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Horses need to play too – Horse enrichment ideas.

lady and child holding a brown pony

Over the last week the weather has been so changeable, we have hat sun, hail, wind and snow, usually all in the same day.

This got me thinking of different ways I can enrich our horses day as we haven’t been able to ride much.

Horses have lost a lot of the natural enrichment they would have in the wild and bored horses find their own entertainment and not usually in a good way, or they start with behaviours that we do not want.

I wanted to share a few of our ideas with you to keep their minds active. Obviously its important for them to be turned out in the field but sometimes that just isn’t enough mental stimulation for them and they get bored.

Horse Kebabs – We strung a variety of fruit and veg onto rope hung and different heights around the stables and yard area. These offered a great challenge being at different heights and also as they moved while they when touched as they were free hanging on the rope.

Scary Fields – This is a great opportunity to desensitise your horse. Add different objects around the field for your horse to investigate so when you are out and about items are not as scary. You can use tarpaulin, pool noodles. plastics, umbrellas, flags, cones, bottles, tyres, kids toys, bells….the options are endless. Do not add too many items at once and space them out so your horse can investigate each item without pressure and always ensure there is plenty of space so they can move away from the item if it is too scary. This is a low pressure way to introduce items and also give mental stimulation.

Scavenger Hunt – Add apples to their water, hay nets at different heights around the field, vegetables hung at different levels, large sensory balls stuffed with hay or fruit, pumpkins on the floor, herbs planted around the field…….. anything that adds variety to their diet, their day and encourages them to move around and scavenge.

Scratching Post – Add brush heads to a post for them to rub and scratch against.

Sound – Playing music, recording yourself reading a book or talking, this adds another dimension to their day when you are not around.

Let me know your ideas, I would love to hear how you enrich your horses life.

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