There comes a time in most horse’s lives when they need to be stabled. Whether that is due to reduced turn out during winter, or they’re on box rest after an injury, as horse owners we sometimes need to find ways to keep our horses entertained in their stables.
So, here are my 4 tips for reducing stable boredom for your horse:
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Encourage your horse to move around
In the fields the horses will move around and graze all day long at their leisure. A stable bound horse cannot do this so it’s important as owners that we try to encourage them to keep moving as much as possible.
Split your hay into several small-holed haynets and hang them in different areas around their stable, or provide them a hayball to stop your horse from standing in one spot all day long. If you feed your horse a hard feed, you could also consider putting their balancer inside a treat ball to encourage them to move around and work a bit harder for their breakfast!
Give your horse some toys to play with
Horses often get bored in the stable as they have very little to do, especially if they finish their haynet quite quickly. Luckily, there are so many different horse treats and toys you can provide them with now to keep a stabled horse busy for longer.
From hanging treats, to stuffing your haynets with carrots, using treat balls, tying up carrots with baling twine or leaving apples bobbing in the water buckets – there are lots of fun and easy ways to keep your horse occupied in the stable.
For more ways to keep your horse entertained in the stable, here are 7 products to help your horse beat boredom.
Give your horse something to look at
Stable mirrors may seem like an odd invention for horses but they exist for a reason. In fact, mirrors have been proven to have a calming effect on stabled horses.
Working to relieve feelings of stress and boredom, stable mirrors help horses suffering from loneliness or boredom in the stable. If your horse is stabled for a lengthy amount of time, a stable mirror might help to make up for the lack of time they're able to spend with their herd.
Consider your horse's eating habits
Naturally horses are grazers, so when we stable them we often take this natural habit away from them. Instead of grazing throughout the day, they suddenly only eat when we supply them with haynets. This can be detrimental to the horse’s physical and mental wellbeing.
So, if you can, consider feeding a constant supply of hay in the stable. As horse owners it’s easy to get stressed about the idea of over-feeding our horses but leaving them with a constant supply often means they’re actually less likely to gorge out on their hay. Try splitting the hay across several nets, using small-holed nets, or a hay ball to slow their eating down.
- Please note: I am not a vet and so everything in this article is based on opinion/what works for my own horses. -
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- Parallax Hay Ball Review
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