The use of pollards, also known as “haynets”, is a common practice in horse management. A pollard is a long, cylindrical net made of strong, durable material that is used to hold hay or other feed. While the pollard itself doesn’t provide any nutrition to the horse, it does offer several advantages that can help to improve the horse’s overall health and wellbeing. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using a pollard and how it can benefit your horse.
The Benefits of Using a Pollard
1. Reduces Waste:
One of the primary benefits of using a pollard is that it helps to reduce waste. When hay is fed from the ground, it can easily become scattered, trampled, and soiled. With a pollard, the hay is securely held in the net, preventing it from being wasted.
2. Prevents Ulcers:
It is well-known that horses are prone to developing ulcers, especially in the stomach. Feeding a horse from the ground can put them at risk of developing ulcers, as the horse will have to strain to reach the hay. Using a pollard, however, can help to reduce the strain, as the hay is held in the net and can be easily accessed by the horse.
3. Prevents Over-eating:
Another advantage of using a pollard is that it helps to prevent over-eating. Horses are grazers, meaning that they are naturally inclined to eat a lot of food in one sitting. By using a pollard, you can help to control the amount of food that your horse eats at once, which can help to prevent them from overeating.
4. Encourages Natural Eating Habits:
Pollards can also help to encourage natural eating habits. By using a pollard, you can replicate the experience of grazing, which is the natural method of feeding that horses are accustomed to. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels in the horse, as they will feel more comfortable and relaxed while they are eating.
5. Promotes Healthy Digestion:
Using a pollard can also help to promote healthy digestion in the horse. As the hay is held in the net, the horse will be able to slowly pick at it throughout the day, which can help to ensure that the food is properly digested. This can help to prevent the horse from developing colic, as well as other digestive issues.
6. Reduces Feeding Time:
Feeding a horse from the ground can be a lengthy process, as the hay can become scattered and must be collected and replaced. With a pollard, however, the hay can be quickly and easily dispensed, which can help to reduce the amount of time that it takes to feed the horse.
7. Promotes Cleanliness:
Pollards can also help to promote cleanliness in the horse’s environment. As the hay is held in the net, it prevents it from becoming scattered and soiled, which can help to reduce the amount of dirt and dust in the area. This is beneficial for both the horse and their owner, as it can help to keep the area clean and reduce the amount of time that is spent cleaning.
8. Helps to Reduce Cost:
Using a pollard can also help to reduce the cost of feeding your horse. As the hay is held in the net, it prevents it from becoming scattered and wasted, which can help to reduce the amount of hay that is used. This can help to save you money in the long run, as you will not be buying more hay than is necessary.
9. Promotes Safety:
Pollards can also help to promote safety in the horse’s environment. As the hay is held securely in the net, it prevents the horse from becoming tangled or choked, which can be a risk when feeding from the ground. This is especially beneficial for those with young or inexperienced horses, as it can help to keep them safe while they are eating.
10. Enhances Appearance:
Finally, pollards can help to enhance the appearance of the horse’s environment. As the hay is held securely in the net, it can be hung up in a neat and tidy manner, which can make the area look neat and tidy. This is beneficial for those who show their horses, as it can help to create a more professional look.
In conclusion, pollards can be a great addition to any horse’s feeding routine. Not only can they help to reduce waste and promote healthy eating habits, but they can also help to reduce the cost of feeding and promote safety in the horse’s environment. Furthermore, they can help to enhance the appearance of the horse’s environment, making it look neat and tidy. Therefore, if you are looking for an effective and affordable way to feed your horse, a pollard may be just what you need.