|Written by Julie Turner|
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why does my horse need the Slow Down® Hay Feeder Soaker?
If your horse is stall or dry lot bound you need the Slow Down® Hay Feeder Soaker. Many health and behavioral issues begin because horses are confined. By nature, horses are meant to graze up to 16 hours a day. Health issues such as founder and laminitis, ulcers, colic, choke, cribbing and insulin resistance can be treated using this feeder. This feeder benefits you as well! Especially with today's economy, if you'd like to save money by wasting less hay while saving time cleaning stalls each day, this feeder is for you!
Hay is placed into the 37 gallon, (21 inches wide by 24 inches tall) high grade UV resistant plastic container with four strategically placed posts and guides. A feeder "plate" made out of UHMW, a high-grade abrasion resistant plastic, is placed over the posts and twists to lock under the specially tooled set of upper guides. By nature of gravity, and the horse pulling strands of hay through the specially designed plate's holes, the plate slowly lowers to the bottom of the container. When empty, the feeder plate rests on the bottom set guides, keeping chaff, sand and debris from easy reach. This material should be dumped on a regular basis to avoid bacterial build up and to keep the feeder functioning properly. You may also add water to the hay filled Slow Down® Hay Feeder to soak hay, washing away dust and sugars by merely pulling the drain plug. No mess! No waste! No other feeder can do all this with such ease!
Pictures can be deceiving. The Slow Down® tub is considerably bigger than a five gallon bucket! The feeder tub holds 37 gallons with dimensions of 21 3/4 inches wide by 24 inches tall. On our homepage you can find pictures comparing it's size to an upright hay bale and water buckets. Click here to BUY NOW!
All types of hay (grass, alfalfa, and mixes) are baled and weigh differently, but generally the Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker will hold half a small square bale. Or to put it another way, 10-12 two pound flakes of hay, or approximately 20-24 lbs of hay. (Click here for filling demonstration)
Does your horse love to eat? Most do, so he will likely figure it out without any coaxing from you. They have a strong sense of curiosity, if not appetite. One or the other will have them poking around at the holes filled with hay almost immediately. If they appear to have difficulty at first, pull a few strands of hay through a couple of the holes or leave the plate in the unlocked position. This will help get them started, but be patient. Some horses, like people, need a little time to learn something new. (click here for demonstation)
While we can’t predict exactly how long it will take each horse to finish a quantity of hay, as each circumstance (types of hay, time of day, soaked or unsoaked, plate size used, experience using the feeder, etc.) and horse are different; many customers, report horses taking 3-5 times longer to consume their hay. We can also tell you the feeder was first invented for one of our mares who had foundered on green grass. Placed on stall rest and a restricted diet, she seemed to begin to inhale her hay. We timed her: One pound in 10 minutes. When eating hay out of the feeder it took her between 30-45 minutes to finish a pound of hay. She stopped chewing on her stall walls, had a much better attitude and lost the weight our vet recommended. Click here to BUY NOW!
Never easier! If you’ve ever had the pleasure of soaking hay with a hay net in a garbage can full of water and then carrying the dripping mess to the stall, tying it up and getting yourself soaked in the process, you will appreciate this aspect of the feeder most of all! With this Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker, all you do is throw the hay in, place the plate on and fill it with water! Then pull the plug to let the water out, along with dust, sugar and allergens, and the feeder is ready for your horse! You stay clean and dry and so does the stall! (click here to see how it works)
The key to deciding on a plate size is somewhat like buying a pair of shoes for ourselves. We know what size usually fits our feet, but we always have to try them on to see how they fit first. Not all horses mouths are the same size. So when choosing a plate size, we recommend one that is as large, or a little larger, than the mouth size, so it will not frustrate the horse while learning how to eat from the feeder. Later, you can gradually begin to use a smaller plate if you feel you'd like to reduce their eating pace even more. Older and less aggressive eaters may do best on very large holed plates. Choosing a size that is too small or not following loading and cleaning instructions may result in damage to the feeder and/or plate and may result in frustration and discomfort for the horse. Choose a plate with holes smaller than your animal's hoof, as hoof size and mouth size seem be the similar in size in most cases. Please remember, these recommendations are only guidelines. Like people, all horses and situations are unique. If you still are unsure or have questions, we'd be happy to help! Give us a call (515)993-4123 or email us. (click here for sizes of plates) Click here to BUY NOW!
S – “Small” 2.5 inch holed feeder plate
M – “Medium” 3.0 inch holed feeder plate
- Not recommended as a beginner plate for average sized horses
XL – “Extra Large” 4.0 inch holed feeder plate -
- A good starter plate for most large or average sized horses
- For horses with a hoof size of 4.0 inches or larger
XXL- "Extra-Extra Large" 5.0 inch holed feeder plate (SPECIAL ORDER)
- Please consult with us for more information on this plate
The most notable difference is that hay nets have a large number of openings, thus a large surface area, making hay easier to access, no matter how small the holes are. In addition, hay nets, being exposed to nature's elemnets, your horse's teeth and perhaps hooves, will deteriorate rapidly and you'll find yourself replacing them quite often to avoid a injury risk. For safety reasons, hay nets are designed to be tied up, to avoid a horse's feet. Yet, eating at elevated position is not natural or healthy for a horse, while also resulting in hay loss as small pieces fall to the ground. These pieces are then picked up by your horse, along with sand and dirt which runs the risk of sand colic. The Slow Down® Hay Feeder's surface area is reduced to only the feeder plate. The holes may be bigger than a hay net, but they are rigid, requiring some nose and teeth work to access hay. Additionally, the Slow Down® is on the ground, not elevated, at the natural eating position for a horse. And as the hay is pulled, dirt and debris fall to the bottom of the feeder, away from your horse's reach. Further, hay nets typically only hold a flake or two, so you will spend more time refilling nets, while Slow Down® holds over a half a bale of hay - saving you precious time as well!
You’ll be amazed at just how much! It will depend on individual situations, but let’s just start with hay costs. By merely feeding or wasting less hay, the feeder can pay for itself in a very short amount of time! Considering the cost of repairing stall walls, fences and whatever else horses destroy when bored or hungry, you’ll be saving money and precious time with less repairs! Also consider the health concerns and the cost to treat those issues that can be helped, if not prevented, by using the Slow Down® Hay Feeder Soaker. Issues such as ulcers, colic, laminitis and founder, just to name a few! You can’t afford NOT to own one! (click here for other ways it can save you money)
Absolutely! It only weighs 22 lbs! Take it with you to the shows, camping and trail rides. The D-rings enable you to clip or tie it to just about anything. It’s light enough to carry one in each hand. It also makes a handy bucket for loading and unloading your supplies! Click here to BUY NOW!
Over two years were spent researching and testing materials to ensure they would endure not only a horse's large size and potential abuse, but varying temperatures as well. Many materials did not meet our standards due to breakage, longevity and most importantly, safety. We will not compromise our high standards to reduce the cost of the feeder, as we feel most strongly about the horse's well-being and safety.
We are proud of our quality workmanship and the durability of the Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker, and even more proud of how many satisfied customers we have! We strive to answer all your questions before, during and after you have purchased from us. However, if you find you're not fully satisfied you can return it to us. Click here for specific details on our policies.
No problem at all. You can hose it off in minutes. If you think it needs a good cleaning, just fill it with water and add a cup of bleach. Let it soak, rinse and tip over to dry. Simple!
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