Monday, March 24, 2014

It's worth a shot.

My old man horse, Pistol has heaves. Usually changes in the season trigger his episodes and it is heartbreaking to be able to hear him breathing from across the yard. The first nice day of the year I got out of my pickup and I could just hear his wheezing breaths and it about made me cry. He is probably the best trained, and most reliable horse in our pasture so it sucks to see him suffering. So it is back to his medicine in his grain. I had called the vet and he said that if it ever gets really bad, he will give us some steroids to try.
In addition to the weather actually being nice, we had put out a new bale to the ponies and it didn't really seem that bad, but it also may have had an affect on Pistol's breathing. 9 times out of 10 he has his face buried in the middle of the bale, and that really isn't' the best thing for his breathing.
 So I started reading up on Cinch Net Slow Feeders by Cinch Chix. From what I read it sounded like exactly what I needed. Not only does it help with horses with heaves, it helps with these issues

  • horses that a prone to colic
  • hard keepers
  • senior horses
  • ulcers
  • herd aggression
  • Super easy to put on!
  • reducing waste

Yes Please. I've got a few of these going on in my pasture. There have been studies done by the University of Minnesota that said these slow feed nets, help drastically reduce wasted hay, which helps save money, which means more money for more horse things.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't cringe when paying for the net. But after receiving it, and how easy it was to put on, I am happy with my decision to buy it.

At first the horses weren't really sure what to do. Well mostly Duke was unsure of things. He was concerned with what the hell was going on to his all you can eat buffet. So he chased around the other two because that is what you do in unfamiliar situations.

But in no time, everyone settled down and realized that the hay was just fine, the net wasn't going to eat them, and it was just a bit trickier to get at their food. But I haven't noticed them struggling one bit to get at the hay. A friend of mine did say that she had trouble with her horses losing weight after she started using hers, but so far, so good with my boys. Pistol was the first to dive in, unsurprisingly, and then George joined in and then finally Duke. 

Less than 24 hours later they had all put a pretty nice dent into the bale. I was actually surprised at how much they got accomplished in such a short time. The net is obviously holding up wonderfully too. I am always kind of skeptical about things like this, but so far I am VERY happy with the purchase. Any post purchase anxiety is gone too. Especially since right around the bale feeder, there isn't wasted money   hay scattered around. 

And finally I decided to include this image of the most beautiful horse in the entire world. Please don't all jump at once and throw cash offers to me... 


  1. Hope he starts doing better with breathing!

    As for George.....what was the price we were talking about on facebook? :))

  2. Heaves is horrible. Glad the net is working out - it seems very durable.

  3. We use nets too (we just buy cheap hockey nets and lace them together!) and LOVE them. There's a heaves horse at our barn as well, and it's improved hugely since he went on the net system. We also like to (because we love extra labor) stuff two bales into a net laced shut and give it to them. It's a great boredom buster as they move them all over the place, toss them to try to get the good leafy stuff to fall out, and keeps them moving. :) Glad you love your nets too!