And I've been dealing with some vertigo. *double sigh* So maybe it's a good thing that riding is off the table right now.
This post has been juggling a bit around in my head for a while and now seems like a good time to write it.
Haynets- the struggle is real folks.
When Carmen first arrived she was a bit thin and a bit fussy in her eating.
Hindsight being 20/20 I realize she probably had ulcers but I'm not beating myself up about it now. Then she began to *ahem* thrive and it became clear that I needed to control her intake. Add in that Carmen was a fast eater I realized a slow feed hay net had to be the way to go.
|definitely not underweight|
Since that time I have been through a few and I spent some time to find the magical net that would meet my needs and not be destroyed. Here are the ones I have tried and how I found them to hold up:
1. Tough 1 Hay Hoop & Net.
I love the hoop- it's easy to load and locks nicely on the wall. It's much easier then trying to stuff a haynet.
The net though didn't last more than 2 months. Pro-tip: I bought a crochet hook and it works well to remove the old net.
Recommended: hay hoop yes (5/5 stars) . Hay net no (1/5 stars).
2. Generic Slow Feed net: sold by your local tack store.
They have knotted holes. I find that they last about 4-6 months with daily use. Replacing them in the hay hoop is a pain the butt but they work well if you are travelling. I use these for shows and clinics and they have held up well. Stuffing them is a pain (like most hay nets). Most of these are 2" which is not great for a horse like Carmen. She needs 1.5" or 1".
Recommended: 3/5 stars. If you have a gentle horse they probably will work well for you. If you have a shredder like Carmen you will get frustrated with how often you have to replace it. Like I said for short term events like shows/clinics they are great to have in your trailer.
3. Handy Hay Nets:
Cost: $35-75 depending on size. $35 for my hay hoop.
These are made without knots which is easier on the horse's muzzle. For Carmen in the hay hoop it was about 6 months before the first hole appeared. After that she began to put holes in them more frequently. I have gotten good repairing them with baling twine. The website is full of great information and they are made in Canada.
Recommended: 4/5 stars. I would give 5 if it was more durable.
4. Derby Web Nets
With Carmen being so hard on nets I decided to try a web net. I bought a small (generic) one to try and I liked it.
I figured out a way to hang it on my hoop. For the summer it was great. I loved it so much that I bought the larger one to go outside for both horses and I love it. It's easy to fill and holds 3/4 of a bale. I take the remainder of the bale and put it outside for them to walk to get the food.
|I bought purple because it was cheaper. :)|
However, this winter the holes (2") for the one in Carmen's stall were too easy for her to empty fast. I looked around and decided to try another version of a hay net.
5. Nag Bags:
Cost: $35-65 depending on size (fyi shipping is costly)
These are advertised as 'the safest, most durable on the market'. I have friends who have good luck for them. Shipping seemed expensive so I dithered. After Christmas there was a sale 3 trailer bags for $115 so I decided to pull the trigger and bought 1.5" size holes. With delivery and taxes I paid $150 for three nets. They arrived early January and I installed one early January.
I was really annoyed when I went out last Friday to see that there was a hole chewed in it:
So the most expensive net I bought didn't even last a month. I posted this photo on Instagram with a disgruntled comment. Someone from Nag Bags reached out to me and said that this was unusual and that they should last 2-3 years. I was advised to fill out a damage form. Which I did. A couple questions came to me via email to show where I had it hung and what was the distance of the hole from the bottom. All of which I responded to.
I then got an email saying that this hole was where she was feeding from (no kidding). And that I should add an extra net and/or put hay on the floor. Sure. Carmen would love that. And she would be fat and be at risk of founder. So no to an extra net. I do put a little on the floor at night but not much more than half a flake. The final comment was to see how the net held up over the next few days.
Sure. It's been 5 days and as of this morning there were no holes. Now that it's been hung for 3 weeks. Clearly it must be fine.
That is all sarcasm as you can tell. Anyone, I have these nets and will keep them for shows. I will keep this net on the hanger until it's too annoying to repair anymore and will put the Derby back up.
Recommendation: 0/5 stars. No. Not worth it. Even my cheapest net lasted 3 months.
This is my experiences with various hay nets. Clearly yours may vary. I will also add that I am not receiving any compensation for these reviews. But if there are any hay net manufacturers who want to challenge Carmen to try their nets let me know.