During our first winter on the ranch, we did not have hay feeders. Instead we threw the hay onto the ground, making sure that it was always on the same spot in the corral.
Using this method wasted hay. Horses throw it around and step on it. They grind it into the dirt and poop on it. Hay horse feed is expensive so it is a good idea to try to salvage it.
The following spring we bought giant metal feeding units. They weighed 500 lbs each. We ground down sharp edges, painted them white and installed them in each corral.
We used these metal units for hay.
This year we removed these giant metal feeders because there is great risk of a horse injuring himself on one of them. Anything that is metal is a potential hazard near and around horses.
If there is a slight chance that a horse can get hurt, rest assured it will. So remove the risk.
Now we have big tractor tires into which we throw the hay. The rubber is safe for the horses. They cant chew them, neither can they cut themselves or catch their legs on them.
And - they were free from the junk yard.
So, forget about using anything metal around horses.
Tractor tires are safe, and usually free at your local junkyard.
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