Enrichment for Horses
A picture is a thousand words, and this picture pretty much sums it up.
Horses are designed to forage. Foraging is an innate behavior that not only sustains the horse, but also mentally satisfies the horse. As you can see here, this savvy fella prefers foraging from his feeder over loose hay. That is because horses are designed to browse, nibble and graze. Not only is the horse designed to efficiently digest his food when consumed in a foraging manner, but the horse is mentally satisfied when foraging, too.
Long gone are the days of throwing a few flakes out at 7am and at 5pm. Foraging from a slow feeder extends feeding time 2-7x's over throwing hay on the ground or the stall floor. Having restricted, continuous forage is stimulating, calming, and satisfying to the horse.
Ok now let's kick it up a notch...providing several different type of forage either in layers in one feeder, or providing several feeders, each with a different variety of forage! This is how we feed. We have 9 different types of hay here on the farm and typically feed 3 different hay types each day. Our 4 horses curiously enjoy browsing from feeder to feeder.
We've been in the slow feeding business since 2008. It is such a blessing to see the horse industry adopt practices that compliment the horse's innate need to forage. Hallelujah!