Horse toy ideas?
Idle hooves really are the devil's workshop! My boy has begun playing with his feeder :evil:He has ripped it off the wall twice and is finding new ways to be destructive with it all the time. The worst part, is that the barn is about 90 ft. from my bedroom window, and I lay awake at night thinking evil thoughts about my boy while listening to him banging away at his feeder.
I already feed him out of a slow feed net, it does help, but when it goes empty he starts in destroying things. I can't afford to feed free choice and he gets morbidly obese if I over-feed too often. During the day he's not so bad because he plays with the other horses, but at night everyone eats separately and are penned separately so the minis don't hog all of the food.
Any Ideas on how to keep my horse entertained at night will be greatly appreciated! Inexpensive ideas will be appreciated even more:-P.
You could use a milk jug! Either hang it from rafters or just leave it on the ground and let him roll it around. Inside you could either put rocks so it makes noise or treats and cut a hole in it so he has incentive.
Or a jolly ball with a hole cut in it and again put treats. I also read on another post a mirror or a lick it.
Are you stalling him @ night? I have a run-in for my mares, so they can come/go/wander about all night if they choose - would that be an option? If not, maybe a few different tasty salt licks? I have a jolly apple hanging in the shed, and one can buy different flavors and they can only lick on. Maybe get another net and put it on the other end so he'll have 2 choices + the jolly apple? May not help, but it's all I can come up with :)
You could hang a salt lick for him?
Himalayan Salt Licks - Horse Mineral Supplements from SmartPak Equine
I borrowed an Amazing Graze from a friend for a while and found that it's really about what you put it in it. I originally tried a couple carrots broken into ~1.5" pieces, but he wasn't all that interested in them and there'd still be a piece or two left after a couple days. Then I tried putting alfalfa cubes in there and found that he LOVES those. He'd pick chasing the toy around to get the cubes out even when he had grain and hay easily accessible! Unfortunately, he'd keep going until they were gone instead of getting a few and then coming back to it later, so it only lasted him about half an hour (with 1 lb of cubes) before he would empty it, kick it into a corner, and leave it alone until I refilled it.
I also have a Jolly Stall Snack & Ball. My horse wouldn't touch the Jolly Snacks (I don't blame him... it looked like a block of wax) so I replaced it with Uncle Jimmy's Licky Things (I alternate between the regular ones and the sugar free ones) and as long as he doesn't find a way to pin it against the wall, it takes him about a week and a half to go through the snack. I've never seen him play with the ball, but I did find it knocked over the wall to his neighbor's stall a few times before I moved it so maybe he does get something out of it...
I like the idea of a mirror, too, but haven't tried it myself. You'd have to get a shatterproof one to make it safe.
This is Fargo's feeder (ugly I know) He has pulled the hay net part off repeatedly, now he is starting to work on the barrel below. It is bolted on well enough that I'm afraid he will damage the wall if he keeps pulling at it:cry:.
Fargo isn't stalled at night, his pen is70'x32' and he can play over the fence w/the minis as long as they are near the barn, but they often sleep at the far end of the paddock away from F's pen. He also has a big exercise ball, a rubber trough he likes to kick around and he plays with his grain pan a lot(I find it crammed into his hay net on a regular basis).
Because he can see other horses, I'm not sure he would pay any attention to a mirror. I have tried milk jugs with treats in them with stalled horses, but I worry about anything that drops a treat or food on the ground because he is prone to sand colic. I was looking at the Jolly Apples and Licky Things, It is good to know not all horses like the Jolly apple blocks, so I don't buy a ton of them only to find he hates them.
OOOOH Brain storm while looking @ photo and reading everyone's great posts! What do you think about tethering some sort of treat dispenser into the bottom of his barrel?
I've been kicking around the idea of knotting ropes onto trees so my gelding can go around and play with em. He's a knot untying suck anyways.
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You could get something like this and attach it to the wooden part at the top of the feeder. Not sure how tall that it though. Likit Tongue Twister - Horse Toys from SmartPak Equine
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hang a jolly ball or milk jug from a rope. Put a handfull of un-cooked beans in the milk jug for a rattle. My donkey loves it! Loop a long lead rope around something sturdy & put a few knots in it for something for him to pull on.
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