Jolly Balls...

So everyone reads about Telpe's tire and Miree's hay habit and wonder why I don't just buy them 'jolly balls'. (for those that don't know, they're big rubber balls they sell for horses to play with). I've tried that and found a couple of problems with them. I liked them overall, and the horses liked them well enough. But I thought, for the price (they aren't cheap) the horses didn't enjoy them *that much more* than say, a rubber feed pan or an empty milk jug.

The bigger problem I had with the balls was that they roll *head desk* ... I know what you're thinking .... it's a ball forcryingoutloud... right? But they roll under the fence and I'm the one playing fetch. (I'm not that bored). And not only do the horses toss them through the fence, but the wind blows them around. So in the summer time, the west pasture has all the balls, and in the winter time (we only have two seasons here) the south pasture has all the balls.

The obvious answer (obvious to me) is to wash out a milk jug, dribble a handful of grain in it and toss it out for them. But they don't last very long. Hours at most. And even my family doesn't drink that much milk. And then (again) I'm chasing them down and picking them up to throw away.

I thought I had a brillant idea and a break through when I finished off a jug of laundry detergent. It has a handy dandy kind of spout that doesn't allow backflow or drips and I thought it would work nicely to keep the grain snacks from pouring out too quickly.

As you can see, that part worked well. Grain goes easy in, but only sprinkles come out. Perfect for encouraging play. (as if they needed encouragement).

Not only did I like the spout, but I was excited by the heavy feel of the plastic. I thought it might last a couple of weeks.

The jug itself was a grand hit.

but, alas, it didn't wear as well as had been hoped -- this photo was taken less then ten minutes into play and it had been completely demolished within a few hours.


Leah Braemel said...

Oh, boy, they sound like big puppies. (We used to have a square 'ball' that dribbled kibble out ... can't think what it was called though.) Still I think your horses would manage to find a way around that. Probably a good hoof in the right place would smash it open.

Becky Burkheart said...

haha! yeah. I have looked at the dog toys and didn't think they would last. Anything that's hard rubber, they can pretty easily break it by digging at it with a hoof.

L.A. Mitchell said...

About fifteen years ago, my lazier self tired of chasing cat toys, so I rigged a furry catnip toy to a Snoopy Catch-Em kit fishing line and cast away all afternoon.

Then, I noticed five years later someone actually patented something like this and sold it in pet stores. What was I thinking? I could be living Danielle Steel's life by the pool.