will get a polo straight after, so they ‘perform’ then look for it!
Ever since an equine dentist told me that the enamel on horses’ teeth is not the same as humans’, and that eating polos will not cause their teeth to rot, I’ve been happy to feed as many as I want to.
Mint is traditionally used to help upset stomachs, examples here, so I like to think that it might possibly help to ward off the dreaded colic. Worth a try.
If I’m about to get on one who might be a bit tricky, I give it a few to divert their attention as I mount. It’s worked so far…
Of course, Tilly’s article highlights another time-honoured use for them.
I always give one or two straight after a schooling or jumping session, as a thankyou for the horse’s hard work. It’s worth it. Polos keep them sweet!