Safety For Our Horses-Thinking Ahead


For those of you who may have never seen one of these, it is a home made hay feeder made from an old tractor tire. You take the old tire and turn it inside out (do not ask me how-I do not have the slightest idea about how to accomplish that task, but know it requires more muscle than I EVER had). I’ve seen a few that had plywood or fence wire attached to the bottom-I assume to control wastage? Most of the ones I’ve seen were used for cattle-and since I don’t know ‘beans’ about keeping that type of stock, I will leave that alone. I presume this is the ‘poor man’s ‘ hay ring. That would make sense.

However, using them for horses can be a problem. You wouldn’t think so-after all, the things are rubber. How could they hurt themselves?

That particular picture was taken by the owner of a pretty little 4 month filly that she loved dearly. Do not know what happened exactly, but the thought is that the baby was playing, leaned over the rubber which flexed under her weight, and she toppled over inside. The fall broke her neck and she died. She is still inside the feeder.

The owner, of course, was frantic when she didn’t find her with the mare and started looking for her. Didn’t think to look in her feeder-why would she? Four days later, it became apparent that’s where the baby was-and the owner is devastated.

I’m not lambasting the owner-this is to warn other people. If ANY horse can slide a hoof or leg through an opening, if they can put their head through (even if they have to turn it sideways to do it-because they will), if they can get close enough to get their hide on it, they can get hurt, maimed, or die. It’s just that simple-and that complex. What you thought was safe yesterday may not be safe today.

For example: pipe gates need to be regularly inspected. They rust. Because they rust, the welds will break and the parts will come apart. Those parts are sharp and will slice a horse to shreds.

Fence wire-where it is attached to anything-as temperatures change during the year, metal flexes. Over time, it will ‘sprout’ sharp points that weren’t there before. Horses will find them.

Panel gates-a friend of mine had a horse hit one end on and it cut BONE out of his face. Do you have those things fastened open and closed?

Yep-before you ask-I do think about this all the time. How are they going to hurt themselves next time?

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