Established in 1948, the Horse of the Year Show takes place in autumn to celebrate the end of the equestrian season. Days will become colder and wetter now, and our elegant friends will slowly but surely start to spend more and more time in the stable. Horses are intelligent animals, and being cooped up can’t be fun. While some horse toys out there are known to be good, many only enjoy a couple of uses before they are punctured or destroyed; thus encouraging you to go out and buy a new one because Rocky liked playing with it. Surely there are things we could make ourselves for a fraction of the cost which are not harmful to our animals.
One of the first things to bear in mind is that you are the one who best knows your horse, so some of these toys may not be ideal for your equine friend if they don’t enjoy noise or are afraid of “flying” things. Another thing is to be aware that just because you can’t go out with your horse it doesn’t mean they don’t need some company. Go and visit them, several short visits a day if you can. They need to be kept stimulated and interested in their surroundings.
We had a look around the internet for some handmade toys for horses to keep them stimulated in the upcoming months. Here is what we found!
1. Fill a bottle or jug-like container with treats, grains, whatever you horse likes. Poke some holes in and either hang it so they have to nudge it with their mouth, or leave on the ground so they push it around.
2. Take a football and put it in a haylage net. Weave a bailer band around the net and tie it tight around the top cutting off the excess. Squeeze in some carrot and hang the ball from the ceiling. You can find a visual explanation here.
3. Swede on a string. Perhaps the most simple thing to make: drill a hole through and pass a bailer band through the centre. Endless nibbling time.
4. Apple bobbing. By simply placing some apples in water, the swaying of the water and the lightness of the apples will make catching the apples a tad more challenging than simply picking them from your hand.
5. Leave a barrel or keg in their pen so they can kick it around. You could also put some rocks in so it rattles.
What other toys have you made for your horse? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @Preloved!