This haynet under the trees is better:


but not perfect because when Rosie eats from the top of it


she does this:


They have to tug at a haynet, but I had hoped to eliminate that upward jerk of the head and neck when I lowered the haynets. Ben does not seem to have this problem, being taller:


Haynets are convenient. They are quick to fill, keep hay off the ground and in one place and they slow down the rate of eating, which for Ben is essential. When Ben and Rosie are on the track full-time, and that time is approaching again, I tie two haynets under the trees and two more in the opposing diagonal corner at the highest part of the paddock. They like both areas, depending on weather, and haynets in both places keep them walking around the track. (The water is in another corner at the stable yard which encourages more movement.)

I had been going to buy smaller mesh haynets but I need to do a bit more research now.

The beauty of the internet is the amount of information at the click of a mouse. This website is a great resource for anything to do with track systems and slow feeders.



Filed under stable management, track system

6 responses to “Haynets

  1. I am not fond of that jerking thing either. We use haynets about … 30% of the time. Our main way of feeding hay is on the ground – I sprinkle it in a trail all the way around the pasture and then make a few interesting “patterns” which keeps them moving. I would never have believed how much they enjoy this “grazing” for hay, but they do.

    It takes longer than just making piles, but the sight of them moving, head down, the way they would if they were out foraging in the wild, keeps me doing it.

    It does get messy if dealing with rain, but then I just put out less so they are sure to eat it up.

    • Billie, that’s what I would love to do but with the amount of wind we get here not to mention rain almost every day there is just too much waste. I like the idea of making them patterns with the hay.

  2. Someone on one of the lists I’m on made “hay tubs” using water troughs with a fitted mesh “grate” that goes inside on top of the hay and slides down as they eat the hay down. He drilled holes in the bottom so the tubs would drain if it rained, and had several of these at various points along his track. I think he had the tubs themselves attached to posts or trees so the horses couldn’t knock them around. It was a pretty neat idea, and since they’re more solid than nets, it limits that jerking motion.

    I keep thinking someone should sell “horse sod squares” – with grass that is low sugar and has the perfect mineral mix. You just spread them around where you want to and let the horses go. 🙂

    • I like the sound of those squares.

      I wonder how the mesh grate was secured to the trough, so that it could not be lifted up and so that it slid easily down as the hay went down. It does sound like a good idea.

  3. June

    Thanks for the link – it is full of interesting stuff.

    Chloe has that same white mark across her nose as Rose does – from wearing a halter that rubbed at some time in the past, do you think?

    • June, I am sure that mark on Rosie is from a too-tight head-collar. Ben’s blaze also has a jagged bit over the nose, which I am sure is from a head-collar as well. It is quite depressing to think what is done to horses through ignorance.