The smell of fresh cut hay and seeing new bales sitting in the field is one of my favourite times of the year. As we all begin the process of starting to feed hay again I thought it was time for some hay net tips and info.
Hopefully at the end of winter/spring when you were done using your Round or other nets you removed any hay, mud or debris, repaired any damage and stored in a mouse proof container. Even though it should've been stored in a mouse proof container sometimes containers get shuffled and tops can be loosened. If there's any sign's of Mouse droppings, be sure to wear gloves and even a mask to remove and shake out. If the nets have had company...laying them out on the lawn or drive and hosing off is a good idea, then let air dry. Lay or hang where you can check them over, look for any obvious damage or wear and repair as necessary.
A couple of important things when you 1st put hay out ....
1- don't just start feeding hay and risk a colic episode, slowly introduce the hay you'll be feeding while they are still eating grass and slowly transition to just hay.
2- remember to re-introduce the nets to the herd with loose hay for a couple of days. Even though the horses may have eaten from nets during the summer when being used, eating from hay nets full time is different.
3- Check the nets every day or couple of days for damage and repair as necessary. You can even use good ole fashioned twine for a quick fix, but when you have some time do a proper repair with a patch kit.
4- If you find your having on-going issues with holes, sit back & watch to see who's creating the issues or set up a trail cam. This is often very eye opening...I usually find that it is one horse that causes the damage and just feels its his job to make access for the others and chews away making holes, then eats directly from the new hole (Pic 1). Another is very mouthy horse's that always hold & chew ropes, buckets, etc...usually in this case the ends are sucked or slobbered on. (pic 2)
Pic #1 Pic #2
So you found you have a net chewer on your hands....now what ?? Well if you have the room you can move that horse to a another pen and feed loose hay, then start feeding him from a net with larger holes & slowly move him down to a smaller hole size. This works with some of the horses but not all....Another option is to continue feeding him with loose hay if he refuses to quite chewing, there are a few horses that never figure out how to eat using the nets .... I've had a couple customers that realize it's their "old" horse doing the damage & have decided to "Fix & Repair Daily" until the old guy crosses the rainbow bridge, this benefits the other horses meanwhile and then they invest in a new net.
We all have to do what works best for us. I hope you'll consider these things when you put your nets out this year to start feeding hay and hopefully it will help with your experience using them.
We are now offering custom embroidery on our products: Mini, Half & Trailer Savers !!
We donated these Mini's to the Grand Entry gals for the Wetaskiwin & Ponoka rodeo's.
We do the embroidery on the Cordura, put a seam on the edges and sew it right into the seam. Great exposure for your sponsors every time you use them and doesn't get in the way of the horse eating. Works well on Mini & Half nets, like these ones.
Embroidery costs depend on what you get done so have to be individually quoted. If there's a logo, like on these, there is a digitize fee to put it into the system. Fee depends on how long that takes, average's approx $20-45 one time fee. Then the embroidery can be anywhere from $5-45 per piece, depending on size, # of stitches and logo or no logo.
We also do the embroidery on our Trailer Savers, which are a more expensive item. If done ahead of assembling them it costs less then after but can be done b4 or after. 1st pic is Nancy Csabay's mare Wicked (CFR 2015+16 Winners), 2nd is Meggie's horse Buddy.
Contact us for a custom quote or options for your club or group and we'll help work with in your budget. Embroidery can also be done on the Horse Holsters, like this club did with getting the 4H logo & club name.
Hope your enjoying the start of your summer.
Happy Trails & Blessings on Ya,
We are excited to carry "The Horse Holster" online and at events. Fits any size cell phone and has a waterproof zipper compartment for your ID, $$, keys, etc...
Keep your cell phone & personal items on you while riding, doing chores, hiking, shopping, exercising, or whatever you do. Don't lose or miss place those important items again, rather wear them on your leg or arm where they are safe !! 2 strap sizes and 10+ colors available. Order yours today, great for clubs/teams as well, stock arriving shortly and they are selling fast !! $40 each