Tips, Tricks & Care

Starting Out:

  • When first introducing the Eco Nets to your horses give them their regular loose hay and set/hang the loosely filled net nearby. This way they can approach the Eco Nets in a curious manner & figure out how to get the hay, and will not get frustrated. Do this for 3-5 days until they are eating from the net well, but don't continue much longer.
  • Most horses need a 1.5" hole size net unless they need more restriction due to size or health concerns, start with a 1" hole size for Ponies/Mini's and very over weight or Foundered/Metabolic/Insulin Resistent. If you have a mixed herd generally go with what the majority need or the health concern 1st, as most horses can eat & do well from a 1" net on average hay, use cautioun if the hay is overly stocky/long.
  • When giving ‘Restricted or free access’ it is better to transition them onto the nets. Give their normal ration in the nets while gradually, for about a week, increasing the amount of hay before giving ‘Free access’. This gives their digestive system a chance to adapt and they won’t be so prone to constantly stand at the bale. Some horses will actually use more hay and even gain some weight in the first month but once they realize that it’s always there (like being out on grass) they relax and eat less, returning to a normal weight. If they don't slow down you probably have to big of a hole size net for them.
  • Horses on ‘Restricted Free Access’ hay are calmer, more patient, happy and easier to train. No more upset tummies, acid reflux, cribbing, ulcers, colic or respiratory issues.

Advantages

      • Eco Nets are made of a Twisted Knotted Nylon that is UV coated and bonded. The nets do not shrink or absorb water. Our seams are made using Industrial Strength webbing & thread that are also UV coated. Webbing & Draw Cords-choice of Red, Purple, Black, Blue or Green !!
      • We make our Mini, Half & Square sizes with a large opening so they very easily go over a Square Bale to make loading simple.
      • The Micro, Mini & Half nets have solid welded D Rings and a Snap on the end of the 1/4″ Draw Cord for ease with hanging.
    • Square & Texas have 2 welded D's as well but no Snap as they are Not meant to hang.
  • Horses can only pull small amounts of hay from the mesh. This increases the chewing motion by a minimum of 5x per bite and lessens the amount consumed. Allowing the horses digestive system to slow down and work more naturally, thus better utilizing the smaller amounts of feed.
  • The hay is almost always available so they learn to relax and don’t have to guard their feed.
  • Horses tend to pull hay from the nets with their heads down (when using Round Bales), simulating a more natural grazing position.
  • The nets prevent the horses from being able to ‘tunnel’ into the hay, therefore improving respiration problems from breathing in the chaff and dust.
  • Horses with minor respiratory problems once going onto the nets will improve or their symptoms will disappear completely.
  • When given an Eco Net it takes much longer to eat their hay ration (satisfying chewing) and then the net becomes a toy. We have observed horses swinging the net, playing ‘tug -of-war’ and even dragging a whole Square bale around!

Tips :Eco ponies on 1" net

    • Our ‘Micro’, ‘Mini’ and ‘Half’ bale nets have D Rings on each end and a Snap on the end of the cord. No more tying needed, just Load, Hang, Snap & Go !!
    • You can have several bags filled ahead for quick and convenient feedings later.
    • The square bale nets stack nicely, leave the twines on till ready to use.
    • To easily fill your ‘Half Bale net’: put net in a muck bucket or mineral tub, stretch opening of net over the edge of the bucket , then easily fill with hay, pull out of bucket and its ready to use!
    • Forking from a round bale to feed: save hay and time by purchasing a ‘Texas-Weekender Net’, as it has a large circumference to go over 2 Square bales at once. Works great for forking off of the round bale because it is so big around. You can also put net in a deep wheelbarrow or 45 Gallon drum, stretch opening of net over edges, fill with loose hay (be sure to pack down the hay real well and get lots in), then close by pulling drawstring tight and securing closed on the D provided. Remove from barrow or drum. You are now ready to feed with no more trampled and/or blowing away hay!
    • Installing the LARGE SQUARE net: use your equipment to elevate 1 end of the bale just off of the ground, scrunch open end of net like a pillow case & put over the elevated end, pull net towards the center making sure the closed end is snug, set bale down and then elevate the opposite end so you can pull the net out past the open end, lower bale, cut & remove twines, tighten draw cord, secure on D Ring tying off excess cord & putting inside the net. All done. Remember to protect net from shod horses using a feeder or similar so horses don’t get caught on the net with their shoes !!
  • EZ Feeder Installation : Feeder must be less than 25 ft in circumference. Weave folded edge of net opening onto the Pex pipe provided, measure inside feeder so it will fit snuggly (with connector), cut off excess pipe, install pressure fit connector, equally space net on pipe and attach to feeder (where solid side & the uprights start) approx. 3-3.5 ft from ground using provided ties. Use enough attachments that it will be secure and horses cannot push pipe/net away from feeder, approx. every foot. If attaching to a Poly feeder you may need to pre-drill holes, 2 per attachment point, make sure you place pipe 2/3 way to top so net reaches over bale easily and feeder will still touch the ground.We have found that geldings usually will not pee on the nets (given they have some straw or bedding for that purpose, especially when pens are packed down hard in the winter).
  • Try this “Equine Litter Box” next winter or this summer if you have penned horses- pick a spot where you would like your horses to “Go”(a somewhat sheltered area, easy to access, not to far from the feed & not where they feel trapped), put a bag or 2 of shavings and some straw in that area, move a fresh “pile” to the center of this area and watch them head over, check it out & use it. You may have to move a few piles over a few days but you will find that they will start using it like a litter box. Or if you see that they already have an area that they seem to like, put the shavings and straw there. Keep the area cleaned every so often to prevent build up and to keep fluffy. The mix prevents urine from splashing onto their legs, works for geldings & mares !! Let us know how it works for you.
  • Do you feed compressed bales, cubes or chopped hay? Our 1/2″ mesh net works great for processed hay, cubes or chopped hay and slowing down the consumption. As this hay is much finer you will need 1 size less than normal. Example: normal use a 1.5" net, then start with a 1" for these processed hays. Also the EZ Bales & TransFeeder compact bales work well in the 1/2″ mesh nets.
  • Between feedings, if you still prefer meals & not free feeding, let your horses have our ‘Mini” or ‘Half ‘ bale net or if you have a herd – give them a round bale of timothy or grass type hay in a ‘Round Bale’ net. This will satisfy their chewing requirements, keep their digestive system working properly, occupy & prevent boredom and make them easier to train & ride!

Care of Nets:

  • The life of your net will vary depending on the type of hay used and the maintenance and care given to your net. Grass hay is easier for horses to pull through the net were as alfalfa hay stocks can be harder for horses to grab. This can teach horses to be more aggressive and can lead to pawing and chewing to get the alfalfa leaves and stems. If a hole is found please repair as soon as possible to stop horses from enlarging the hole.
  • As horse owners we know that all horses are different and have their own personalities and tendencies… some may learner quicker than others on how to eat through the net; some may be more content to simply eat off the net and others may want to paw at the net more; and some may need to be moved down onto a 1″ net mesh to further slow their hay consumption while others can stay on 1 1/2″ net mesh for their whole life. It is up to you, the horse owner, to be aware of how your own individual horses are using the nets and decide if any changes are necessary. If you have any questions or comments about your horse(s) using the nets, please send us an email through our contact form and we would be happy to help you!
  • When not using your net: store out of direct sunlight, in a dry location, and away from rodents.
    ( Stored in rodent proof tubs is best, make sure there’s no damp hay in the net b4 storing) 
  • Remember, if your horse's wear SHOES the nets MUST be hung at chest height or higher/secured into feeders so they cannot paw or remove. Otherwise they will get caught in the netting and hung up!
  • When hanging your net remember to hang in a safe place were it can not get snagged and ripped. Hang from the D’s or from the web seam.

 

  • WARRANTY: we warranty the craftsmanship of our nets, as in the the seams that we sew, but we Do Not warranty chew thru’s or tears in the netting. Horses are livestock and very strong animals, we can not know which horses will not like the nets and which will. Chew Thru’s will Not be warrantied, replaced or repaired. Follow our "Starting Out"  instructions for best introduction and acclimation to the system.

Our contact info :
Toll Free #        1-844-326-6387
Local Ph #       1-780-387-3331
email :            econets@telus.net
        PO Box 338, Millet, Alberta T0C 1Z0 Canada
5015 - 45 Ave, directly West of the Petro Can Station
            We are open Monday thru Friday  9 am - 3 pm,
 Closed 12-12:30 weekdays for lunch
  Closed all Statutory Holidays