View Full Version : Small Hole Hay Net and My Older Guy

Jul. 12, 2012, 07:02 PM
I'm about to order a few small hole hay nets for my crew to use for their winter hay. The nets are appealing since I hope they will help slow these guys down when they eat their hay and I've got my fingers crossed they will help reduce the amount of hay stomped into the mud.

My concern though is my older gelding. He's missing most of his teeth up front (molars are in great shape though). He only has 1 incisor on the top and 2 on the bottom so I'm a little worried he won't be able to fish the hay out of the net. He's gotten really good at using his lips to help him snag loose hay but I wasn't sure if he could with the smaller holes in the net. What do you guys think?

Jul. 12, 2012, 07:30 PM
I think most horses figure out the nets pretty quickly. They can use their lips to fish out the hay through the holes if they can't with their teeth.

I have a horse here who tosses his net with his head in order to make the hay more accessible.

The small hole hay nets are great!

Jul. 12, 2012, 08:55 PM
I'd say you'd know after 1 time period with it

Jul. 13, 2012, 02:01 PM
I think most horses figure it out just fine.

I will say my one horse is really not a fan. He figured out how to get the hay out but was clearly irritated that it was so hard to do it. I had one of these tied up in his stall at a show and he got so angry he just started pawing/stomping his feet and hopping up and down in place.

Which is the LAST thing I want him doing on the trailer (where I typically use hay nets) so now I've relegated the small hole haynet to storage and I don't use it. Neat idea, I just wish my horse wasn't so insistent that he had plentiful access to hay :)

Jul. 13, 2012, 04:39 PM
I'm trying one out now and my ponies really seem to enjoy the playful picking. It's much more fun and enjoyable to them than I though it would be- I thought it would be agonizing labor. I think a horse would probably do ok with lots of lip activity as long as you hook a few "starts" out of the net to get him going. You might want to feed him a "fast" loose flake and then slowfeed the rest of the meal to give him something to do and keep in his tummy throughout the day... but at least that way the old fella isn't having to work that bag while his tummy is growling.

Jul. 14, 2012, 04:06 PM
Thanks guys. I have heard all kinds of accolades for the nets but I have not had any direct experience with them.

I suspect one of my mares will throw a tantrum and get frustrated. My gelding is level headed and his entire existence seems to revolve around eating. So I think in time he will figure out how to work the hay out of the net. I really like the idea of doing some piles of loose hay along with the nets.

They are out on pasture 24/7 together so I needed to find something that could work for all three. I'll give the nets a try.

Jul. 14, 2012, 06:50 PM
I love the small-hole haynets.
However, just wanted to mention another idea if you have several "ordinary" haynets and want to try this before buying another haynet -- just put one ordinary haynet inside the other; the overlaps will make it more challenging for the horse to get the hay out.

Jul. 15, 2012, 11:15 AM
It probably also depends on the hay as well. One of my horses uses his teeth to extract his hay, the other just uses his lips.

I have a few slightly used SHHNs that I let people try out if they are on the edge. Let me know if you'd like to borrow one.