I’ve made a post in the past about a shelter for my new pony, Piper. I got her in August of 2016, and I still have her. Her fear issues are pretty severe, and we’re still working through it. I decided to foster another mini from my local horse rescue (also where I got Billy) to keep Piper company through the summer since she’ll have to be kept on a dry lot most of the time; minis can eat just as much as the big horses but only need a fraction of the calories, so I can’t just turn her out with the big kids.
This is Scarlet.
I call her several different names: Sassypants, Miss Sassypants, Tini (from rotini, since she’s tri-color and very rotund), The Other Pony, etc.
She and Piper get along pretty well.
It’s been good for Piper; this one isn’t scared of people, so she’s helping Piper become more confident. Piper is helping this kid lose some of her extra pudge, too.
I set up their own little pen. We have a 10-foot-wide aisle that goes behind our barn; we don’t let the big horses go back there because the overhang is low enough for them to bump their heads on, but it’s the perfect size for the ponies. We decided to add onto the overhang to give them a shelter.
That’s my dad setting the posts for the overhang.
After this photo was taken, we cut off the excess post length and added more roof sheeting to the structure to extend the overhang. It got dark before we finished, so I didn’t get a good photo. You’ll just have to use your imagination!
After the shelter was built, I needed to figure out a way to feed them their hay that would promote as much movement as possible (don’t want them just standing in one place all day), keeps them separate enough that they can eat equally and peacefully, would allow the hay to last all day, and would be safe for little feetsies. Using what I had on hand, this is what I came up with:
It’s a 6ft T post driven into the ground in their pen, with a PVC sleeve over it to keep them away from the rough edges of the post. I tied a slow-feed hay net to the top so it moves a little bit as they eat. I put two of these hay stations in their pen so they move around to eat.
While these stations work on the short-term, I have a few improvements in mind. First, I ordered different slow-feed hay bags. Piper is going to be losing her last baby incisor soon (they lose them at 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5), and as her new permanent tooth is coming in, there will be a gap between her teeth that could potentially hook onto the netting. That’s definitely not good. I ordered hay bags with webbing instead of netting:
She won’t be able to get her teeth hooked onto this one.
I also want to add an offset arm to the top of the post to allow the bag to swivel around the post. This will make them walk around the post almost constantly to eat. The more movement, the better.
I will update this post as I update the stations!