I hate when horses get vices from being stall bound and bored. Now, a horse that gets worked 5-7 days a week and doesn’t get turned out should be fine without any extras. Though, depending on the horse, it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a ball, pacifier, or some other form of entertainment in the stall.
Recently, I ran into a situation when I had a horse laid up for 6 months. 4 months of stall rest, no hand walking, nothing, just 24/7 stall bound. This horse was dealing with his situation pretty well considering he was used to getting worked often and going outside for a few hours a day. He was bored though; this was obvious while feeding, grooming, or cleaning his stall. He was all over you. His nickname: Chester the Molester.
So, I decided to invest in some horse entertainment. I started with the Bizzy Ball. Their website is absolutely horrible. Their product, although it looks terribly simple, is perfect! It’s a large oat-mixtured, molasses treat!
I hung the bizzy ball a little lower than recommended. It was about nose height and right in the middle of the stall (no walls for cheating). It was not only entertaining to watch my horse try to eat the ball, it was also very cute to see him laying down and reaching upward licking the ball.
I can say it provided about two weeks of entertainment for both my horse and everyone at the barn. It was worth the $20 or so I spent on it. I would assume with a less ravenous horse, it might last a little longer. But, one a month during stall rest was well worth it the price of a Bizzy Ball.
If there was anything to be critical about it would be the sticky mess all over my horses face, head, neck, and blanket. Nothing that was permanent, but I didn’t want to pet his face all that much!
I would suggest any horse on stall rest should get the opportunity to be entertained by the bizzy ball. Of course, a horse that isn’t on stall rest would just be spoiled getting one of these, but that’s okay too!
Bizzy Ball Skinny:
The Good – probably the longest lasting stall “toy” on the market as long as you hang it properly for limited “cheating”. Hand made by a small independent company! It’s always good to support the little guys!
The Bad – A little costly at about $20, but well worth the investment, and messy, but nothing that doesn’t wash off!
* editor’s note: and yes, it’s quite ironic that citizen.S, our head photographer failed to get an actual picture of the horse with said Bizzy Ball – nice work Champ. Photo taken from Bizzy Ball website.