The Importance of Boredom Busters for your Horse

April 19, 2024 3 min read

Whether in a stable or a field, standing around all day can get boring for your horse. They may grow tired of the same old sights if they have nothing else to entertain them. Horses, like cats, dogs, and people, need mental stimulation. They need entertainment to engage their body and minds. Since domesticated horses don’t have the same opportunities as wild horses to freely forage and explore, it’s up to you as their owner to give them alternatives that will keep their mind sharp.

When your horse becomes bored, they may begin to develop bad habits. Boredom can lead to frustration, anxiety, and stress which may lead to unwanted behaviors. Horses may start cribbing, which is a behavior in horses where they grasp an object with their front teeth and pull back while arching their neck. Cribbing can cause damage to your horse’s teeth, the objects they crib on, and may irritate other horses nearby with the noise. Another indication of boredom in horses is manifested through behaviors such as weaving and bobbing. Weaving involves the horse swaying its body from side to side, while bobbing is characterized by the horse repeatedly nodding its head up and down. These motions can cause damage to hooves and joints and abnormal wear and tear on their bodies if done for a long period of time. Pawing and kicking are additional behaviors to monitor in your horse, signaling potential distress or boredom. Pawing occurs when a horse repeatedly scrapes the ground with its front hooves, whereas kicking is characterized by the horse lashing out with its hind legs. These behaviors can damage a horse’s hooves or the area around them. When a horse does not get enough activity and becomes restless and frustrated, it can be harmful to their overall health and well-being. That is why it is important to keep your horse physically and mentally stimulated.

Boredom busters are a great way to keep your horse active in the mind and body. They can be used in your horse’s stall or outside in a field. Be sure to check out Horsemen’s Pride Equine Enrichment for great boredom buster toys!

The Jolly Hay Ball is a great way to let your horse forage for food in their stall. You can stuff it with hay and treats like apples or carrots and hang it as a mentally stimulating way to feed your horse! The Jolly Stall Snack and Jolly Stall Snack Combo are also options for hanging treat toys that will keep your horse engaged. Each Stall Snack option can be refilled with our Jolly Stall Snack Refills, available in a one-time purchase or subscription option to make sure your horse never runs out. The Jolly Stall Snack Combo features a Jolly Ball attached at the bottom, allowing your horse to playfully bop the ball around even after finishing the treat.

The Amazing Graze is a perfect foraging alternative for your horse. Place their favorite food and treats inside and allow them to roll it around to release the treats for them to enjoy. This engaging food game not only keeps your horse mentally stimulated but also rewards their foraging efforts.

Giving your horse entertainment in their stall is great, but don’t forget to give them toys when they’re outside too. The Jolly Ball is a great toy for outdoor play. The handle design makes it easy for them to pick up, throw, and chase it. The Jolly Tug is ideal for both solo and companion play, offering your horse hours of entertainment. They can easily grab it by the handles to toss it around or engage in a game of tug with a fellow equine friend. The Jolly Mega Ball is perfect for horses that like a bigger ball to push and play with. It's lightweight and rolls easily as your horse bops it around. Put a cover on the Mega Jolly Ball to add a decorative and protective touch.

Keeping your horse mentally and physically stimulated is important to keep boredom at bay. Engaging your horse with boredom busters or enrichment games will keep them entertained and active. Bad boredom behavior will be replaced with fun foraging and play. Always be on the lookout for signs your horse might need more stimulation and have their favorite enrichment toys ready to go!

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