Horses are intelligent creatures that need stimulation throughout the day. Because they are herd animals in the wild, they are constantly stimulated by their herdmates. Because of this, it is important to make sure your horse has plenty of stimulation when it is on its own. This can be the case in a pasture or a stall. Some of the best toys are ones that will keep your horse entertained either with treats or just the act of playing with the toy. A variety of toys will keep your horse entertained and stimulated-- for just the right amount of time. In this article, we will discuss a variety of toys, as well as safety in making sure your horse is properly taken care of. Find the following in this article:
In addition to being social animals, studies show that horses are intelligent. Therefore, they crave stimulation in the realm of work or play. So if they are not working all the time, it is beneficial and positive to provide your horse with some sort of toys so they can play in their stall or the pasture.
Toys can additionally provide mental stimulation that isn’t just work all of the time. With their intelligence can come the possibility of boredom. In this sense, if there is a monotonous routine that they fall into, a number of bad habits can occur, such as cribbing, weaving, or excessive chewing.
Playing with toys is the perfect way to avoid these habits, while providing your horse with positive outlets. Read on for some of the best toys that your horse can play with!
In the pasture, a large sturdy yoga type ball is the perfect toy for your horse to play with. They can push it with their nose or legs, and the bright colors are equally as stimulating. You can start to kick the ball around to encourage your horse that the ball is for playing, and they will get the idea and start to play with it. Be careful though! You don’t want your horse to charge at you.
Other toys that dispense treats are good for horses, as they are very food motivated animals. Find toys that you can fill up with low-density feeds and then the horse can interact with the toy and be rewarded.
The Jolly Ball is similar to a yoga ball mentioned above, but it has a handle that the horse can hold onto it with. Then, they can shake it back and forth almost as though they are nodding yes. This will stimulate them and provide hours of entertainment.
In the stall, a hanging toy ball that is scented with apple will surely entice your horse. It is also filled with treats, so your horse will have a constant desire to play with the toy. Toys that have treats can also provide your horse with the proper amount of foods that it should be eating.
Another toy for the stall is a hanging salt lick. The hard salt lick will not easily break into pieces, and the horse will be gaining important nutrients by licking the salt.
Pick from the variety of these toys or mix and match them to find what best suits your horse!
Make sure you are paying attention to the toys that your horse is playing with, as some of them are made of plastic and while durable, can eventually break down into smaller pieces, potentially injuring your horse.
Also be sure that the toys your horse is playing with are appropriate to the space they are playing with them in. For example, the large ball is meant to be played with in a paddock or pasture with plenty of room to kick the ball and chase after it, while the treat toys and salt licks are more appropriate for smaller areas.
Finding the right toys for your horse is important in keeping your horse engaged and preventing boredom in its stall. From toys that dispense treats to large colorful balls, you are sure to help your horse remain happy and healthy.
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