From Endurance to Dressage
I just replaced my Freedom Feeder. Again. This is the fourth one I've bought in the last two and a half years, and it might even be the fifth one. I am not disappointed with the product; it works just fine. I just have a very "energetic" hay burner.
Speedy is still using a refurbished Freedom Feeder net. I took one that had a Really Big Hole and stitched it closed with baling twine. Speedy has been using it for over a year. Sydney's nets don't last very long. Here is his latest net sporting yet another Really Big Hole.
Sydney is just a bit … aggressive when he grazes. He like to grab a mouthful of net and SHAKE IT REALLY HARD. This causes the yummy alfalfa leaves to fall through the net's holes, but it's also hard on the net's fibers. This has required some clever McGyvering on my part.
In order to keep things more or less where they are designed to go, the top corners of the net are secured to the pipe fence with heavy duty nylon cord. The net is hung with eight, lightweight carabiners which will break if enough force is used. And lastly, the middle of the net is anchored to the pipe fence to keep Sydney from flipping the net over the top pipe.
Sydney's hay is fed through the opening like a piece of bread in a toaster. This net is bigger than the past one so the flakes drop fairly deeply into the feeder. As he grabs and shakes the net, stems and leaves fall into the black feeder and green cart. Whenever I am out at the barn, I reclaim whatever is in the cart (and on the ground) and shove it back into the feeder.
I use this system for several reasons. Sydney doesn't like to eat his hay from the ground, so when he used to push the stems out of his way, they would invariably tumble over the side of the feeder to the ground where they were stomped into the dirt and wasted. The net also slows Sydney down so he has to work throughout the day to get his hay.
So while I might be buying a new net every nine months, it's okay since I know I am saving my barn owner a lot of wasted hay, and my horse gets to munch happily all day long. That's a win-win.
By the way, the Riding Warehouse is having a great sale on this net right now; check it out!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: