Saturday, November 1, 2008

Horse-sized Place Mats!

Traveller's Rest would like to thank all who donated stall mats to the cause.

The mats, however, will not be used in the ordinary way, providing a comfortable floor in a stall. Rather, they will serve as over-size place mats. Many of our dentally challenged horses drop food while eating. This, in itself, would not be a significant problem if they did not try to vacuum up the leftovers once their food dishes are emptied. All residents are served soaked food, so you can imagine how much dirt or bedding might cling to the "plops" that hit the floor at meal time. We have always tried to keep feeding corners swept clean, so there is not much to stick to dropped food, but since the floors are dirt there is still a concern that the horses might be swallowing dirt or other debris which could lead to "sand colic" (or dirt/gravel colic depending on your environment and just what your horse is likely to swallow.)
Through no fault of his own, Rienzi is our biggest offender. Not only does our clown prince have a serious malocclusion, but his previous home was a paddock he shared with goats and pigs. After picking up a mouthful of food, he still looks around to see whether or not his "roommates" are coming to share the meal. As you can see, this habit distributes his food in an impressive arc around the dish.

Rienzi's "bite:"

Here is Rienzi's mat after he decides he's vacuumed all he can. He does a pretty good job picking up the dropped food. If he were eating on dirt or in a bedded stall, he would pick up a lot of debris with each meal. He is still pushing a lot of food off the edges of the mat, so we will need to dedicate two mats to this particular feeding station.

The remaining mats will be cut into triangles that will fit in stall corners below the feeders. We'll still need to sweep up around feeding stations after meals, but this should make the job much easier in addition to providing a little more peace of mind concerning what is going into residents' stomachs.

1 comment:

Johnny M. Rivera said...

Hi friends,
i also bought a horse feeders, but it is not a cheap quality is one of the best horse feeder.
i saw many feeders but due to plastic stuff i did not buy anyone.but i found a good horse feeders there..:)