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Holistic Horse Issue 112

Horses living in social groups have each other for entertainment, but horses living alone in a stall face boredom. Horses with active and intelligent personalities as well as young horses need more stimuli for their mental health. Having “toys” to play and learn with can not only offset boredom, but also increase learning ability. For example, young horses can be offered various bits hung on the wall to play with or a variety of smells to activate their sensory input. Toys with various textures and surfaces offer tactile stimulation. While squeaky toys and noise-makers may be annoying to humans, they can be great entertainment for bored horses! Mix up the toys. Try to rotate toys during the week, in order to provide a variety of stimulation for your horse. Any novel object may be considered a toy if your horse enjoys interacting with it, and quite often things that horses are afraid of become their “best friends” when they are allowed to explore and get to know the objects. Just make sure any object you offer your horse is safe and Photo by Paige Poss “horse/child proof.”

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