Reducing Waste (From Both Ends of the Horse)

Photo from Wikimedia Commons Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In the depths of a Minnesota winter, I notice two big things in my horse’s pasture: 1) the horses tend to gather with their heads buried up to the ears in a round bale, and 2) they proceed to decorate the snowy landscape with clumps of manure. It’s a biological perpetual motion machine, one that is made all the more apparent when said horses are brought inside each evening to eat more (and poop more) in their stalls. My barn has recently began using Cinch Nets around the pasture’s bales to reduce waste, which has helped to increase the duration and quality of forage in the pasture; no more wasted, trampled, urine-sodden hay, and the Cinch Net itself paid for itself with just a few feedings.

I also read a study by Martinson et al. From the University of Minnesota Extension describing and comparing various brands of round bale feeders, such as Cinch Nets, Hay Sleigh, and Hayhuts. Do you have experience using any of these hay feeders, and have you noticed any differences in quality, waste, or money required to feed your horses? What are some creative methods your barn has used to keep your horses well-fed and your turnout areas clean (or as clean as they ever will be)?

Screenshot of University of Minnesota Extension website

Screenshot via

Bonus video: A friend of mine posted this video on Facebook, and I swear it is the best invention ever for efficiently cleaning stalls. Has anyone used the Brockwood Stall Shi*fter, and is it as amazing as it looks?

Go horsekeeping. Go Eventing.

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