Toys For Horses Relieve Stall Stress
Stress can cause a variety of aggressive and fearful responses in animals. Think about zoo animals or "pets" that are captured in the wild and then confined to a courtyard or cage.
Even domesticated animals have anxiety living in confined areas. Equine behaviorists have long recognized the negative effects of stable stress on horses, one of the most sensitive animals studied, and they have developed horse toys to help them reduce stress and have fun!
ATTENTION: This article has been updated. Please see the updated version of this article on 7 Best Horse Toys To Relieve Stall Stress here.
Just watch these horses delight in play!
(The "Horseball" brand is apparently no longer available, but fortunately this beautiful video remains... These oversized sturdy balls can be purchased on Amazon here, and other retailers of horse toys.)
Equi-Spirit Equine Soccer Ball
This Equi-Spirit 40" Equine Soccer Ball is available from Natural Horse Talk for $118. Natural Horse Talk is the sponsor of the internet radio show called If Your Horse Could Talk and hosts seminars and training for horses and horse owners at its farm in Arizona.
Horses enjoy playing soccer alone or with their riders. A new form of horse soccer is played with a large ball such as the one above. Horses and riders form teams and set up soccer goals. The horses, guided by their riders kick or nudge the ball toward the team's goal. Videos of horse and owner soccer can be seen here .
Equi-Sprit Equine Catch Ball
Another interactive toy is the Equi-Sprit Catch Ball, ($25) that can be volleyed from owner to horse, or from horse to horse. This is a great game for bonding and socialization.
Horse Jolly Toy
The Jolly Toy for dogs has been made larger and stronger for horses. The horse Jolly is made in 8" and 10" diameters, and even comes scented in apple and bubble gum (don't ask me!) flavors. About $20 at Amazon.com.
Pas-A-Fier is a mounted toy, designed to release boredom in the stall. When the horse spins the toy, it releases an odor of apples. Don't bother searching for "pas-a-fier" in the French-English dictionary; pas-a-fier is a transliteration of the English word pacifier!
Wiggly Giggly Equine Ball
Another dog toy come horse toy is the Wiggly Giggly Equine Ball, which makes silly noises when your horse moves it. This can be hung in the stall or left in the pasture for your horse's tosses, kicks or nuzzles. About $10 at KV Supply or Amazon.
HorseplayRound Free Rolling Field Toy
Food is a big motivator for horses, so several designers of equine toys have come up with food treat toys as ways to hold a horse's attention. Most require the horse to perform certain movements in order to release the bits of food in various toys.
The HorseplayRound Free Rolling Field Toy ($66) houses internal noise-making balls as well as treats that spill out as the toy is rolled.
The HorseplayRound Mounted Stall Toy ($47) is a smaller version of the Rolling Toy that can be mounted in the stall. When your horse spins the round, it releases treats!
The Likit Company of Great Britain creates toys to introduce wholesome nutrition to horses while they play! Its parent company, Scotmin Nutrition Ltd., produces various nutritional supplements for the forms made by Likit and you get some interesting results, shown below. The Likit website has some great short videos of horses using their products.
The basic Likit unit is a glucose-based treat in several natural flavors. The large is shown below ($7.00), but it also comes in a smaller round ($4.80). The Likit Holder, ($28) including the the food unit, is shown next, followed by the Likit Tongue-Twister ($58), which does not include the little Likit food unit.
Likit also makes the Snak-A-Ball ($59) which distributes a pellet food upon movement. The Brookfield Zoo in Chicago may have been the first zoo to order this product for its giraffes, but many zoos have since made Likit products, as well as other horse toys, available for their large animals to relieve their anxiety and boredom caused by confined conditions.
This month, a 60 year old Australian woman was killed by her pet camel while the camel was trying to have sex with the woman. On the other side of the world in Suffolk County, New York, the owner of a baboon tarantula called the S. P. C. A. and requested that it pick up his pet spider because the venemous, 3-foot jumping spider had become too aggressive for the owner to handle.
Anyone care to invent some stress relievers for these guys?
Here's to horseplay!
That's the buzz for today!