Buckets in/out hard/soft?



This may sound like a stupid question but what sort of buckets do people use ie: hard plastic/those rubber ones or flexible plastic and do people leave them in the horses stable overnight or for long periods of time.
I'm a bit neurotic so all of G's buckets are made of flexible plastic so it's highly unlikely that he could hurt himself even if he did lay on them they pop right back into shape when he got up.
I really hate leaving his feed bucket in his stable so I wait around and take it out.
Reason I ask is cos I know that alot of people just put the feed in and let the horse get on with it, this has happened at every yard I've been at.
This morning when feeding the horses in our barn I noticed one of the horses had her foot stuck in her bucket as she'd put her foot through it. Thankfully she was ok but what if she'd panicked anything could have happened. I know the same could be said about hay nets to (I'm a bit neurotic there to, I tie them up as high as I can)
Just wondered what other people do?
I have a big tub trug for water so that's a flexible rubber.
Use a thick black rubber feed bucket for feeding him at night and that's left in his stable and use a plastic feed bucket in the mornings before he's turned out.

I personally don't like leaving hard plastic buckets left in his stable.
never anything with a handle, if it is being left in the stable overnight. soft rubber ideally, and definitely for mares who are about to give birth, or with a foal at foot in the stable.
most of ours are fed in the buckets that hook over the doors. we generally take them out, but aren't too paranoid about it, give nthey stay onthe door over night unles the horse takes them off to play football with.
the 'water bucket' types with a wire handle are never never ever left in the stable though.
Big fat flexitub for water and then just normal feed buckets (no handles) for tea and breakfast. I thought my buckets were just the hard plastic type but after reading your concerns they must be slightly different, ive had the same buckets for years and theyve been bent and reshaped hundreds of times but they certainly dont break.
A flexitub for water and then the rubber ones for feed time left in overnight. I love the rubber ones and I dont like using plastic ones especially with handles. Some of the plastic ones can become hard and brittle, which means they can easily break and leave sharp edges.
I have mostly Flexitubs, they are great, I just leave them in and like you say, even if they lay on them they just go flat then pop back out easily. I do have a couple of normal style buckets but they are really flexible and have lasted years, even with being layed on etc, I don't use normal hard plastic buckets as they just break to easily and probably would cause an injury.

I have also seen a horse who managed to break the bottom of a hard plastic bucket (the shallow feed type one) and get her foot and fetlock through it, she was lame for a few days due to this, bloomin lucky her tendons etc weren't damaged by it, it was really tight round her leg.

If you are worried about hay nets can you not just scrap them? tieing them up really high is not very good for your boy, I do worry about it too so I buy the big nets with tiny holes and only tie them at chest height for Bo (if I feed from the floor Bo mixes the hay with his shavings and then gets a cough from eating them) and our old boy has a Flexitub with his hay in, and another with water and another with Redigrass and another with Feed, and he never has a trouble with it.

J x
Ok stupid novice owner question why is tying the net high bad for him:eek: It's not high high it's at about face level.
I have the problem with hay on the floor, lot's of mess and coughing. I have thought about a tub but he's a messy bugger he chuckes everything in his water if it's anywhere near it.
I might get some smaller holed nets although he gets very arsey when he can't get the hay out.
All my buckets are flexi tubs to.
OK in simple tems, horses jaws are aligned when the head/neck is down, thats where they are meant to spend 18 hours of the day, when they lift the head above shoulder level the jaws come out of alignment, so it won't cause any immidiate problems but over time it does cause the teeth to wear very unevenly and makes for some very big sharp hooks (hense the reason wild horses don't need a dentist as they rarely graze up high) which will cause you trouble.
So putting the feed as low as possible (this is why those fixed hay racks and raised buckets are less popular than they were 20 years ago) helps to maintain there natural posture, also holding the head high to feed builds up all the wrong muscles for working correctly (under the neck) and also having the head down helps to drain the sinus, when the head is up in dusty (all hay has some dust) hay they breath in the dust/spores and then they sit in the sinus where they get trapped this can be the inkling of infections and all sorts, with the head down they drain straight out.

Well that is the theory I was told.

J x
We used to wait until the horses had finished and take out the buckets, but they're such slow eaters it would often add almost an extra forty minutes to a trip to the yard and between the three of us, we have other evening commitments as well. I prefer the bendy buckets, having had Salsa destroy two normal buckets before he'd even finished eating! :rolleyes: I also like the rubber ones, but some people use these as muck skips and I worry that if someone was helping out, they might use the feed buckets for muck!:D
shearer has to have a rubber one, a plastic one wouldnt last 5 minutes with him!!!! i leave his manger in the field with him because he's the boss no-other pony would dream of trying to steal it!!!
our yard does not like hay nets a great deal, they would rather put it on the floor in the corner of the stable.

a lady at our yard as a brilliant idea and when i get a stable im gonna do this, he has a plastic bucket for his water but it is inside a tyre but at the mo we use flexi tubs as well
Definitely hate people leaving plastic buckets (especially with handles) in stable at all, never mind overnight! I go round yard and remove everyone elses as i'm usually last on yard!

I use corner mangers for feed and are all set at correct individual height to ask them to lower head to eat but not enough that they'd get stuck under them while rolling! We use Flexitrugs for water.

And my best discovery was the 'hayball' they all have them now instead of net or manger.


It's brilliant, so much safer than a haynet, my tearaways have managed to get it down and use as a football but no damage to legs as the plastic pipes just pop off!
Oooooh I like the look of the hayball, might look into purchasing one of those babies. The most important thing to me is that Grady gets clean hay and that he can't catch his foot in it anything.
we had no luck at all with the hayball - i found that in about a minute and a half the horse had emptied it and was eating off the floor and clonking her head on the hayball every time she put her head down.

also, in addition to jessey's post about the disadvantages of nets, the horse has its head up and on one side when pulling the hay out, which develops the under-neck muscles and is the opposite to the muscle we aim to create when we ride. it also tenses all the back and neck muscles as they are contracted - when the head is down, they stretch them out.
I understand neurosis about feed buckets / nets!:D I too am deeply paranoid, OH has the responsibility of tying up the nets (he's much better at it than me;) ) I don't leave Joe's manger in his stable - its one of those hooked on the door - but I don't like the idea of leaving it - if he knocks it off it will only make him jump!!! Storm has a soft (ish) plastic bucket - I sometimes leave it in her box - she's not daft and she couldn't get her feet stuck (least I hope not) the handles are tiny - so no danger of getting a hoof caught!!! Ah, what are we like worrying about our babies???!!!:D :D
I have tub trug for water (blue for boys, and pink for my girly:D ) and them mini tyre buckets for feeds.

They all have small holed haynets though, tied to bailing twine (not ring), cuz I think that's much safer.

I can definately understand where your coming from though! If i've added something new to any of my new bhorses feed, i'm not happy unless of been back down to the yard at 9pm to check there not dying of colic or anything.
I use Fortiflex rubber feed pans & have my water buckets (have both: soft & hard) on the ground & tied to the wall with twine. On occasion I use hay nets.
I just keep their feeding area free of shavings (about 2ft X 6ft) and that works well for my mares.

To expand on the eating head down: they need this in order to drain the guttural pouches as that is the only way they can naturally drain because of their anatomy (imagine two pita breads with a 1" slit at the top) & most upper respiratory infections occur in there.

The hay ball looks interesting but what if they do get a leg caught in it? Does it open up? I know that wouldn't be a good idea for one of my mares. Heidi loves to get into mischief: she'd somehow end up with both legs in there!

Forgot to add: re: the use of hay nets. As bad as some people may think they are; they do serve a necessary purpose sometimes. When Ariel was going through her guttural pouch mycosis, she wasn't allowed to eat & drink with a low head. So out came the hay net & up went the buckets & pans in order to prevent any pressure & drainage. All drainage had to be under supervision & man induced.
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B&T have the trug things for water and their feed bowls are the black rubber ones. feed bowls never, ever get left in overnight. we wait until they have finished and then the bowls get scrubbed out, washed and put away for the next day. hay is split between the floor and a wall mounted hay rack.
I use the rubber type and in one of my horses stables it always looks like a pancake the next morning. 2 of my horses do have hard buckets but they dont knock them around at all - they are always in the same place in the morning. We do have brackets for mangers in our stables but I dont like leaving them in over night as I think if they knocked them down they could stand on the metal hooks!!:eek:

Mine have haynets but are out grazing 7am till 6.30pm so I hope it doesnt cause them any problems. They are always tied securely and are far too high to get caught in.

Edited to day - Hay balls look good but my friend had one and the hay fell out of it before the horse had even got in the stable!!! I didnt think it was very good at all.
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