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Boredom toys are a great way to enrich your horse’s environment and reduce frustration in the stall. These toys for horses were designed to be physically and mentally stimulating and keep your horse occupied for hours at a time.
When choosing the right stall toy for your horse, consider their nature and personality. If your horse is strongly motivated by treats, a clever treat dispenser is going to be your best bet. On the other hand, if they are curious and playful by nature, a fun rubber ball or traffic cone might be the perfect choice.
Keep in mind that safety always comes first, and you must ensure your horse won’t harm themselves with their toy. It’s also a good idea to keep a few different boredom breakers and rotate them regularly to maintain your horse’s interest.
Do Horses Need Enrichment?
In the wild, horses spend 15-17 hours a day grazing, which stimulates ample saliva production and maintains a healthy gut. The remaining hours are spent sleeping, traveling, and interacting with herd mates. However, in the domesticated environment, these natural behavior are often suppressed by confining horses to stalls or small paddocks.
Horses need enrichment to maintain their physical and mental well-being when they cannot express natural behaviors. There are many different ways to enrich a horse’s environment. Examples are stall toys, forage dispensers, or installing mirrors or windows in the stable.
When living in confinement for long periods of time, horses tend to develop bad habits known as stereotypies. These are repetitive actions horses perform as a way of coping with boredom and stress. Stereotypies can be detrimental to your horse’s health and include stall walking, box kicking, weaving, and cribbing.
Providing enrichment in stalls is known to reduce the occurrence of stereotypies. The best types of enrichment stimulate the horse’s natural behavior and engage them for hours at a time. Studies have shown that enriching your horse’s environment will even increase their friendliness towards humans!
Best Horse Stall and Boredom Toys
1. Horse Carrot Feed Toy
This inventive boredom toy for horses encourages natural foraging behaviors and will keep your horse entertained indoors. Simply inflate the ball with the plastic straw provided, wrap it snugly in the net, and insert the carrots!
The toy also comes with a rope for hanging in the stall. Make sure you hang it at around wither height to keep your horse from straining their neck or entangling themselves in the rope. You can also fill the net with hay or other fruits and vegetables that fit snugly around the ball.
2. Manna Pro Likit Boredom Breaker
Likit is a popular brand that produces nutritious licks and boredom toys for horses. This horse stall toy set includes a Likit Holder and a plastic ball with attachment sites for two Little Likits.
Treat your horse to tasty licks of various flavors with the Likit Boredom Breaker! Great for horses that are highly food-motivated and inquisitive. Just hang the toy set in the stall away from the walls and fill it with delicious licks!
Be aware that the Likit licks compatible with the toy are sold separately. Likit refills are available in various flavors horses love, including apple, banana, molasses, mint, cherry, and carrot.
3. Rubber Chicken Squeaky Horse Toy
Does your horse have a great sense of humor? Then he will enjoy playing with this squeaky rubber chicken designed for horses!
This fun horse boredom toy triggers a natural fetching instinct and encourages play in horses. Rest assured that the rubber chicken is made with non-toxic and durable materials and is safe for horses to chew.
This squeaky horse toy is also great for reducing frustration and stress in the stall or on the paddock. Who knows, the rubber chicken might become your horse’s new favorite companion!
4. Horse Treat Ball Hay Feeder
These swinging treat balls dispense hay at a slower rate and keep horses foraging for longer. If your horse tends to eat their hay quickly in the stable, hang these balls up to keep them occupied.
Making hay last longer not only keeps horses from getting bored, but is also essential for their digestive health. While chewing, horses produce large amounts of saliva that neutralize acids in the stomach. Leaving a horse without forage for just 1-2 hours is already enough to cause an upset stomach and cranky behavior.
Keeping a horse foraging is always a challenge in stables, especially if the horse is on stall rest. These horse stall toys encourage natural foraging behaviors and will counter the effects of stall confinement. The balls measure 5.5 inches in diameter each and are resistant to biting and stretching.
5. Horsemen’s 10″ Jolly Ball Horse Toy
Lively and energetic horses will have hours of fun playing with this colorful ball. It comes fully inflated and ready to go. You can either hang it up in the stable or throw it on the field and watch the play unfold.
Horsemen’s Jolly Ball is made of firm rubber that’s resistant to biting, kicking, and tearing. Measuring 10 inches in diameter, it’s the ideal size for horses to carry and toss it around as they like.
6. Shires Carrot Ball For Horses
This genius ball encourages horses to think for themselves and figure out the best way to unlock a food reward. It can be hung up in the stable or placed on the floor and fits up to three carrots, parsnips, or pieces of fruit.
The Shires Carrot Ball is resistant to bursting and provides long-lasting fun for horses. While your carrot bill will probably go up, we guarantee your horse will thank you for it!
7. Traffic Cone
Something as simple as a traffic cone might turn out to be the best boredom breaker for your horse. Although not all horses will fall for it, some have been known to carry the cones around and play with them like an excited puppy!
Traffic cones are an inexpensive solution to entertaining your restless horse. You can find them in your local home improvement store, or any Home Depot or Lowes outlet.
8. Shires Ball Feeder Toy for Horses
This clever ball feeder comes in various fun colors and will challenge horses that love to snack. Just grab your horse’s favorite treats from the country store, feed some through the hole and leave it in their stable.
While some horses will take to the idea in an instant, others will need a bit of help to get started. If your horse loses interest in the ball quickly, rattle it in front of their nose until a treat falls out. Do this for a few days and your horse is guaranteed to start wondering where the treats come from!
The Shires Ball Feeder is a great boredom toy for horses that will mentally stimulate your horse. Remember to empty the ball out regularly to prevent leftover food from going moldy inside.
9. Generic Goober Ball Toy for Horses
This fun goober ball can hold your horse’s favorite treats all in one place. You can insert carrots, hay cubes, cookies, treats, pieces of watermelon, or whatever you choose into this ultimate boredom buster. The more varied, the better!
Generic’s Goober Ball Toy for horses can reduce the chances of your horse developing bad habits in the stable. The tough material will endure chewing and tugging, making the ball durable and long-lasting. A rope is included for hanging the ball at approximately your horse’s wither level.
10. H&H Nutritional Lick Treat for Horses
This nutritional treat ball for horses is made of 100% natural ingredients. It not only supplements your horse’s diet with essential nutrients, but also provides boredom relief in the stall and paddock.
The H&H Nutritional Lick Treat comes in three flavors: pink salt electrolyte blend, omega-3 flax seed blend, the original blend. All balls incorporate organic grains grown in Montana. According to customer reviews, these treat balls can tempt even the fussiest of horses.
For best results, hang the ball in a place where it can swing freely in the air. Depending on your horse’s appetite, the ball will last anywhere between 1-3 weeks.
Also Read: 8 Best Horse Treats They Will Go Crazy For