Stall toys are designed to provide mental stimulation, but horses may have their own ideas about what’s fun. Some horses are content to simply bat a hanging ball back and forth. Others might need the motivation of a treat to interact with a toy. Durability is important: Even the most engaging toy will be useless if it breaks within a few days of use.
A variety of toys are available, each designed for horses with different temperaments and in different situations:
Rubber molded balls hung from the ceiling or are left loose to be nudged around were some of the first stall toys for horses and continue to be a favorite.
Larger, inflatable balls more suitable for use in paddocks have also become popular.
Lickable toys incorporate a hard, replaceable “sucker” that entices horses to interact for long periods of time.
Treat-dispensing toys dribble out grain or other edibles can also help head off boredom in stall-bound horses.
The cost of horse toys range from about $30 for a simple stall ball to nearly $60 for a lickable mobile or treat-dispensing toy. But whichever you choose, consider the purchase price and investment in your horse’s happiness.
Don’t miss out! With the free weekly EQUUS newsletter, you’ll get the latest horse health information delivered right to your in basket! If you’re not already receiving the EQUUS newsletter, click here to sign up. It’s *free*!