When it comes to finding a quality feeder for your horse, take some time to figure out what would best suit your horse's needs. There are tons of great options that offer different types of slow feeders, wall mounted feeders, and ground-based feeders.
Wall Mounted Feeders
These feeders are typically hooked up to a wall using heavy-duty screws and nails and are often noted for being incredibly sturdy. If your horse is arthritic or has difficulty bending down to ground graze, these feeders may be a good choice for you. You can also make these slow feeders by placing bars or blocks in the feeder that can slow your horse down. These typically do not work as well as slow feeding bags, but if your horse eats at a relatively good pace, these should work just fine. To use a wall mounted feeder, simply drop the flakes or grain into the top of the feeder. Your horse will be able to nibble on its food from just one angle and will have access to the hay from the top, middle and bottom of the feeder.
One Piece Wall Mounted Hay Feeders
- These typically range from $50 to $400 depending on the size and manufacturer of the product.
- These are usually made out of sturdy plastic and metal.
- They can weigh anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds.
- These work best for one horse or two polite eaters who do not mind sharing.
- Common types include all plastic rounded edge feeders and plastic and metal combination feeders.
- Hanging Wall Horse Feeder can be purchased from Valleyvet.com and costs around $100. It can be hung on a fence, or wall mounted. It is sturdy, offers some slow feeding blocks, has rounded edges for safety, and comes in a variety of colors.
Wall Mounted Hay Rack
- These range from $10 to $60.
- These are typically made out of steel and mount to flat surfaces.
- They weigh between 10 and 20 pounds.
- Common types include steel feeders with racks and steel and mesh feeders.
- Stateline Tack offers a large hay rack for around $38 that is durable, easy to mount and holds about four flakes of hay.
Wall Mounted Grain Feeders
- These usually cost between $10 and $80.
- Common types include hanging wall feeders, corner feeders and combination hay and grain feeders.
- These are usually light, portable and easy to clean after feeding.
- DuraFlex offers a great feeder that can either be hung on a fence or wall mounted depending on your needs. It costs around $10 and can hold up to five quarts.
These feeders are great if you want your horse to graze in a natural head down position, but do not want him to ingest a lot of dirt or sand. Some even offer a slow feeding option if you want your horse to eat a bit more slowly. These feeders come in a variety of sizes ranging from very small to quite large. These are typically quite sturdy and offer access from all angles to several horses at once.
Ground-Based Hay Feeder
- These range from $10 to $200 depending on the size.
- These are usually made out of metal or sturdy plastic.
- The Slow Feeder Saver Jr. can be purchased from Valleyvet.com and costs around $190. This feeder is simply placed on the ground and hay is dropped in. For slow feeding, a netting is placed over the hay. This feeder can be easily moved with a built-in handle and is durable.
- These can weigh anywhere between 10 and 100 pounds depending on the size of the feeder.
Hay Feeder Bowls
- These come in a variety of sizes and can cost around $10 to $30.
- These are typically made out of steel, plastic or a rubber blend.
- Common types include metal bowls or tubs, large plastic tubs, and large rubber polyethylene bowls.
- These are usually easy to carry, clean and depending on the brand can also be weatherproof.
- Fortiflex makes a large feeder tub that is easy to clean and is resistant to cold weather-related cracking. It costs around $9.
Grain Ground-Based Feeder
- These can range from $10 to $30 depending on their size.
- Common types include large buckets, plastic bowls, and no tip bowls.
- These are typically light, are portable and clean easily.
- High Country Plastics Grain Pan Feeder offers a large bowl that is resistant to being tipped over. It costs around $30.
There are some horses that can down their food quickly and may need a little help pacing themselves. Slow feeders are a great choice and come in a variety of shapes, prices and sizes. Some slow feeders can hold up to an entire bale of hay while others can hold between one and six flakes of hay. Slow feeders work by restricting the horse from accessing all the food at once. Instead of breaking off pieces of hay, the horse must work to solve the puzzle of removing the hay from small holes or netting. To make it even more challenging, try hanging the bags from a hook attached to a higher point so the bag swings when the horse eats from it. These are great for alleviating boredom, keeping your horse at a healthy weight, and allowing him to graze on his food which is easier on his sensitive stomachs.
Finding the Best Feeder
Depending on your horse's needs, the right feeder can assist in making him happier, more comfortable and healthier. If your horse tends to eat quickly, you may want to consider a feeder that offers slow feeding as well. If you have multiple horses, think about purchasing a larger feeder that can accommodate all of them. For older, arthritic horses, a wall mounted feeder might be the most beneficial depending on their range of motion. Take your time in finding the right feeder for your horse, keeping in mind that different types of feeders may be heavier, pricier and more durable than others.