This is state of the art horse feeding.
There is nothing else like it on the market.
The SlowFeeding Optimal might not have the lowest price compared to regular slow feeding solutions but I promise you that it is so superior that it is worth every penny. I’m so sure of this that I offer you a 60 days money back guarantee covering every penny you pay me for it (shipping included).
Buy it, try it, decide if you want to keep it.
- Reteaching horses and ponies to eat naturally.
The ultimate goal in horse feeding is to get the horse to take natural breaks and stop over-eating. All horses can re-gain this natural ability that they lose when being fed portions and therefore being forced to see the supply of food run out. For a horse to be without food when he feels a need to eat makes him believe he is going to starve to death and this makes him eat both faster and more next time he has a chance. Standing relaxed, in balance, eating straight forward from the top down and staring into the supply of hay makes him forget all sorrows and hardships, and become calm and content. This is when he can consider taking a break from eating even though there is a lot of hay left. When you see your horse voluntarily taking a break from eating even though there is hay left that is when he starts functioning as he is supposed to. His patience, stamina, and ability to perform increases and he becomes nicer to both herd mates and humans. It doesn’t matter how good he was before, this state of mind makes him better, a lot better actually.
- Wasting time.
I hate wasting time and filling hay nets is one of the worst ways to do it. When I have time to be with my ponies I want to be with my ponies, not with their hay. I’m sorry I designed the first slow feeding net as a flat hanging envelop but I didn’t know better 10 years ago. (We will celebrate the 10 years anniversary of SlowFeeding SMHN Original next year.) Since everybody copied what I did back then flat nets became the standard, but they are horrible to fill. The SlowFeeding Optimal is quick and easy to fill. Just un-hook, fold the net to the side, dump in all the hay, fold the net back and re-hook. (I will look for a video and link it here.) The same amount of hay that takes 10 minutes to stuff into a flat net takes more like 1 minute to load in a SlowFeeding Optimal.
- Heads up, or down, or in between.
Yes, horses are designed to graze from the ground but horses don’t eat where they have done “this and that”. Being fed on the floor in their box stalls they don’t have much choice. Did you know that as soon as you can feel the smell of ammonium from the bedding it is already 50 times higher concentration of toxic fumes in the air than what is considered safe for horses? The height from where horses are eating is important but it is not the angle of the neck but the angle of the head that is important.
Some people believe it to be easier for that horse to breath when having his head at ground level but if that was the case he should have his heads down there when running flat out since that is when he needs most oxygen, and very few horses do.
It is, however, his front teeth that must be the lowest part of his mouth to make the saliva pour towards his front teeth to be mixed well into chewed food or it might get stuck in his very long throat when swallowing. Everything he swallows must be in the consistency of “wet porage”. If he eats with his head too high the saliva will pour directly back into his throat and not be mixed into the food.
The SlowFeeding Optimal Pony has a minimum mounting height of 60 cm (24 inches) and the SlowFeeding Optimal Horse has a minimum mounting height of 80 cm (32 inches). In both these cases, the horse will gradually eat his way down to ground level.
The SlowFeeding Optimal does not only keep the hay from being mixed into the contaminated bedding it also sorts away dust and other particles you don’t want your horse to eat or inhale. You will be surprised when you are emptying the SlowFeeding Optimal from “left-overs” the first time. It is a good thing that its so easy to empty the SlowFeeding Optimal.
- Tough, Tougher, SlowFeeding Optimal.
SlowFeeding Optimal is designed to be able to cope with any kind of abuse.
My Arabian gelding gave it his best but had to accept facts. See him here.
And kids from the neighborhood too.
When my Arabian gelding had finished his thorough investigation of all possible ways to break into the SlowFeeding Optimal he accepted the facts and became harmonious and content with the situation.
This is how horses are supposed to eat their hay.
- This is how you mount a SlowFeeding Optimal.
– The two middle ones are to be placed 5 cm = 2 inches from the inner corner.
– The two outer ones are to be placed 95 cm = 38″ from the corner for Optimal Pony and 120 cm = 48″ from the corner for the Optimal Horse.
4 small holes for 4 twisted eyebolts (enclosed of course) are all it takes.
– The recommended height for Optimal Pony is 60 – 70 cm = 24″- 28″ and 80 – 90 cm = 32″- 36″ for Optimal Horse. The low height of 60 cm (2′) makes it perfect also for Shetland ponies and of course, you can mount them higher if you want to.
When hanging the “Optimal bag” start hanging the 2 rubber cords (for Optimal Horse but only 1 rubber cord for Optimal Pony) on the twisted eyebolts in the inner corner and then the left side if you are right-handed (and the right side if you are left-handed). This makes it easier to stretch the rubber cord enough to get it on the last twisted eyebolt. If you are of a delicate constitution you might ask “a big mucho man” to help you stretch the rubber cord to get it on the last twisted eyebolt since it needs to be quite tight to support the load of the hay. Please note that the “Optimal bag” doesn’t need to be removed on a frequent basis. Not even to empty the left-overs.
Attaching the Optimal net lid is even easier since it doesn’t need to support any weight the rubber cord is thinner.
– Start at the inner corner, then hang the metal rings on the outer twisted eyebolts. Decide which one is easiest for you and use that one for daily fillings.
– Hook the side skirts together at the inner corner and the side skirts to the front skirt at the front corners.
– I recommend you to also tie the middle of the front skirt to the loop attached to the bag in the beginning. This might not be needed anymore when your horse has become content with the concept.
– If you have a hooligan that has decided to break into his SlowFeeding Optimal you can put a plastic pipe into the channel of the front skirt for a while until he has decided that it is easier to eat from the top.
This video is not showing the latest design* of the SlowFeeding SMHN Optimal but the principles are the same.
* The latest design model has a wider front skirt and no metal clips on the rubber cords since I have found a way to tie the ends together (which also did lead to the creation of the dog toy assortment “More Than Balls” that soon will be available in the webshop).
(As you can see, this is filmed in my design lab and not in a stable)
The SlowFeeding Optimal is a very efficient slow feeder and I advise you to chose one size larger meshes than on other slow feeders.