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Horse Pasture Toys
 By Winniefield Park   •   6th Aug 2017   •   1,246 views   •   0 comments


Toys can help a horse pass the time in a stall and provide entertainment to pastured horses. Some horses are more curious than others and will love playing with things they can pick up, toss or manipulate in some way. Young horses are more likely to play with a toy than older ones, although there are certainly exceptions to that rule. The addition of a treat appearing now and then can make many horses even more excited about playing with an object.

Horses will eventually get bored with a toy and forget about it. When that happens, replace it with something else and bring it out when the novelty of the new item wears off. Whether a toy is homemade, or store bought, once it breaks itís important to clean up the pieces so they donít end up a hazard.

Repurposed Items
Old milk jugs hung from a string, stuffed animals, buckets, lightweight tires and other items that are probably lying around and donít cost a cent have been used as stall toys forever. You can get creative with home made toys. Put a small hole, just big enough for a treat to fall through in a bucket, and hang it with some treats inside. As the horse pushes the bucket around, a treat will eventually fall out. Or, stick a carrot or apple slice through the hole.

Highway cones are sturdy and can take a lot of abuse, which is exactly what will happen when some horses start flailing them around. A small plastic barrel is good for pushing around, and with a few holes can be used to dispense treats. Old clothes, feed bags, and other textiles can be good for horses to pick up and wave around. Just make sure there are no buttons, staples or sharp zippers. Likewise, with stuffed animals, make sure any plastic eyes or noses are removed so they arenít swallowed.

Balls
Jolly Balls is one name brand that has been around for a long time, and are made for both dogs and horses. These sturdy plastic balls have a handle so the horse can pick it up. There are even larger balls that horses can wrestle with, kick and chase. Exercise balls made for humans probably wonít last long with a horse. The ones made for horses are extremely tough and can take the weight of a horse without breaking.

Licks
There are quite of few different types of licks available. The most simple is a lump of salt suspended on a rope. Other licks spin or rotate and may have a refillable center made of salts and minerals, or sweet treats. Some are made so you put your own treats in, such as a portion of your horseís daily grain.

Treat Dispensers
These are the commercial version of the bucket with the hole. The difference, besides the price, is that it will probably be much sturdier than an old bucket. Some are made to be filled with the grain you normally feed, or other treats such as carrot or apple slices. Others will require you to buy a specific type of treat refill. There are ones that your horse rolls around on the ground to knock a treat out, can be mounted on a stall wall or fence, or hung from the ceiling or a tree branch. Since I think itís best if your horse plays as well as eats with its head down, Iíd be more likely to buy one that doesnít hang.

Spinners
Like fidget spinners for horses, spinners may or may not have an edible treat inside. Some are made of plastic that smells yummy. But, mounted in a stall, these sturdy toys may help a mouthy horse, who would otherwise be chewing the walls, stay busy.
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