The Benefits of Feeding Your Horse From The Ground
There are many different ways to feed your horse, and while each horse has its own individual needs, feeding from the ground may benefit in more ways than you first realise.
Constant, repetitive tugging at a haynet can cause physical issues. By having his head low to the floor, the horse stretches over his back and keeps his spine aligned. As the horse adopts a more natural head and neck position, there is less strain on the muscles and skeletal system. This is more comfortable and less likely to cause back issues later in life.
A natural grazing position allows the horse’s jaw to come down and forward. This allows the horse to eat without any restriction and enables the teeth to wear down naturally. This will mean a more comfortable mouth for your horse and fewer visits from the dentist.
The repetitive use of haynets can lead to repetitive strain injuries, poll tightness and reduced movement in the neck. Feeding from the ground will encourage your horse to develop the correct muscles, including topline. The natural posture will help keep your horse relaxed physically and mentally.
There are also respiratory benefits to feeding from ground level. Feeding from the ground allows the horse to keep airways open and allows mucus to drain naturally. This will help prevent respiratory issues, choke and colic.
The difficult balance can be to reap these benefits for your horse, and keep your horse at a healthy weight. Small holed haynets are a first option for many to keep an overweight horse in check. Track systems and small holed large bale covers can be two good alternatives to haynets whilst also keeping your horse at a healthy balanced weight.