How To Love Your Equine With Enrichment

What Does Your Horse, Pony Or Donkey Love Doing?

Is your first reaction, eating? Well of course they do love eating, as natural grazers. As a species, equines grazing for around 16 hours a day is how they've evolved.

But what else does your equine love doing? Worth thinking about. I started something with my donkeys. As they're kept off the grass at night, for weight management. I thought they'd benefit some stimulation to stop them eating the fencing! And because happier donkeys makes easier donkeys to handle. And who doesn't want a happy donkey?!

So I started cutting bits off my hedgerow for them to nibble on. And they love it! Beech or willow seems to be their favourite. Hedgerows are something in the wild, given the chance, they'd eat.

Now they're waiting for their hedgerow bits every night. Once you start giving them "enrichment" then they expect it. so you have to continue with it.

How To Enrich Your Equine's Life

Why have I used the word 'enrichment'. Some people call these 'treats' enrichment. Another way of saying 'improving'.

If we're wanting to care for our equines well. Or any animal of ours. Then we want to ensure they have the best possible quality of life. And giving them variety of ways to play, nibble and enjoy life has got to be good!

Take some time today, tomorrow, the next day and next week. Find out what your equines like doing. I've tried giving them other items like the vegetable swede. As know some people have found their equines like playing or nibbling with them. But no, not interested! It is trial and error. What one animal likes doing another won't. They are of course all individuals.

It's good to help your equine to feel good! They'll feel happy and you can be happy knowing you're doing all that you can. And it'll help increase your bond with each other.

Veterinary Research
Effects of enrichment items on activity and social interactions in domestic horses (Equus caballus) - Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2010

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Please remember that if your horse, dog or other animal is unwell. Or on any kind of medication or other supplement. Then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first before using any supplement or therapy. Even natural ones. To avoid any possible issues.

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Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

About the Author

Suzanne Harris is founder of this Taranet website at, and also provides business coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.