The Nose-It from RS Bioceuticals!
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When I think about what my horse does all day, here’s what I come up with:
-beg for treats
By my very rudimentary calculations, this leaves about 10 hours of standing around time. (And by standing around, I mean plotting ways to destroy fence, give themselves cuts, and harass their neighbors. Or, if you are ultra un-lucky, they spend that time cultivating a vice like cribbing. :(
I have discovered that there is a way to help alleviate some of your horse’s standing around time/plotting time. The Nose-It is designed to engage your horse in his eternal quest for treats, stimulation, and boredom busting.
Here’s what you do: Fill with treats and give it to your horse. Stand back and watch. The object of the game is for your horse to push the Nose-It around so treats fall out.
It’s pretty simple, but I found a few ways to make it more enticing. I used peanuts as treats. They are sugar free, and not going to shrivel up (like fruit) and were of a small enough size to fall out of the hole. Use bunches of them in the Nose-It so that your horse’s efforts are rewarded and they don’t give up. It’s not super easy for treats to come rolling out.
You can also use the Nose-It to give your horse his daily rations and grains. In this case, you will want to put the Nose-It in a larger feed tub so that he is not also ingesting unnecessary sand/bedding/dirt/etc.
I tested this with my clicker trained boy and his GF. So my guy is trained to put his nose on things and just wait, so that’s what he did. Luckily, his GF has the smarts to start moving it around, which dispensed the treats. Now they push and pull as a team.
I have used one other such toy, shaped like a giant cylinder and the treats slide out as if they were on a double black diamond ski run. The Nose-It is designed to be less straightforward, so your horse’s engagement is longer and more active, while not gorging on treats.
Thinking toys like the Nose-It are wonderful for the horse in a paddock, a horse on stall rest, or any horse that needs his energies channeled away from naughty behaviors. Even horses that have slow feeders need some stimulation and moving around! The Nose-It also encourages careful movement, so your horse isn’t tearing around his pasture. Another added bonus – easy to clean in the washrack if need be!