Boredom Busters & Stable Toys

Wow - What crazy weather we've been having! I remember driving through flood water a few years ago to get down to the horses to make sure they were ok and their stables weren't soaking and flooded ... and I imagine that many people were doing the same recently. It was crazy!!

We were lucky in that our fields had pretty good drainage (bar along one edge where a river ran by it). But even we had times where they had to be kept inside for days on end waiting for the fields to drain, we didn't have the luxury of an outdoor arena so it meant very bored and frustrated horses dying to get out for a good roll and a few bucks!

Besides extra riding, grooming, hacking, grazing in hand and walking around the yard the horses were pretty much kept in their stables for the majority of the day. I got rather inventive when it came to trying to keep them somewhat amused and entertained. There's nothing worse then a bored horse and a guilty owner!

I have a feeling that some of the flooding and poaching of fields will mean that horses will be kept in over the next few days until the weather settles down a bit. It might be a little short notice to expect you to have or be able to get some of the products below but if last winter is anything to go by we better prepare ourselves for our horses being turned out less and less and getting ... well ... bored!

* Likit Boredom Breaker *
I think this product looks brilliant! I like that is moves so easily so should last a horse hours and yet because it's sweet and tasty it will keep them interested and mentally stimulated. It should be hung away from walls so it will move and spin which increases the challenge!
It is available to buy from TRI Equestrian for €37.50. (If you are on a budget you can also buy the Likit Holder which is just €20). Definitely a product I will be buying in the future!

* Likit Tongue Twister *
This works similaraly to the product above in that it provides a tasty treat and keeps the horse stimulated. As the horse licks the likit, the ball moves ensuring they have to work or their reward! I think this would be better suited to nervous, headshy or those in smaller stables.
It is available from TRI Equestrian for €37.50

* Small Holed Haynet *
This was a godsend when my horses were cooped up inside. We have corner hayracks in the the stables so I would hang the haynets from this which meant they swung a bit. The small holes means the horses had god less hay per mouthful and because the net moved and swang a bit it meant they had to 'work' harder to get to the hay. As it feeds them slowly it somewhat minics their natural diet and is better for their mental and physical health! It really did the job and kept them occupied overnight and during the hours I was away from the yard.
These can be picked up at any tack or agri shop for a few euro each :)

* Elico Decahedron *
This is a 20 sided boredom buster made with military grade materials ... so will be able to take a good thrashing! A great idea would be to put any hard feed into this and just leave it in the stable and let the horse figure out what it has to do. It's based on positive reinforment so they should pick up what they have to do very, very easily. As is it made up of 20 sides it doesnt roll like some of the other products on the market. It does mean that it requires slightly more effort on the horses part ... but I have a feeling that won't be a problem once they realise their tasty dinner is on the inside!
This is available to buy for €21.50

These products should help relieve a bit of stress and boredom from being cooped up inside. Anything food orientated or food related is usually a winner (horses tent not to 'play' with toys ... they think with their bellies!). I've doing a little bit of research into stable mirrors at the moment and they look pretty promising ... and not expensive either! But I'll keep that for another day's post! :D

What other stable toys can you think of that helps keep boredom at bay?


  1. Interesting to read your boredom buster ideas. We managed to find a likit-ball second hand when Jay was on box rest and was a godsend. We often use it when he has to stay indoors due to bad weather etc. Wouldn't part with it for the world. My only other "boredom buster", which we picked up online, it to string together a whole load of veggies and hang them up high for neddy to play with and eat. It sounded like a great idea, and healthy too, but having spent hours threading all the veggies together, Jay managed to eat the whole lot in a matter of minutes. Needless to say we didn't bother with that one any more!! Elaine

  2. A football can be used. Or last winter I put turnip on a string, once they got used to it though it was gone in no time! They loved it