"When I first saw the Slow Down® Hay Feeder I immediately said, 'How clever!' Not only does it keep horses occupied, but it keeps them "grazing" as they would on pasture. It has the real potential to help treat many health and behavioral issues with less time and expense.
We have many feeding issues with the horse. From stall vices such as weaving, wood chewing, cribbing, aggression and feed anxiety to medical problems such as colic, laminitis, insulin resistance and obesity. All related to bolus feeding instead of browsing. Slowing down hay consumption can affect all these problems, not to mention reduce waste or contamination from spillage." ~Dr. Roy C. Kipper, D.V.M., Grimes, IA
The Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker works well for my weight challenged six year old Haflinger, Nacho. I would recommend it to people for a number of reasons: Obviously, the main reason I use it, it’s been great to slow down intake. Nacho has not been tearing up his stall, rearranging his stall mats and climbing the gates to see what his neighbor is up to. He eats slower through the night and seems to get along well.
I've also noticed how much dust and dirt remains in the bottom of the feeder after each feeding. Horses with respiratory problems, allergies, and COPD, that are forced to eat uphill, nosing into dust and dirt, would benefit from this feeder because their noses aren’t buried in the hay. With this feeder they are eating in the natural head down position and taking up smaller portions at a time while the irritants are falling to the bottom. It's also set up well to add some moisture to the hay to decrease the problem further.
The flexibility of the system, hole sizes, water or not, and how it attaches allow it to fit a number of uses. Finally, and maybe most importantly, Nacho hasn't destroyed it. He’s is a big horse and does things in a big way. He’s wrecked some steel gates just being Nacho. This feeder is durable, not only holding up to Nacho’s antics, but it kept him safe as well. As a vet, I’ve seen a number of injuries associated with feeders. I don’t see injury potential with this feeder.
I’d recommend this feeder aiding in the treatment of horses with respiratory, gastric, weight and behavioral issues. ~Dr. Scott McClure, DVM / Associate Professor & Section Head, Equine Surgery, Iowa State University Equine Veterinary Hospital, Ames, Iowa.
Animal Care Professional Recommended
Thank you so much for following up with us....it is very much appreciated! I have received notification from paypal of the partial (shipping) refund that will be processed. I have received favorable reports from our Zookeepers that the animals are doing very well on the Slow Down Feeders. It has been a pleasure working with you! The customer service we have received through your company has been exceptional! Thanks again, ~Arlene Reade, Administration
Magnetic Hill Zoo/Zoo de Magnetic Hill, Montcon, New Brunswick, Canada
We have 3 ponies, two of which are in good shape, they are not overweight. The third is a little more on the overweight side although not too, too, bad. They all have their own Slow Down Feeder. One of them is an air sucker or cribs when it feeds close to a pony about the same size as itself. Using the others back to place his chin. I have not seen her crib since using the Slow Down Feeders as they are separate and busy. I probably could have ordered the even smaller holes but so far the 3 inch holes seem to be working well. Anyway, I love the feeders! I was feeding the ponies small amounts 5 times a day. They were always waiting for me. I am now feeding twice and they patiently wait while I fill the feeders. A lot less time spent with them as I do have other animals to take care of. I do see them frequently, and they are definitely more content. So glad I found your product!!
(4 months later) I am still very happy with the Slow Down Feeders, They have withstood our cold winter, and as I said before, the ponies seem so much more content.
~Jennifer Blair, Animal Caretaker
Magnetic Hill Zoo/Zoo de Magnetic Hill, Montcon, New Brunswick, Canada
"I've been shoeing horses for almost twenty-five years. I see a lot of horses, in a lot of settings. Horses that stand for most of the day in stalls and dry lots get bored. They need something to do. The behavior I see from being confined can really be bad for their health – cribbing, weaving, kicking at stall walls. For a couple of years now, I’ve watched this feeder really help horses. It prevents them from devouring their food in a matter of minutes, so they have hay around to keep them occupied longer. And the soaking feature is a real advantage to horses with digestive issues like colic and laminitis. But what really impresses me the most about this feeder is its design and the idea behind it. It’s user friendly and built with solid construction that make it virtually indestructible. In my book, this is money well spent.”
~Jeff Smuck, Circle S Farrier Service
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Horse Expert Recommended
A Few Feeding Solutions from The Horse's Hoof
In this issue, we thought we’d pass on some information about a few interesting feeding products:
Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker
What an interesting product! It looks like it is basically a large bucket with a special feeding plate on top to slow down hay/feed consumption. As the horse consumes the hay, the feeding plate slowly lowers in the bucket. It looks very simple and easy to use, and could easily be added to any horse’s living area. The bucket doubles as a convenient way to soak hay, as well as being very portable. With the high cost of hay these days, the promise of less wastage is a big plus! For the natural owner, it might actually pay off to buy several of these and install all around a paddock paradise.
~ www.TheHorsesHoof.com Barefoot Hoofcare Magazine Issue 31 – Summer 20
Slow Hay Feeding Your Horse from the Ground by The Natural Horse Resource
There’s no doubt that it’s a good time to be a manufacturer of slow hay feeders at the moment. As more and more horse owners are moving away from grain towards the idea of feeding their horses continually on hay, hay feeders that slow down feeding are becoming increasingly popular. Finding the right slow hay feeder for you is challenging. Most natural horse owners with horses outside will need big, covered slow hay feeders that can contain large hay boules and keep dry. Those who have run-in shelters or who have covered hay feeding areas spread around a track or paddock can use smaller hay feeders that do not need to be so concerned with the elements...
The Slow Down was designed by horse lovers Jim and Julie Turner. The feeder tub and plate (which contains holes that the horse pulls hay through) are quickly assembled. It also provides a practical way for soaking hay and draining the water due to a plug at the bottom. Images of the product can be found here.
To read full article click here. ~The Natural Horse, Aug 19, 2009
Sizing Up Slow Feeders
Barrel-Type Feeders - These types of feeders are round, plastic containers with inserts; the hay is placed inside, then covered with a "plate" that has holes in it. The feeders are designed so that the horse cannot remove the insert, even if he tips the feeder over.
-The Slow Down® Hay Feeder Soaker is a 37-gallon container that comes with two-and-a-half, three, three-and-a-half, and four-inch holes, plus special orders for larger holes. The plates are inserted over posts along the sides of the barrel, which prevents them from rotating. A plug at the bottom makeis it easy to drain water if hay is soaked prior to feeding. Price of the basic unit, including one plate and two different mounting systems for walls or pipe rail fence, or it can be left free standing. Call 515=993-4123 or go to www.slowdownhayfeeder.com. (read more...) ~EQUUS Magazine, November 2011 Issue 410.
Your Horse, Your Life/Horse Keeping
You've heard the experts. They say we should encourage our horses to eat the way nature intended. That means, ideally, grazing or munching on grass hay food and on 'round the clock...
...If you decide to give slow feeding a try, here are some do's and don'ts...DO shop around...
Non-net alternatives include the Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker, which is a bucket with a restricted-access grille at the top (slowdownhayfeeder.com)... to read the full article, click here. ~Horse and Rider magazine, October 2010.
No-Waste Hay Feeder from The Trail Rider Magazine
The Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker simulates natural-grazing practices to cut down on hay waste and promote horse health. “Horses eat more slowly, because they have to pull hay up and through holes in a plate that covers hay in the feeder,” say The Trail Rider contributors Kent and Char lene Krone. Made from durable noncorrosive polyethylene plastic, the feeder holds 10-12 two-pound flakes of hay. It doubles as a soaker; a plug in the bottom of the tub allows for easy water drainage. Contact: Healthy Feeding Systems, Inc., (515) 993-4123; www.slowdownhayfeeder.com.
~The Trail Rider Magazine, January/February 2009, Vol. 20 No. 1
Six Months on the Road with Slow Down® Hay Feeders
(Photo from The Trail Rider magazine, May 2011 Issue)
Hope all is going well for you folks. We are just completing a nearly six month trip on the road with the horses. We started out near the Canadian boarder, headed to southern California, across Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Now we are in Wyoming on our way home. Guess what we had with us the whole way? The Slow Down Hay Feeders! We can testify from our extensive use that they work extremely well. Not only did we save about 25% of our hay, but they also helped prevent sand colic. In most of our laocations, the corrals were very sandy. The feeders kept the hay off the ground, which prevented the horses from picking it up in their feed.We also had some dusty hay - no problem, just added water! They are such a healthy and useful device, that we spread the word to everyone we met on the trail. Folks got to see them in action. We enjoy being unofficial spokepersons for something that is really beneficial and useful. ~Kent & Charlene Krone, Photo Journalists for "The Trail Rider" Magazine
"Thank you so very much for the prompt delivery....and the one on one contact with your company. I got the Slow Down® Feeder today, as promised and much faster then expected! I took it to my mare and was amazed at how quickly she adjusted to it ( I have it in her stall)...she immediately started "grazing" and really seems to like it. I cannot thank you enough for the very personilized service and the quick delivery. So far, I am thoroughly pleased with the feeder, thrilled that it seems to be working. I will let you know further after tomorrow.
Thanks again! (the next day...) Hi again! I just wanted to update you on how the first night went with the feeder. It is a huge success!! I am so happy I made the decision to purchase it. Angel (my beautiful mare) is one of those who inhales her hay, (she is also an extremely easy keeper) then gets bored and chews the stall down around here. She really likes the feeder and so does all the other boarders who have seen it! Thank you so very much again!!!!" ~Connie Carbonara, Henryville , PA
(three years later) I am enclosing a recent photo of Angel eating out of her feeder with the new plate. I couldn't get a picture of her in her stall so I took the feeder into the indoor arena and as you can see...that didn't stop her any! I will repeat again that this feeder is the best thing any one could have. If given a flake of hay, Angel can consume that in about ten minutes (I'm sure you can tell that she doesn't need any excess food), but with the feeder it keeps her busy for a long time. What is so amazing is that if you put hay on the ground and hay in the feeder, she chooses the feeder. She loves the grazing effect. I love watching her push the lid down as she needs to, it really keeps her occupied. We have a lot of geldings in the barn that waste tons of hay...you know, all over the stall with their , um, excretions all mixed in. Angel has absolutely no waste, or for that matter dirt and debris on her hay. I forget when I bought her feeder, I think its been two or three years and it is unbelievably durable. I guess you can tell how much I love this thing. Every horse owner should have one for their horse(s). It might seem a bit costly but if you figure in all the hay that would be saved...well, it speaks for itself. I wanted to once again tell you how I love the feeder and to thank you once again for the very personalized service that you give. Trust me, it is truly appreciated! ~ Connie Carbonara, Henryville, PA
"I have owned three Slow Down
Hay Feeder Soakers for (about) three years. They are very durable. One
of the horses I own is very hard on his environment and he has not been able to
dent or break the feeder. He has not
been able to tear loose the attached D-rings. The only damage to the feeder has
been the rim that has become a little rough due to his chewing on it, but the
damage is minimal. Thank you for
building a quality product that lasts! The feeder lives up to your claim of 'making the hay last three to five
times longer' in my experience. The "destructive"
horse here is a Haflinger gelding. He
literally kicks the dickens out of the tub when it is empty. He does the same thing to a water barrel. Trying to let me know I guess that he needs
room/pasture service. He can flatten a
jolly ball in less than five minutes. The large game balls? -He can destroy one in an hour. If I give him an apple toy, salt block, he
eats and/or destroys it within a few hours. Ironically he will not destroy his rubber feed bucket. Must be a precious transporter of calories
and thereby, exempt. He is busy. I use stainless steel and galvanized steel
for my stalls. The wood panels do not
have an edge he get can grab with his teeth. He does not pace, crib, etc.; he is just busy. He is not confined. He can open any gate or door. Padlocks are the only way to secure him and
hot wire. He is the jolliest, kindest
horse on the planet, but he is hard on the buildings. Thank you, again, for a quality
~Vicki Huffer, Mulberry, Indiana
"I am so amazed and pleased by the extraordinary service from Healthy Feeding Systems, Inc. Their Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker is great! My horse loves it and actually prefers it to his usual hay pile! No more early morning calling for breakfast, and he seems so much calmer and more content. They gave great advice when I first ordered, that perhaps a larger size plate would be better. They were right and after we talked, sent what they knew I would be happiest with. I would recommend this product and personalized attention to anyone who cares about their horses." ~Judy Sinner, Selah, WA
"I am very happy with my Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker! It delivered everything it promised. My horse is eating more slowly and is not in a panic, like she used to be, when she ran out of food. She was a very fast eater and would consume a feeding of hay in about 30 min. Now she is content as she has hay before her at all times without gaining weight. I think this will help in the prevention of colic and/or stall vices with this horse. The shipping was very fast and the product is of much better quality than I imagined! It is very sturdy and seems horse proof. The hardware is of high quality and the attachments to the wall are excellent and easy to release. You have developed an excellent product!" ~Jodi Morrison, British Columbia, Canada
"My Morgan horse, Karuso, became dangerously overweight and could not go on pasture at all and his feed had to be monitored closely. He showed signs of IR and on top of that his teeth were rounded too much at his last dental visit so he was not able to utilize the nutrition from his hay that he should. He was in a word, starving. So he became very agitated, aggressive toward his food and would inhale his meal before the other horses even had their appetizers :)
The answer was to feed him on a continual grazing manner with low sugar hay (washed) and in small amounts. The people at Healthy Feeding Systems, Inc. They (Julie is who I talked to) were so caring and helpful when I was placing my order for my first Slow Down® Hay Feeder.
At first I just left it free standing and he rolled it all over the paddock trying to "dump" out the grass. Never hurt the feeder at all (believe me he tried) and gave him a new game. On Julie's suggestion, we mounted it to the wall permanently in his stall and it works better - no more going out in the rain to find his barrel!
Through trial and error we found the correct size hole for the top grate for him, and he has become so much happier. I felt that Julie truly cared about my horse and me and it showed in her customer relations. Thank you, Julie!
Less food is not the way to reduce his weight because it is like us going on a diet and not eating enough calories. What happens? We become weak, hungry all the time, agitated and lose muscle tone. Also when the blood sugar drops in an IR horse because he is not balanced, he becomes more hungry and irritated just as we humans do. Not the makings for a fun trail horse!
Now Karuso is getting to "graze" and get small amounts of food that his digestive system can utilize more efficiently and is not starving all the time. When I come to his stall he is of course ready to eat, but he waits for me to load his barrel in his stall and then gives me a parting kiss as he enjoys his hay. I'm not kidding - he stretches his head to me and waits for me to kiss his nose as if to say "thank you Mom, I'm so happy now". No more ears back, pacing in the stall until I give him the hay and grabbing at it from my hands. He never did this until the past few months when he became over weight and his condition became apparent. The more he ate, the more he wanted.
Now, he eats for awhile and actually walks outside to look around, get a drink, check things out and then come back to his stall. In other words, eating normally because his tummy is satisfied. I even give him a little bit of hay not in the feeder sometimes and he does not gobble it as before.
When I take him out in the arena now he is happy to play and doesn't stop to find a speck of grass anywhere possible like before. His focus is on me and he follows me around the arena and is a happy horse! I call him my Cavalier horse :) My vet was out and I showed him Karuso eating from the feeder and he thought it was perfect!
On top of all this, I ordered the dolly which was such a delight. I put his hay in the barrel, pull it to the edge of the barn by the water faucet, (I attached an extra lead rope to it) fill it with hay, add water and then pull the plug and let it drain. When ready, I pull it back to the stall and attach to the wall. So easy on my back and so good for my horse!
I have another older horse, Billy, that is on timothy pellets and I soak them before feeding so he won't choke on them. The dolly is the perfect size for the container I feed him in, so I put the container on the dolly, add the pellets, pull it to the sink and add hot water, let it soak a few minutes, mix it up and then pull it to his stall. What a relief from filling that bucket with water and lifting it from the sink! My aching back thanks you!
I love my feeder, I love my dolly, I love my horses and I love Julie and everyone at Healthy Feeding Systems! They e-mailed to make certain what I was ordering was what I really needed, and then even called me on the phone and talked about my horse's needs like a good friend would.
Delivery was so fast and easy - right to my front gate. The best thing I have done for my horses and my back is the Slow Down® Hay Feeder and dolly!" ~Linda Capsaliaris, Grass Valley, CA
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"I received my Slow Down® Feeders today! I immediately took them to the ranch and set them up in the stalls. 2 out of 3 horses used them appropriately. The third horse is a Nervous Nellie and will have to get used to the concept.
(3 weeks later) The Slow Down® Hay Feeders are doing a great job of managing the rate at which my horses are eating! Thanks so much!"
(6 weeks later) Regarding the hay scale and dolly, I love both. The hay scale really helps me regulate the amount of hay my horses are getting each feeding. I have learned that not all hay bales are created equal. They look similar, but they weigh differently. Some have more Timothy and some more Orchard. Some flakes are compressed tighter... and so on and so on. The hay scale takes the guess work out of feeding. Also, I found it easy to use. I just took a piece of baling twine, tied it to a rafter, hung the scale from it and then attached the hay pan. It is convenient and readily available each feeding.
As for the Dolly, I use it mainly to move the Slow Down® Feeders over to the water spigot so I can wet the hay. I also need it to move my 16 gallon heated water tubs. The dolly is very durable and large. The only real problem I have is keeping my husband from taking it for his garage chores.
The Slow Down® Hay Feeders are the hit of the barn, however. My farriers, vets and friends have all commented positively on their design and utility. I have used the feeders for a few months now and all three horses are adept at using them. I have reduced hay waste and increased management of hay intake. I would personally endorse your products any day!" Sincerely, Debbie Pugliano, Larkspur, CO
My Benny is a chunky cob type who puts on weight very easily. He is a very 'aggressive' feeder and in winter is in at night and out all day. He usually launches into his hay the minute he comes in. In the summer he goes out all the time, but if he gets too fat on the grass, he has to come in at night again. I have always fed Benny hay from the floor in the past, as I don't like to see hay fed in hay nets because of the repetitive action on the horse's neck and shoulders of constantly ripping hay out of a net for two or three hours at an unnatural angle.
I am really pleased that I found your website, because the benefits of the feeder make the hay last longer, reduce Benny's hours of boredom once all feed has gone, and make for a better digestive process. I am also very glad that I took your suggestion to buy a plate with the smaller holes in it as well, as I watched him eating with the bigger plate and saw that he learned to speed up eating very quickly!
When I fixed the feeder in Benny's stable, he was very suspicious and wouldn't go near it. So I took it outside again and he practiced eating from it where he felt safer (he could get away if it did something scary). The sound of the feeder plate coming up with the hay he pulled out made him jump as well. Then he felt better with it in his stable and for a few nights I put hay in it without the plate. Then finally the plate went back in and I felt happy to leave him with it overnight. This took less than a week.
I'll be able to feed him less hay as well, so eventually the hay feeder will have paid for itself. So thank you again for coming up with this design! ~ Best wishes, Anne Sprake, United Kingdom
"Thank you for helping me solve the dilemma of how to humanely assist my big American Warmblood in losing weight. In spite of miles and miles of mountain trail rides and hours of jumping, he remains at an unhealthy weight. He practically inhales two flakes of hay in less than thirty minutes, and then chews on the fence, and salivates with longing, while enviously watching his Arab buddy slowly enjoy his ration for hours on end! Thanks to the Slow Down® Hay Feeder, it now takes him three to four hours to eat the same amount of hay and he is both entertained and content the entire time. He also enjoys rolling the feeder around when I leave it freestanding to see what last morsels he might extract. His muscles are becoming more defined and my trainer's first comment to me last week was that "Rainman has lost weight!" I was happy to tell her about the Slow Down® Hay Feeder and I can't wait for my veterinarian to see it as well. This investment is well worth it. Thank you so much!"
(after four months of use) “I wanted to let you know that Rainman achieved almost perfect weight a few weeks ago- YEA !! He has slowed down his feeding altogether now. Even when I throw him a few flakes out so I can hurry and go ride, like a new habit, he eats it more slowly. He even seems to prefer eating out of the Slow Down® Feeder, even when there is loose hay around. Solomon (our other horse) is sort of jealous that Rainman has the Slow Down® Feeder and rushes over to eat out of it when I let him out of his paddock (I keep them separated for feedings). But Rainman is pretty possessive of it and generally chases him away, even if it is empty. I am very happy and satisfied with the Slow Down® Feeder and it’s results!"
~Lynn Johnson, Centennial, CO click here to see video by Neil Crisp
"I wanted to let you know that I got the Slow Down® Feeder on Wednesday and went to Count’s barn to install it today. We had a bit of an audience, as everyone had heard that my special feeder for Count was arriving. Everyone stood around while I easily set it up, filed it with hay, put the plate on and voila. Count certainly became very busy accessing his hay and all day long a stream of curious onlookers kept stopping by the stall to see how he was doing with his feeder. When I left the barn he was still busy working away on getting to his food and it is such a blessing, as he must be cooped up for another 50 days of stall rest but at least I know he will spend most of the time busy feeding himself. Everyone was so amazed at how simple the feeder is to use and yet how sturdy and tough it is. One owner of a cribbing horse stood around for a long time accessing the situation and I think she has pretty much decided that the feeder will help her horse to not crib as much.
I want to thank you, once again, for going above and beyond to get the feeder to me so swiftly. I was really nervous about Count’s post op recovery and the fact that he would have to stand around in a stall for 60 days. I really was sure he would do something stupid and bring on another injury if he didn’t have something to keep him busy or distracted and he must eat small amounts of food frequently and well….. this is the perfect solution. The vet comes out tomorrow to give him a check up and I’m sure she will find the feeder fascinating as well, since I’ve already told her about it and she felt it was a great solution to his situation. I’ll keep you posted and thank you for such great service and innovation!
(weeks later…) I just got off the phone with my trainer to get an update. All is well that ends well…….. as they say…….. It is working great! Your persistence and willingness to keep looking for a solution has PAID OFF!!!!!!!! KUDOS TO YOU, JULIE, FOR HANGING IN THERE WITH ME TO FIND A SOLUTION! As I suspected, your concept is creative, innovative, practical and works! In my case, we just needed to make an adjustment for my horse’s out of the ordinary mouth size. For him, the plate seems to work best not snapped into the locked position, but it works really well nonetheless. I think this is what you call a success story!!!" ~with gratitude, Claudia Murphy, Glendale , CA
The Slow Down® Feeder is working for Gus! The larger plate allows a little more hay for him and a lot less frustration. He seemed really happy last evening. When I arrived he was still eating and seemed like he was more interested in the hay than me! (Usually bad, but in thiscase I'll deal with it! ) I will keep you updated and I appreciate the awesome customer service! ~Natalie
(after one month) The feeder really is a fantastic product that truly does as it is advertised, and my too busy mentally horse is way too involved in "grazing" on his hay to cause any mischief whilst recuperating. Wonderful as well as much more peaceful for his poor "Mommy"! I thank you again for the time you took, as well as the help in getting him the right size hole so all is relaxed and easy, and everyone, especially him, is HAPPY. And the dolly truly makes everyone's life easier, it is easy to transport the full feeder to his stall, and no broken backs! (or in my case worsening :) Thanks again, and I promise to keep you updated as we make our way towards our goal of being sound and productive.
~Sincerely, Natalie Worthington, Warminster , PA
"My horses are loving their (three) new Slow Down® feeders. When my husband was putting up the wall mounts for the corner ones, I gave a small amount of hay to them so they would stay occupied while we worked and the look they gave me was, 'What! You want me to eat that off the ground?' It was so funny! Again, thank you for such a wonderful product. Every horse owner needs one of these feeders!! God bless you and Happy Trails!" ~Karen Narramore, Gilroy, CA
"Klacyk Fyre is a 19 year old Russian Arabian. He has Cushings and the symptoms show by pain in his hooves and shoulder area. This winter we were soaking his hay to remove the sugar. It was very cold and we were Filling a large tub in the barn restroom, then wheeling it outside after the soak to empty it. Then we had to drain it on racks before we could feed. It was a miserable job. It was such a relief when we found your Slow Down® Hay Feeder Soaker. We put the hay in, filled it with water, waited an hour, pulled the plug and the hay was ready for Klacyk. We now use it to soak the hay for all our horses in the winter. Thanks for a great product!" ~Laura Potter, Cove, OR
***(Two years later after purchasing three additional Slow Down® Hay Feeders/Soakers)
We have just moved Arizona. We used the feeders on our trip. We needed to spend two nights at motels with the horses boarded at nearby stables. The feeders were so handy. We filled them up, attached them to the fencing and they ate all night. We didn't have to worry that they would be eating feed off of the ground and they seemed to be fairly content even in strange new places. We find now that we are starting to get settled, but still don't have time to exercise the boys. But they move each other from feeder to feeder. It is better than no exercise at all. ~Laura Potter, AZ
"When I installed the feeder in the barn both horses approached with caution!! Snorted a few times and then went right to town. My horse, a 7 yr old paint, really enjoys eating from it as his eyes are always half-closed while eating. But he is pushing my daughter's QH gelding out, so we are still feeding on the side. So to keep everyone happy we ordered another. I am very pleased so far and see a less stressful summer with the feeders. Our ground is very sandy and I am always stressed and worried about colic. We haven't experienced colic yet and hope the feeders keep it that way. My daughter belongs to a 4H club that only deals with kids with horses. Could you include more brochures so I can pass them out to our members to look at? Thanks and I look forward to receiving the (second) feeder. ~Brenda Sandlar, Manawa, WI
***(a few days later...) Just want to let you know that as each day goes by the horses seem happier and calmer with the feeder there. They sun themselves and when the mood strikes, wander over to have a snack. It is hard right now because of the snow and ice on the ground so riding is out of the question most of the time. The feeder keeps them busy. We will be taking it to the fair and open shows this summer. I'm sure we will receive many questions about it." ~Brenda Sedlar, Manawa , WI
"I was sure my stud would have the feeder destroyed in no time. Much to my surprise it was just fine and he finished all the hay we put in it the first night! It sure keeps him from wasting so much hay, which is scarce and pretty pricey these days! And it really keeps his stall clean too, so morning chores go a whole lot faster. Enjoying the extra time getting ready for work in the morning! Nice work Slow Down®!"
~ Mary Lou Clark , ML Paint and Quarter Horses, Prairie City , IA
“I manage a boarding barn with 40+ horses. Anything that can lessen time spent cleaning stalls and making repairs is worth a look. I first tried the feeder with a horse that digs holes in the stall floor everyday. To my amazement he stopped digging because he’s too busy eating! I then put it in a stall with three weanlings. Not only are they all eating out of it at the same time, but the stall isn’t trashed with manure soiled hay. I know the owner of the facility is happy too, because we’re not wasting near the hay we used to which is money in his pocket! This is quite a product!”
~Lenard E. DeLong, Barn Manager, Lost Acres Stables, Grimes, IA
"I tried the Slow Down Hay Feeder on my horse first with orchard grass. A smaller hole would work slower. Then I let my mule use it for her alfalfa and the hole size is perfect for alfalfa. Good call! Love the Slow Down Feeder! -Will order more when budget allows."
~Kelley Jo Locke, Fresno, CA
"I wanted to thank you so much for the quick delivery of my Slow Down® Hay Feeder! I also wanted to let you know that you were exactly right about Tank playing or being full. I have been really sick this past week and didn't go out to see Tank on Sunday. My friend filled the feeder on Saturday and when I went to see him today...waaa laaa, it was EMPTY!! I cant say enough about how thrilled I am with the feeder!! It keeps hay in front of my beautiful Tankalicious all the time and helps me sleep better at night since he now lives in the desert and doesn't get to graze!! I have told EVERYONE I know about it!!Thank you, again, for taking the time to call me last week, I was ready to order a smaller plate!! I will soon take a picture of Tankalicous eating out of his feeder.....He LOVES it and so do I!!! I think the feeder is awesome...well made and thought out... Thanks for your help!"
~Tracey Zyniecki, Henderson, NV
“I have to purchase my own low sugar hay for my overweight, Insulin Resistant, horse. I needed something that would slow down his feeding rate, but keep him busy while having less hay so he’ll continue to lose weight. I am very happy with the Slow Down® Hay Feeder. I’ve found we’re wasting less hay and the soaking feature is great! My horse has slowed down his eating and has lost weight, which is exactly what I wanted. The bonus is, a few short months later, he is no longer overweight and he’s building muscle! This feeder will help so many horses! Thank you!” ~Becky Love, Pleasanton, CA
“Sadly, I have an insulin-resistant mare that requires constant/on demand, s-l-o-w grazing in order to help regulate her blood sugar and prevent episodic bouts of laminitis. At the time of my mare's first laminitic episode, I began soaking her grass hay for 60 minutes, to reduce a lot of the water soluble sugars. I then had to drain and broadcast the heavy wet hay around the paddock. I did this six times every day! Needless to say, this was a very labor intensive endeavor that seriously compromised my ability to earn a living.
I thought my prayers had been answered when I discovered 'The Grazer' hay feeding machine. Enthusiastically, I purchased, ASSEMBLED and installed SEVEN of these machines on pipe panels around my paddock; home to a small harem herd, consisting of one stallion, his three mares and two babies.
Regrettably, in a matter of a few short weeks, my enthusiasm was replaced with frustration, as I began having nothing but trouble with my Grazers. Over the 10 months that ensued, I tried every conceivable "McGyver-like" solution ... to no avail!
Then a friend (God bless you, Lisa) told me about the Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker. After laying out such a huge sum of money for my Grazers ... (before their radical price reduction ... about $350 each, plus tax and shipping ... times SEVEN!) ... I wasn't all that eager to risk yet another substantial investment on another "experiment". Cautiously, I ordered ONE Slow Down® Hay Feeder ... and WOW, what a difference!
Now for my experiences in a side-by-side comparison ...
- Clever, but somewhat complicated design
- Aluminum sheet metal construction
- Hazardous squared metal design
- Assembly required--mostly straight forward,
but some steps are a MAJOR hassle.
- Paint chips with first use!
- Potential for toxic ingestion of traces of aluminum
- Rusts almost immediately
- On warm days, the metal gets hot enough to burn
your hands AND worse yet, your horse's mouth!
- Heavy grate can easily slam down on your hands
or wrists while loading hay, resulting in pain
- Bar spacing too far apart to adequately slow
feeding once the horses figure out bow to work
around the bars and 'game' the system.
- Really clever horses eventually figure out how to
pop the side latches, dumping all the hay on the
- Won’t work with presoaked hay
- Wet hay bogs down as it is too heavy for the
hopper springs to support and properly advance
tray up to grate for feeding.
- Unit is stationary
- Very high maintenance
Bits of hay and other debris collects surprisingly
quick under the hopper tray, which interferes with
normal operation and reduces filling capacity
- Frequent cleaning is required to ensure proper
operation; yet The Grazer is heavy, having to lift it
from the brackets each time is a cumbersome chore.
- Debris under hopper spoils rapidly and can
pose a mold spore inhalation hazard as your
horse feeds from the tray above.
- A friend who was able to mount her Grazers in
a barn stall has had no trouble with her installation;
however, contrary to Grazer advertising, they
DO NOT work well pipe panels and are downright
dangerous in my opinion. There is far too much
inherent movement of the panel to provide safe,
secure mounting of the feeder. Every few days the
mounting brackets develop too much “play” and the
thumb screws work free from the drilled holes…a
constant battle to keep them in place. One morning
I was awakened to the sound of banging and
discovered to my horror, one of my mares pawing
at the Grazer that had worked loose from its mounting
bracket and was laying dangerously on its side.
I sincerely thank God, that I caught her BEFORE she
managed to amputate a foot on the exposed sharp
sheet metal as a result of what appears to be a
serious design flaw.
The Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker
- Beautiful and genius in its simplicity
- Durable, high impact UV stable plastic
- Rounded horse-safe design
- No assembly required whatsoever!
- Non toxic
- Never rusts
- Never burns you or your horse(s)
- Lightweight, easy to use
(The Slow Down)
- Be careful to order correct size holes for
YOUR horse, as to prevent hoof injury due
to pawing as some horses may become
frustrated until they adjust to eating at a
slower, more natural pace.
- Hay stays put, so long as you don’t
overfill as I tried to at first.
- No presoaking required.
- You can soak/drain/feed all in same unit!
- Highly portable!
(The Slow Down)
- Manufacturer recommends daily cleaning,
though I manage to get by with 1-2 times
- A cinch to clean, as needed.
(The Slow Down)
- Quick and EASY chain/snap or
cable/snap mount. Haven’t yet tried
wall mount as I have pipe panels
All four of Rebecca's horses eating
out of the Slow Down® Feeder at once!
In closing… even though the Grazer fell so far short of my expectations, at least you don’t end up feeding the NEIGHBORS’ horses whenever the wind blows.
As for the Slow Down® Feeder, the only minor improvement I’d like to see is a more user-friendly drain plug. Nonetheless, I intend to replace all my Grazers with the Slow Down® as soon as finances allow… despite the fact the Grazer is now cheap by comparison.” ~Sincerely, Rebecca B., California
"My beloved Jarich is a Friesian that does not know how to stop eating or to eat slowly. He rushes through his hay until every blade is consumed and the other horses in the barn can make it last for hours after he is done. I knew I had to help him and the Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker was a great option. Not only is his stall very clean but his hay consumption is slowed down. The company is very easy to work with and believes not only in their product but in helping horses live a better life."
~ Gloria Olson, Des Moines, IA
"I have three Slow Down® Hay Feeders for three horses with different eating habits and needs. I am thrilled by how well they work and how much faster I clean stalls each morning. I was most surprised by how much hay I save each day! I now go through half as much hay as before, because they’re eating more efficiently and not wasting it all over the stall floor! The feeders will pay for themselves in no time and save me even more! It’s also become part of my reconditioning program. My horses have never looked better! Thanks, Healthy Feeding Systems, for such a great product and excellent customer service!"
~ Mona Callendar, West Winds Farms, Waukee, IA
"I just wanted to send you a note to let you know of my experiences with the Slow Down Hay Feeder that I bought about five weeks ago. The mare I was given is 17 years old and at first VERY upset with the feeder. I had it securely anchored to the pipe fencing and love the fact that she couldn't move it at all! But she was so mad at it that she would grab the plate with her teeth and pull it up and leave it up. But I would always put some loose hay on the top of the plate to get her to started and go out periodically and pull tuffs up through the holes. She now eats out of the feeder just fine and I am saving approximately 30% on hay. That was the amount she used to throw on the ground and waste. So, although I was
discouraged at first, I am now very glad I got it! ~Cathleen Wall, Hesperia, CA
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