(dont worry I cut the binder twine off after ;))
My little Arabian mare is on a round bale, and she eats it quite happily. So happily, in fact, the little piglet needs a slow feeder hay net to slow her down. She does really well on a round bale, eating exactly as much as she should every day and finishes it almost down to the day of every month. I, unfortunately, cannot have my horse on square bales and slow feed nets because of her anxiety. As soon as she doesn’t have food in front of her she absolutely loses her mind. It became vet ordered, as her pacing and stress became uncontrollable to the point she filed her feet down to absolutely nothing and was off for several months till they grew back. E’lan was starved once at a facility I was at and since then has not been able to get over her food issues. I tried constant feedings of flakes in slow feed nets but as soon as hay was not in front of her she panicked. I tried giving her a square bale but she gorged herself on 50lb square bale in a day; little excessive for a 14’3 Arab don’t you think? Though as soon as you have a round bale in front of her, she eats at her leisure without any stress, because she knows its there and won’t run out. So after months of trying everything possible, the vet and I came to the conclusion that she just needs to have food in front of her constantly. She has maintained this feed program successfully now for 3 years. Round bales, if your horse is capable of regulating themselves on it, are considered one of the best ways to feed as its the closest to pasture. Horses are meant to eat constantly as their stomach acid in combination with stress can cause an ulceration if not constantly digesting. Many full board facilities advertise feeding horses round bales, or small feedings up to 5 times a day.
That being said, some of you may know my mare has recently been diagnosed with a suspensory injury. I did not feel comfortable keeping her in a stall for 4 months as her stress levels would rise, and I didn’t feel like paying for treating an ulcer on top of that. The paddocks at my facility are quite small, and she moves minimally; water to shelter, shelter to hay. So far it has worked out really well, but because she is not allowed to move and is probably bored out of her skull, she stands at her bale and eats. I honestly don’t mind this because at least it keeps her from moving and keeps her calm. Though because she has nothing to currently live for but eat, she is going through her round bale at a much quicker pace and therefore gaining an unnecessary amount of weight.
So I came up with the solution of double-netting my round bale, as it would encourage her to work a little bit harder at getting the hay. She can stand there all day and eat if she wants, but at least she is getting smaller bites and a little bit more distracted now that her exercise is zero to none. That was when I purchased a round bale hay net from Tech Equetrian Inc, and I am so impressed, I don’t think I will ever go back to another brand. And bonus, they are Canadian and free shipping. Say Whaaaaa?!
This net is such an amazing price, especially for the quality. I purchased it from Wilton Tack for $129.99 in comparison to the $200+ prices of competitors. I got it in size 6×6 with a hole size of 1.5″ inches. When I ordered it online, I just expected it to come to me as a net in a cardboard box, but I was so pleasantly surprised. It came in this amazing drawstring bag. In bag comes with a black hay net, a little tiny baby purple slow feed hay net (designed for trailering), and a free repair kit. You can also get an additional free repair kit up to 6 months after purchase; after that, I assume they are available for purchase. The net was amazingly light, definitely a nice change from my other hay (which is very heavy, especially when damp or frozen). It has a drawstring that is secured with a wood knob to make sure you don’t lose the strings, something that happens often with my other net. It has a large thick seam on one side of the bale, and thick strings to tie it together.
Fit and Feel
I buy small round bales, I believe around 600lbs. So the net is a bit larger than my bale, but most bales aren’t as small as mine. The extra slack of the net doesn’t cause any complications or hazards as I have a wood feeder that goes around my bale for to safety reasons. I have used this bag for a month now, and it was the first layer on the bale, and my other net was the second. My second, older net (faded green), has so many holes and I am constantly finding new ones. Though that net is made of a heavier fabric, it hasn’t proven to be very durable. I am consistently cutting pieces of binder twine to patch one hole after another. Doesn’t it look beautiful? NOT lol.
Though the older net is on top and maybe taking most of the wear and tear, this new net has shown no fraying and or tearing. Which I think it might be subject to extra stress because my mare is digging at 2 layers of net to get a mouthful of hay.
Again, I just want to mention how amazingly light the Tech Equestrian Inc Hay Net bag is. Putting it on is so easy as it doesn’t get stiff or heavy. I don’t need to reweave the tyes to close it, like my older bag; if you notice in the photo above, the large black ties come undone and that was me reweaving it through over half of the net. With the new net, it is already tied together at the end by a large wood knob, just pull on the lovely drawstrings and HAZA, it is done.
Now despite that, I have not used this product for an extensive period of time, and I am sure it will begin to wear after several uses; I 100% recommend this hay net to anyone looking for a round bale hay net. At Tech Equestrian Inc not only is it over $100 less than competitors, but you also get so much more for the price. A free slow feed trailer net, a repair kit, a drawstring bag and an additional repair kit up to 6 months after purchase. You get free shipping with every purchase across Canada.
This net also comes in additional sizes,
Hole Size = 1″ , 1.5″, 2″ and 2.5″inches
Net Size = 6×6 ( Works for 4×4, 4×5, 5×5, 6×6 Round Nets & also 3x3x8 BIG Square Bale Nets )
I have spoken with them about their product after I bought it, just to tell them how impressed I was and questions about sizing and they were prompt and very kind. So, 10 points for customer service! This net is very easy to manage, and it just feels like great quality. Stop overpaying for less than satisfactory name brands we all know, look to smaller companies with better products and better prices. Youll get the quality and the customer service.
And a bonus to double netting the round bale? It saved me an extra week of hay and my pony isn’t any fatter, sounds like a pretty good arrangement to me for the time being!
Always get back on,
*The opinions shared in this blog are of my own, and not a reflection of the company or its current and future products