Benefits of Toys for Horses. Stress relief?

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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!
Horse stalls are fine for eating, sleeping, and grooming, but horses get restless and bored staying in their stalls all day waiting for their owners to ride them.  They need exercise and play to relieve them from what equine veterinarians call ‘stall stress.

Toys for horses

From rubber balls to hanging treat dispensers, horse enrichment toys represent one of the fastest growing segments of the pet enrichment product industry. But determining a toy’s real value as a boredom buster for stalled horses is tough. However, stall toys might be just the distraction some horses need to discourage cribbing and other negative behaviors. The trick is to find a toy capable of capturing–and sustaining–a horse’s attention. “In my opinion, the best toys are the ones that dispense a treat or a small bit of grain if a horse turns it a certain way,” she says. “The reward component is the most successful in keeping a horse’s interest.” Still, some horses are attracted to even simpler things.“We filled a milk jug with rocks and hung it in a stall for our young Saddlebred, She played with that jug until she destroyed it. Even a rope with knots tied in it can keep some horses amused.” Whatever the toy, be sure it’s installed so that it will be safe for the horse. Hang toys in a corner or somewhere the horse is not likely to bump into them. Hang them high enough to allow easy access without excessive stretching. Finally, be sure ropes and other tethering materials are tied so the horse is unlikely to injure himself. 

 Benefits of Toys for Horses.  Stress relief?



Take-Home Message


Some horses have to spend part or most of their time in stalls on a regular basis, and some horses are forced to go from a pastured life to a stall because of illness or injury. This change in living arrangements can be stressful on the horse, so prepare your stall to be a comfortable dwelling place that has adequate food and airflow and other horses visible, and add distractions in the form of “toys” as needed to keep his mind busy and relieve stress. www.rockyacreshorserescue.org Benefits of Toys for Horses.  Stress relief?

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