Many studies have shown over the years that horses who do not live in the wild live happier, healthier lives if they are able to play and roam around their environment. Allowing your horse to do things they would do in their natural habitat or in the wild, whilst also allowing them different ways to work their food, is known as enrichment and is essential to ensuring your horse is content.
Whilst some horses are no longer wild animals, they still need physical and mental stimulation. In order to ensure that your horse has the stimulation they need, it is important to ensure there are enough toys to keep them entertained.
Whilst it is not always possible for your horse to be outdoors, there are a number of ways you can make their stable a little more fun.
Eating and playing
As all horse lovers know – they love to eat! Whilst one of their favourite pastimes is eating their feed, there are ways to make it even more interesting and make it last a little longer for them. There is a huge amount of feeding toys available in the market today. Horse toys are extremely useful – some more than others depending on your horse’s needs.
One of the most popular toys to be used during feeding time is the Snack a Ball. This toy will allow feeding time to be enhanced and a lot of fun. The ball is designed to have dry feed poured into it and will allow small amounts to fall out as the horse plays with it. The extension of feeding times will encourage natural foraging behaviour. These toys are ideal for overweight horses but can be used for all.
Horses love to play games and get involved with different objects they can play with. Non-edible toys are more beneficial than ones that can be eaten as they last longer.
The jolly flyer is ideal for horses as it works as a pacifier and means that your horse can bite on it in its mouth and not negatively affect the teeth or mouth. This toy is aimed to be thrown in the air and caught by your horse – a favoured horse game that is fun for both parties.
Choosing a toy for your horse
When choosing the right toy for your horse to play with, it is important that you ensure it is safe and durable. Choosing the right toy can be difficult, so here are some tips to help you along the way:
• Ensure it is safe to use and will not hurt your horse
• Make sure that your horse is interested in the toy
• Choose plastic barrels for horses in the paddock
Also, remember that horses have an amazing ability to get themselves into trouble so be careful when purchasing a horse toy.