Slow and Happy

I was happy to see all the positive comments in "Sizing Up Slow Feeders" (EQUUS 410). We installed slow-graze feeders six months ago, and we will never go back to the "old way"! We used to feed three times a day, but taking hay into the paddock with many hungry horses vying for the first bite is intimidating and dangerous, no matter how well behaved they usually are. The dominant horses will chase and buck at the lower ranking horses, continuing all the way down the pecking order, with me caught in the middle of it all. We also wasted a huge amount at every feeding because it would get trampled on or pushed aside to get to the "good stuff" at the bottom of the pile.

We built our own slow feeders, and the waste is now, for the most part, nonexistent. And because the horses graze 24-7, the "ranking wars" have been greatly toned down. We have even eliminated extra feedings that were given to help some of the horses gain or maintain weight. Overall, they are all much calmer and happier, and they've never looked better.

The slow feeders are easier on our schedule, too. It is no longer necessary for someone to be here to carry out hay at a certain time of day. We fill the feeders every two days or so, an easy job with my tractor, and we can go out at our leisure to check on them, fluff the hay, etc. The horses still get excited when the feeders are filled, but now it is just fun to see, without all the battles. The boarders have commented on the calmer nature of their horses, too, which certainly pleases us. We wouldn't feed any other way now!

Patti M, from Ariss, Ontario