We all get bored from time to time, at work, at school, even at home. And it's easy for us to decide to pick up a book, or turn on the TV or the computer - anything to keep us busy. Obviously our horses do not have that luxury… Yes, they are ridden, but some less then others, and some, even less. Maybe due to injury, age or other circumstances, but nonetheless, we try our best to keep their minds occupies as best we can.
We give them toys! I can remember the first time I saw a horse play with a Jolly Ball. He was afraid of it at first, but after a few weeks did learn to toss it around and enjoy it from time to time. The makers of the Jolly Ball have also made a stall toy with a built in snack too ~ the Jolly Stall Snack.
Four specific horses were chosen to try out the Jolly Stall Snacks, all Apple flavored. Horse A was on stall rest with bowed tendons; Horse B is a bit of a weaver. He is ridden and turned out regularly and no matter how many toys, mirrors, etc, nothing helps, so we’ll try any bit of stimulation for him; Horse C is nibbler – fanatic for treats, actually begs like a dog for them and simply deserves a stall treat; and Horse D is simply plain, nothing to say about him!
We hung them from above so that the horses could not only lick at them but play with them if they chose to. At first only none of them even noticed the treats so we actually had to show and entice them to their new toys. Even then, only Horse C seemed to enjoy the Jolly Stall Snack on a regular basis, the others seemed to have little interest. A few licks here and there and, well, at least they knew what they were!
When our horses are inside they spend more time towards the front of their stalls as opposed to the backs looking out their windows. We had originally hung them towards the back of their stalls, but after a few weeks decided to move them towards the front of their stalls to see if that helped and it did. We realized moving the snacks towards the front helped them lick at them more frequently since that was where they were anyway. Apparently they were too lazy to walk a few feet for them!
Horse C began to enjoy his Snack more and more as time went on, and his was gone after the end of one month. After 2 months of use, the remaining 3 of our snacks still looked about 75% full. We catch them licking at them every so often, as a normal salt block would be used. We have yet to see a horse actually play with one though. But they are cute hanging in the stalls! The Jolly Stall Snacks would make a great gift for your horse (or any one else’s horse) for their birthday too! They are available in Apple, Mint or Carrot flavors.