Boredom Busters - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-03-2020, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Boredom Busters

So I have a Paint mare who is bored out of her mind every night when I bring her in from the grass.. And on days she doesn't get turnout. I was thinking about buying her a Likit or two and seeing if that helps. Anyone have any other advice for good boredom busters for horses?!? She's eating my fences and I just cannot allow that to happen. I've started wiring the fences (and some have hot wire) but I'd rather keep her busy and happy.
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-03-2020, 07:29 AM
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Why not leave her out?
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Short horse lover
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-03-2020, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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She's out in a very large dry lot 24/7. Never locked in a stall. She cannot stay on the grass as we don't have much and it gets grazed down to nothing in a couple of days. We're only on 2.5 acres and we have 4 horses. Come winter we get nothing but rain for weeks and our grassy areas will turn to mud and be ruined if the horses are left out. So that's not a long term option anyways.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-03-2020, 06:28 PM
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Do you have a round bale out? I know it's a lot of waste but we have 2 horses on 2 acres and to save the pasture we have to have a constant feed source out there.

No matter how much you think you know about horses, there will always be one that'll come along and teach you something new.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-03-2020, 07:30 PM
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Horse in probably not bored. Just trying to get something in her stomach to dilute the acid. They can't turn it on and off like we can ya'know. Some horses learn to sip water constantly to keep the acid diluted.


They may over eat at first but most soon learn to self regulate in time with free choice hay. Alfalfa might be a problem for some. Mine get's free choice bermuda grass hay with some buffalo grass and weeds pasture.


If they start gaining weight, use a hay net to keep something in the stomach but not too much. Keeps them busy and something else to eat other than the fence.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-07-2020, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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She's fed 4 times a day, 3 if she's out on grass, her weight is great. She's a happy horse, just bored on the days she's on the dry lot. She didn't start doing this until about 2 weeks ago when a horse we had on trial was doing it. That horse has since left but Callie picked up the habit in that time unfortunately. She's been here for months without a hint of an issue. I don't do round bales. My horses would explode, 2 are minis who would literally eat themselves to death. And round bales can cause heaves from the horses burying their faces in the center and breathing in the dust, so yeah, that's not something I'm willing to risk.

Anywhoo, I've gotten a Likit for her and have strung up some apples for her to play with/eat and she seems content for now.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-07-2020, 03:08 AM
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Hay in a hay ball (additional to a net) and any hard feed in a treat ball- takes my mare about 40mins to eat her dinner this way and she is so absorbed in it. Hay ball amazing for when they run out of net and just need nibbles. Seriously they are expensive but my most worthwhile purchases. Small haynets with a treat in the middle they have to get to. When my mare was stalled and I could see her more often I at one point put 4 smaller nets in each corner and stuffed an apple or a carrot or pear slice at the middle and she would rotate between them.

Braided hay as thickly as I could (damping it helped slightly) and hung it around. Or just a really tight hay ball that needs some chewing. I always used a thick rope for this instead of twine if needed any to hang. Depending on bedding (straw was ours, no she didn't eat it fortunately :p) I would hide her dinner around and she would have to dig and forage. Not everyone likes having their neat bed destroyed but as I filled her entire stall it didn't really matter to me. Wouldn't do on sand dirt or shavings. I also put tiny treats hidden in unsuspecting areas where she could reach - on a higher ledge etc. A carrot stuffed in a spare rung by the door. It was hilarious as she got to a point she would do an "inspection". Now we are full time pasture I STILL use the treat ball for dinner and hayball for fun.

Chopped apple in water bucket. I even considere getting one of those timer treat dispensers for dogs/cats and hanging it out of reach lol so it could drop on the floor.

I like treats but what I usually do is cut halve her hard feed and give the rest as above or in some enriching way.

She never took to any lick and I must have bought about 6.... $$%$€€€!!!

Sorry got carried away there...
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-07-2020, 07:48 AM
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Great story and great example of what it means to truly 'care' for a horse.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-08-2020, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Kalraii thank-you for a response that is actually helpful. I was looking at the hay balls but I don't know anyone who uses them so wasn't sure how useful they really were. I'm glad to hear it's helpful! I will look into that for sure.

I am genuinely surprised at how well she's taken to the Likit. It's got obvious wear on it from just 2 days of use. I will be buying more to hang up for her in other spots.

I hung a couple of apples from strings yesterday and she had to work for a while to figure out how to get it. So that's something I'll probably do more often for her.

I'm also trying to find an additional person to come ride her on the days I can't. I'm recovering from a serious concussion so she hasn't been ridden as much this last week as she normally is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
Great story and great example of what it means to truly 'care' for a horse.
Are you talking about me? Can't tell if this is serious or sarcastic. Hard to read the tone through a computer screen. I DO care for my horse a lot, which is why I'm trying to go out of my way to keep her happy and entertained, and I'm working with the environment I have to the best of my abilities. I really just want my girl to be happy in her environment.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-08-2020, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caycev View Post


Are you talking about me? Can't tell if this is serious or sarcastic. Hard to read the tone through a computer screen.

I was referring to @Kalraii post above and I was dead serious. In the area where I am living there are too many horses that only briefly see their owner when they throw some hay in the pen, turn and walk away.


It was just so heartening to see/read about someone doing those things for their horse that I felt compelled to make a positive comment.


Personally, there's hardly a day goes by that I don't hug my horse.
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