EVER wondered what your horse does in the stable all day when you’re not there? Do they only eat and sleep? Studies have found that horses typically spent four to 15 hours a day in standing rest and minutes to several hours laying down. They also typically sleep at night leaving them to be awake during the day (Chung et al, 2018).
Knowing this only strengthens the question, what does your horse do in the stable?
65% of people believe horses have the capacity to feel boredom (Hötzel et al, 2019) and this is further supported by a study conducted by Schork et al (2018), which found that the most intelligent, curious and playful horses are the most susceptible to becoming bored and begin expressing stereotypical behaviours, such as cribbing, windsucking and weaving.
How can you reduce your horse’s boredom?
We at Old Mill Saddlery have a range of products in licks and toys that can help break your horse’s boredom in the stable such as:
Old Mill Saddlery Horse Play Ball
This is our very own horse ball and is an excellent boredom buster, which is approx. 10 inches in height. It features a handle, so your horse can grip onto it with their teeth to swing and throw it about. This is sure to keep them entertained for hours. This item is retailing at only £15.95!
Stubbs Rock N Roll Ball
This ball has been designed as a dribble treat feeder to keep your horse very busy for a while. They can be filled with your horse’s favourite treats. The dispensing hole is 30mm and suits most treats. It is shaped in such a way that it is difficult to roll in a straight line. Filling it is easy and quick. They are moulded from ultra-tough Stubbythene with no plugs, stoppers or other removable parts. This item could be yours for only £21.65!
Parallax Hay Play
This toy is the perfect boredom breaker for both the stable and the field. These sturdy, hardwearing, practical balls, which you fill with your forage, are perfect to keep your horse entertained and their brain active when being turned out or left for longer periods of time. It will also slow their eating habits down allowing for further digestion of hay! They are available in a range of colours and retail at £49.95!
Likit Tongue Twister
This is the perfect way to combine the traditional lick and a stable or field toy, which can be fixed securely to a wall, the ball section is designed to take two little Likits. The ball rotates when licked by the horse to extend the period of interest and hence keeping their brain active. You can pick this up for £25.95 and the Likit refills are only £2.95 each!
All products mentioned in this article are available from Old Mill Saddlery. Please see our website: www.saddlery.biz or call us directly on 028 9335 3268.
Chung, E.L.T., Khairuddin, N.H., Azizan, T.R.P.T. and Adamu, L. (2018). Sleeping patterns of horses in selected local horse stables in Malaysia. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 26, pp.1-4.
Hötzel, M.J., Vieira, M.C. and Leme, D.P. (2019). Exploring horse owners’ and caretakers’ perceptions of emotions and associated behaviors in horses. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 29, pp.18-24.
Schork, I.G., de Azevedo, C.S. and Young, R.J. (2018). Personality, abnormal behaviour, and health: An evaluation of the welfare of police horses. PloS one, 13(9), p.e0202750.