The SlowFeeding evolution.
In the beginning, there was nothing. The horse’s hay was dumped on the contaminated floor and the horses were forced to eat with their nostrils close to the ammonium stinking bedding. (When we can small ammonium the concentration is already 50 times higher than what is considered okay for horses to breathe in.)
SlowFeeding 1.0 – The design I launched first was the flat, envelope-shaped, Small Mesh Hay Nets (SMHN). The first one was launched in the USA by one of my students. This design is still the most common, and most copied, design on the market even though we today know that it is not especially efficient since it only extends the eating times with some 35% which shows that it is not effective enough. Much worse is that this design forces the horse to eat in an unnatural position that doesn’t make it possible for him to stand relaxed.
Extending the eating time is however not the main objective with SlowFeeding. The main objective with SlowFeeding is to help the horse to relearn how to eat naturally, taking natural breaks from eating, and stop eating when he has had enough even when there is hay still available. The catch is that this only works if the horse is relaxed in both body and mind. This means that he must be standing in balance and he must have forgotten that there ever can be an end to the supply of hay.
Of course, none of us mind if that the SlowFeeding solution also eliminates all wasting of hay.
To make sure he will forget that there ever will be an end to the supply of hay there must be no end to the supply of hay. Not even for 5 minutes. Some horses even become stressed when they come too close to running out of hay. To be sure the supply of hay is seamless the capacity of the slow feeder must have a capacity that lasts longer than the time between the fillings.
Please note that horses DON’T sleep all night. They actually want to eat more per hour during the night than during the day.
SlowFeeding 2.0 – Horizontal eating through soft and smooth nets.
Loose laying, smooth and soft, nets are a much more efficient SlowFeeding solution than hanging nets. I don’t approve of “hay pillows” laying on the ground since they both become contaminated and are far too easy for the horse to stand on and break by pulling them apart with their teeth.
SlowFeeding 3.0 – Problem solved.
Now we are talking state of the art, Real SlowFeeding offering:
- Everything SlowFeeding 1.0 and 2.0 offers.
- Natural eating (much better than lush pastures).
- Natural eating angles (much better than hanging nets).
- Quick and easy to fill (takes a minute to fill the supply for a whole day and night).
- Made for Continuous SlowFeeding curing EGUS.
- Hygienic (keeps the hay separated from fumes, dust, sand, dirt, and other impurities.
- Loose laying nets on top of the hay for more efficient slow feeding than when the hay is hanging in the net.
2019 SlowFeeding SMHN Original® we celebrate our 10 years anniversary by increasing the thickness of the net material making the nets stronger and even more resistant to abrasion.
SlowFeeding 4.0 – is currently on the drawing board.