March 22, 2021

Moving Stalls + Mounting the Freedom Feeder

While Aeres was at our barn, she had Connor's stall in the center of our 7 stall barn. When Connor came home, he went into the open stall at the end of the barn, across from a big warmblood fellow that Aeres positively hates. Like, she won't eat if he's somewhere she can see him, and she's broken the crossties after he pinned his ears at her. So obviously Aeres can't go into the open stall across from him.

Exhibit A: Aeres, with food in her stall, turned around to the corner facing away from this guy and not eating as long as he was in the crossties. For what it's worth, their only interactions have been in the crossties and he's never done anything to her!

I've left Connor in the open stall since she's been at Purdue, but I've been itching to move him back so I could hang a new hay feeding solution. Tired of the ulcer rollercoaster, I started him on a small hole haynet hung low (he doesn't wear shoes), knowing that when he got into his usual stall I would hang it on the frame I bought for it.

A couple of Friday nights ago though, someone finally hung it too low, and this happened (thankfully while someone was standing right there to free him, so it's okay to laugh at this picture, I know I did):

"Well, okay, this is my life now I guess."

Knowing after that that I needed to get his permanent/safe solution mounted, I superstitiously reasoned that if I moved Connor back into his old stall, maybe Aeres would make a miraculous recovery and come home from Purdue so I'd have to shuffle the ponies all over again. (She's able to eat a tiny bit of food as of Saturday, so maybe??)

So two Saturdays ago, my barnmate stripped Aeres' stall for me (she says she loves stripping stalls and I wasn't going to argue!) and then I proceeded to bleach the entire thing.

We're positive what Aeres has isn't contagious, but also you can never be too careful. And it looked pretty darn good after cleaning. Scrubbing doors and the outsides of waterers are things that don't get done much around here given our sort of co-op, sort of full board model we have going on.

The Nelsons clean up good! The "before" is the backwash from Aeres being unable to swallow food and then trying to drink 😥

Finally, the following day, I hung Connor's new hay feeder in his old/new stall. It's the Freedom Feeder day net on their rolling wall-mounted frame. My hope is that it will be easier on his teeth than the Savvy Feeder was (if he didn't also need a hard plastic muzzle, the SF would be fine, but I'm just anxious about what amounts to probably 18-20 hours a day of plastic against his teeth during the growing season), and this will also allow him to eat in a relatively normal head down position.

Loading position

Full position

So far, so good! The barn staff absolutely loves it and wishes all the horses had one of these - although for the guys with shoes, if they hung them high enough to be out of foot range, I'm worried I'd need a ladder to fill them!

And now my little buddy is back where he belongs, where he can see me coming through the door and nickers at me immediately <3


  1. I love these hay feeders! If Hampton had a stall I would get him one!

    1. They also work hung on a fence, and can actually be used true mail-slot style that way!

  2. His brother is a master hole maker in hay nets, hopefully Connor is better. Baling twine is my favorite fixer. We put out four bags, 2-3fl ea, on the fence, for night and four single flake bags for daytime. Love the slow feeders

    1. Good to know, he's pretty easy on them though.

  3. I've never seen that feeder before, how interesting!