Some horse owners, when they’re building a wooden corral or erecting a pipe corral, don’t include feeders. Their reasoning is that in the wild, horses eat grass—and they eat it at ground level. Feeders are usually placed so the horse has to lower his head in order to eat, but not at ground level. (For good reason. Feeders usually have three upright metal bars to hold the flake of hay and keep it more or less intact while your horse yanks chunks of it out to eat on the ground. You don’t want your horse to wedge a hoof between the bars.) But many of these owners make a costly mistake when they decide not to put down rubber mats, either. Horse owners who want the best for their horse will include a feeder, and will also place enough mats (four in a 24’ x 24’ pipe corral) so the area underneath the feeder is covered. Why is not having rubber mats under the horse’s feeder a costly mistake? Two words: sand colic. And sometimes even rubber mats aren’t enough.
Show horses have shavings in the barn aisle as well as their stalls. (Photo by Joan Fry)