Andy's got into a bad habit. When I feed him, he'll put his face in the feed bucket and toss it over violently with his nose, flinging feed all over the ground. Then he'll use his nose to right the bucket again, then start eating what's left in it. He's wasting a lot of feed this way, and it's driving me nuts because he's a skinny TB and is beginning to lose his winter weight.
I've tried putting his bucket in a tyre, but he still manages to tip feed all over the place. He can't move the bucket but he can lever the feed out of the bucket and into the air. I've bought him a fence feeder that looks like this
, and it's helping, but he still attempts to toss his feed out. Plus it's impractical because I have to take him to the fence to feed him after our ride, and I'd much prefer him to eat at the tie-ups while I groom and blanket him. For right now, I've pretty much given up and feed him only on grass, so that when he tips the feed out, he won't be eating dirt. Once the feed in his bucket has come out, he'll alternate between eating it off the ground and eating it from the bucket.
He does enjoy his feed! He gets copra, beta beet, lucerne/meadow chaff mix, and maxim-low GI. He will eat it all if I let him. So that's not the issue.
I wonder if he's claustrophobic having his head in a bucket, so he solves that problem by throwing his feed out and eating it off the ground, where he can see all around him. I'm thinking about using a wider, shallow tray-type bucket, but I'm wary of spending more money, that fence feeder cost me more than I was willing to pay.
I know you guys can't give me guarantees that it'll work, but do any of you have experiences with horses that play with their food like this? What helped you?