Ovens & Murray Advertiser - North East Regional Extra

Food for thought how do you position your horses’ hay net?

- With Dr Ellie Merritt, Warby Street Veterinary Hospital

HORSES have evolved primarily as a grazing herbivore, grazing for about 15 hours out of a 24 hour day.

With changes to the management and housing of horses, the supply of constant forage through the use of a slow release hay net has been recommende­d.

A study has recently investigat­ed how the position of a hay net affects the horses’ natural posture.

Riders are frequently aware of the horses’ position under saddle, but often the natural feeding position of the horse is overlooked.

The research found that low hay net position resulted in more natural posture, back position and jaw alignment with an elongated longissimu­s dorsi muscles.

When the hay net was located at the height of the withers, a significan­t change in the jaw and neck posture was appreciate­d.

Further research is needed to interpret how these changes in posture affect horses’ health but it is suspected that a more natural (lower) feeding position is a better option.

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