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  1. However long you’ve looked after horses, there are some things that we’d all love to improve. Small holed hay nets are one of those little bugbears we all live with, but we’d like to be a little more cooperative at times. Whether it’s because our horses are ripping at the nets, potentially causing muscle, teeth and lip damage, or the fact they can be decidedly awkward to fill, we’re sure you’ll agree that what we’ve been using leaves a lot to be desired. A study by a Writtle College student (Lily Crockett) in 2013 found that small holed hay nets don’t even significantly slow down a horse’s eating time, so what could be a better solution?

    The HayGrazer Play offers an alternative to those of us who are looking for another solution. Rather than the small holes being comprised of string, the Play’s holes are made with webbing. This clever idea means that horses are left with a mouth full of webbing if they try to aggressively snatch at the Play, encouraging them to use their lips instead to find the holes which, in turn, slows their feeding down. The cylindrical shape of the HayGrazer Play is specifically designed to allow the horse to turn it around to navigate the holes, which is thought to mimic natural grazing patterns. After all, have you ever seen your horse snatching at grass the way they do with a hay net?


    Another handy feature of the HayGrazer Play is that the material is designed to keep any dust from the forage within the bag, where it can drop through the mesh at the bottom, instead of flying outward during feeding times.





    Initial studies by students from University Centre Hartpury have shown that feeding hay using a HayGrazer Play can significantly increase the time spent eating compared to feeding hay on the ground or in a small holed haynet, which therefore has the potential to stimulate trickle feeding behaviour. Recent studies are showing reducing hole size may not be the most effective way of slow feeding and maybe causing stress and other unrelated behaviours.

    Whittle College student Lily Crockett’s study in 2013 found that small holed hay nets don’t significantly slow down a horse’s eating time, but suggested that increasing movement within the stable could be the solution to slow feeding. The HayGrazer Play is designed to increase movement and if you have a large enough stable you could combine it with the HayGrazer Bag to improve mental stimulation.

    Writtle College increased movement by using two hay nets, one either side of the stable and away from the door. It was also thought that using two different types of haynets helps to keep the horse mentally stimulated. From these initial studies the best option for slow feeding while reducing stress and improving muscle development appears to be to hang a HayGrazer Play. If you have a larger stable you could encourage more movement with two HayGrazer Plays hung in different locations.


    Recent research by University Centre Hartpury found that while a small holed hay net reduced feeding time, increasing movement by using a HayGrazer Play hay feeder slowed the horse down significantly more. So both studies show increasing movement within the stable could be the way forward to slow the consumption of forage.

    University Centre Hartpury’s initial studies also measured the stress and feeding motivations of the horse at meal times. Eating from the floor and the HayGrazer Play had far lower levels of stress than eating from small holed hay nets. Higher stress levels are directly related to unwanted behaviours such as pawing, crib-biting, etc.

    Much more research is needed, but these initial findings are very interesting and show we need more development in this area.  From visually watching the horse’s behaviour it is thought that the cylinder shape of the HayGrazer Play and the use of webbing, which encourages the horse to eat in-between the holes, stimulates natural behaviour of searching for the tasty bits of grass when grazing, the horses have to navigate their way around the bag using their lips in a very similar way.





    To learn more about the HayGrazer Play please visit


    The HayGrazer Play is recommended to be hung lower than your typical haynet, meaning the horse reaches lower and flexes left and right in their search for the holes. This, in turn, creates good low flexion movement, helping maintain a more natural top line in the stable. The HayGrazer Play can be used with dry hay, haylage, or to soak hay in and is easy to fill and hang.


  2. More Stretches on

    Head and Neck

    #16 Chin to Chest Stretch
    This is an excellent stretch for the trapezius cervicis, cervical rhomboids and splenius muscles of the neck.

    #17 Extended Neck Forward Stretch
    This is a great stretch for the rectus capitis dorsalis and lateralis, multifidus cervicis, rhomboids, splenius and trapezius muscles.
    #18 Extended Neck Forward Twist Stretch
    This stretch helps relax and release tight neck muscles from the base of the shoulder to the area near the first cervical vertebrae including the scalenus, rectus capitis dorsalis and lateralis, brachiocephalicus and multifidus cervicis.
    #19 Head on the Diagonal Behind the Knee Without and With a Twist Stretch
    This stretch helps create flexibility in the neck and the area in front of the scapula (shoulder blade) by stretching the scalenus, multifidus cervicis, brachiocephalicus, rectus capitis dorsalis and lateralis and serratus muscles.


    #20 Lateral Extended Neck Stretch
    This is a wond
    erful stretch for the muscles of the neck including the multifidus cervicis, brachiocephalicus, rhomboideus cervicis and the scalenus.

    #21 Lateral Extended Neck Twist Stretch
    Once you and your horse have mastered the Lateral Extended Neck stretch, learn how to add a twist to that stretch to relax the muscles near the first cervical vertebrae such as the rectus capis lateeralis as well as stretch other neck muscles such as the splenius, scalenus and multidifus cervicis.
    #22 Neck Hug Stretch
    This is an excellent stretch for the scalenus, trapezius, multifidus cervicis and brachiocephalicus muscles of the neck.

  3. HayGrazer at HOYS we had an amazing show and to top it all off we sponsored West Hants Pony Club who did amazing.

    The team worked really hard winning the stable trophy and were joint 2nd in the Prince Phillip Cup. ????????????

    Over 250 team start the season looking for a place at hoys and only 6 qualify and then 4 go through to the grand final.

    Team were
    Libby Hawkins - Sybil
    Amelia Swann - Duke
    Joe Pink - Sonic
    Tom Pink - Sky
    Charlotte Whiting - Rocky
    Reserve rider Meg Pink

    Trained by Jo Morris

    Head groom was Cheryl Warren with assistant grooms lauren Hawkins, Millie Wheatley. Millie Whitchurch.

    Well Done everyone and good luck for next year ????????

    Thank you for promoting and using your HayGrazer

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  4. HayGrazer had a fantastic time at Burghley Horse Trials with a complete sell out of the HayGrazer Bag Navy by Saturday and the rest of the stock by Sunday. 

    We also helped Ride For Research let people know about the Fun Ride held in September which raised over £50,000 for cancer research. Visit

  5. With a muddy start and a few thunder storms but on the whole Gatecombe was a very exciting show. The rain kept us on our toes with Burley beds coming to our rescue soaking up the mud around our stands. The highlight of the weekend was being there with Velegro Sunday, the sun came out he looked as stunning as ever. We had a great time and thank you to everyone who popped in to see us.

  6. We all want  to know how to tell if our horse is getting frustrated in the stable.


    Hartpury College recently carried out some initial research on small holed haynets and the HayGazer Play. They found that horses eating from a small holed hay nets had much higher frustration than a horse eating from the ground and in some cases brought about unwanted behaviours.


    The same study showed that eating from a HayGrazer Play decreased the frustration more than eating from the floor. But why? Its is thought the horses use their lips to find the holes then eat between the webbing on a HayGrazer Play which is similar behavior to how they would graze naturally. Using a small holed haynet the horse tries to take a large clump of hay and the string stops the hay coming out which increases chew rates, frustration and doesn’t slow the horses eating time down significantly.


    How do you measure the frustration of your horse? This is done by counting the number of blinks per minute, using a clicker which can be downloaded to your phone. Previous work by Karson et al., (1980) has shown that blink rates alter according to dopamine production by the central nervous system, therefore measuring blink rate is a good way to assess stress levels in stabled horses.


    Horses can vary on their relaxed blink rate but the average horse is around 15-18 blinks per minute while weaving horse or horses showing stress related coping mechanisms tend to be about 24-27 blinks per min.