Last Updated on October 14, 2021
Have you ever wondered what the best toys for horses are? Horses are fun-loving and playful animals, and they enjoy playing with toys. But how do you choose the most suitable toys for horses to play with?
Finding toys for horses is easier than you might think. There are toys you can make yourself, or you can buy a huge range of different horse toys. Let’s take a look at the best toys for horses to play with!
What Is The Point Of Horse Toys?
You might not associate the word ‘fun’ with horses, but horses get a lot of enjoyment out of playtime. In a herd, horses will have fun playing together for long periods. They will also carry out other playful activities, such as splashing in streams and rivers.
Playing with toys is an important part of environmental enrichment for domesticated horses. We often keep horses confined for long periods, restricting their socialization opportunities. Playing with toys can help to keep your horse happy and in a good state of mental health.
Many horse owners do not realize how much boredom can affect their horse’s mental health. In their wild state, horses will have unlimited opportunities to browse for food and play. When we keep them confined to a stall or barn, we are restricting these opportunities.
Bored horses can quickly develop undesirable behaviors, known as vices. These include biting, chewing, box walking, and cribbing. Keeping your horse entertained with toys can reduce the likelihood of these vices occurring.
How To Choose The Best Horse Toys
There are many different types of horse toys available for you to purchase. Deciding what type of toy to purchase depends on a few factors, including your budget.
The first thing you will need to decide is what type of toy your horse might enjoy. If your horse is very food-focused, then a toy that gives food rewards will keep him entertained.
Horses who love to nibble and chew will enjoy toys they can pick up and explore with their mouths. These are great for younger horses, who like to learn about the world by chewing things!
If your horse has a lot of pent-up energy, choose a toy that they can chase around during playtime. Horses who are stabled for long periods will enjoy a toy that will keep them entertained, such as a puzzle or a hanging toy.
Like humans, horses will get bored with having the same toy all the time. Swap their playthings regularly to keep them entertained. Toys must be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria from building up.
It is essential to make sure that any toys you buy or make are safe for your horse. Avoid anything with sharp edges or potential hazards. Ensure that there are no loose parts that could be ingested.
As you will see from this video, horses can have lots of fun with toys! If you’re feeling inspired to make playthings for your horse, keep reading to find out more.
How To Make Horse Treat Toys
There aren’t many horses who don’t love food! Using food and treats is a great way to make toys for your horse. This can be as simple as hiding treats or food in bedding to encourage natural foraging behavior.
A nice basic horse treat toy idea is to hang food items up in the stall. Your horse will have to chase the food around with its muzzle to get hold of it. Large vegetables such as carrots and turnips.
One of the best horse treat toys you can make is a forage box. All you need is a sturdy cardboard box, stuffed with meadow hay and other treats. Cut a few small holes in the box and enjoy watching your horse sniff out his favorite nibbles!
Toys that have food rewards, such as treat balls, can encourage your horse to move and play. Treat balls are rigid containers with small holes; when the horse pushes the container around with his muzzle treats will fall out.
You can make a treat ball at home using a sturdy plastic container. A small barrel would work well for a field-sized treat ball, or a milk carton can be turned into a hanging treat ball for your horse’s stall. Make sure that any holes you make are smooth and free from jagged edges.
Picking The Best Toys For Horses To Play With
If you are looking for a toy to encourage your horse to move around and play, a good place to start is with a softball. Many horses will enjoy playing with a ball, keeping them entertained for hours on end.
When choosing a ball, make sure it is soft enough for your horse to get his teeth into. It should be durable, otherwise, your horse will quickly destroy it. When it comes to size, it can be anything from a football up to a large gym ball.
If your horse enjoys throwing things around, put grain bags into the paddock at playtime. Bear in mind that your horse may tear the sack, so avoid anything which may be harmful if ingested.
Some horses really enjoy toys that make a noise. Filling a plastic bottle with gravel or stones is an easy way to keep your horse entertained. As he pushes the bottle with his nose the stones will rattle.
Alternatively, try a toy that jingles and jangles when he plays with it. One great suggestion is to hang a bell on a rope in the stall – bear in mind that the noise could drive everyone crazy though! You could also pop some jingling cat balls inside a larger container for your horse to throw around in the paddock.
As we have learned, horse toys are a great way to keep your horse entertained and prevent boredom. They can also help your horse to think and develop his mental skills. There are many great horse toys you can make easily at home, or you can buy some fun toys for your horse.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about the best toys for horses to play with! Perhaps you’ve got a great idea for a horse toy? Or do you struggle to encourage your horse to play? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE