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Ellie's Big Adventure - Equine Affaire 2019

On the last day of September, I received an email from the Vermont Morgan Horse Association asking if I would be interested in bringing Ellie to Equine Affaire in Massachusetts from November 7-10.  I became a member of VMHA this year when I decided to compete at Vermont Heritage Days; so even though I live in Maine and not Vermont haha, I made a snap decision to say yes!  
Honestly, it was 21 minutes after the email came in that I responded yes!  Then I had to figure out how to actually make it all happen hahahahaha.  Typical.
I attended Equine Affaire as a spectator a few times way back when and then for many years I ran the breed booth for the Standardbreds, including a four-day stint in C Barn with Dreamy back in 2013.  It is fun and exhausting to travel 4+ hours one way from home to talk with thousands of people, walk thousands of miles around the venue (ok, not that far but close), and ride in demos on a horse that has never seen such a huge venue (though in her defense, Ellie was …

Product Review: Savvy Feeder

Thanks to Jen at Cob Jockey for writing a review on the Savvy Feeder, I was inspired to buy one for Dreamy to use in her paddock.  While Dreamy eats every single spear of hay in her stall overnight, she wastes hay like crazy when turned out.  At 27 years old, she needs to eat all her hay and at $5.50 a bale for gorgeous second crop, I don't want to see it wasted.  I don't have a spot in her paddock to hang a hay net like the one I use for Ellie, plus the slow feeder nets make her eat less hay (she doesn't like to work any harder than she has to) and the regular sized holes make a lot of hay fall out, so it kinda defeats the purpose of not wasting hay.

Right before my son was born about three years ago, I purchased a DIY kit from Slow Grazer, which included the wire grate and written instructions for a hay feeder.  We never got around to building the hay feeder that summer (because LIFE), and then when I decided it was time to build it about a year later, I could not find the darn paper instructions.  My several attempts to contact the company about getting new instructions (even offering to PAY for a new set) were ignored, so I pretty much gave up.  Plus, I started to think that maybe the wire grate wasn't a great (haha) idea and could cause damage to her teeth. Anyone want a stupid wire grate thing???  Uggg.

So, this winter as I watched her waste hay outside and cringed, it just so happened that Jen wrote her review.  It got me thinking, since here was a pretty much indestructible box that was already built and did NOT have a wire grate.  I never want to pay full price for anything, so I was able to secure one of the "factory seconds" with the company, and I waited a week until they had a sale.

This thing is really cool.  Even though it was sold as a factory second, there is not a blemish on the thing.  This one is the large grate, which seems to work fine for Dreamy.  The first day I put it out in the paddock, I pulled a bunch of hay out of the top so she understood the idea.  She definitely looked at it a little at first, not in a spooked way but more of her classic WTF have you done now, human? exasperated way.  Because the idea was not to slow her down but to simply waste less hay, I didn't need a smaller grate.

I swear it doesn't look this beat up in person, but now that I look at the pic I can see Dreamy has scuffed it haha.  It is also a bit dirty because I flip it over onto its top of fill it, but whatever. 
It fills easily and when I do refill it, all of the "extra" little bit on the bottom rises to the top since you tip it over and fill it from the bottom.  I generally have put three to four good sized flakes in the box, but I could probably fit more.  Dreamy hasn't moved it at all, but she is also not a destructive horse, so I am not worried that she will destroy it.  There is usually a small bit of hay on the ground around the box at the end of the day, but it is such a small amount that it is not a huge deal.  Plus, I pick her paddock daily, so I just rake the hay up too.

If you are looking for an excellent alternative to using a hay net, this is a super product.  While I have used it outside, I know others use it in a stall with success as well.  Their customer service is excellent, so I know if the grate eventually needs to be replaced (or anything else), I can imagine it will be easy to buy a replacement part.  The only thing I can complain about is one day I was rushing while filling the box and caught my finger on the spring latch.  This is not the company's fault, of course, but my own stupidity, and while it smarted for a few minutes, it didn't leave a mark haha.

Dirty horse enjoys her breakfast this morning.  You can see the amount of "wasted" hay I didn't rake up last night (too busy!).  Any leftovers also fall out slightly when I flip it over to be filled.


  1. Jen ought to be getting kickbacks from the company, you're the second person I know to get one after her review 😂 they look super cool, I'm glad it's working so well for Dreamy! (And your wallet, since she's wasting less $$ hay!)

    1. Right!?! She definitely should get something haha. I initially choked at spending the amount I did, even with the discounts, but I know I am saving money in the long run!!

    2. Haha, I'm firmly on the amateur train and don't want kickbacks, just glad I was able to help someone, and I'm glad you're happy with it! You're so lucky she doesn't move it around, the only thing I don't like about Connor with it is that he moves it all the way around his stall at night, destroying his otherwise easy-to-clean stall. But overall I still like it.

    3. Hahaha from one AA to another, I hear you! :-)

      Yeah, I can see that him moving it would be a pain. Now that I brag about her not destroying it, she will probably bust it in half today LOL!

  2. $5.50 for gorgeous hay? I'm envious!! I pay $7-8 for small square bales of fescue or bermuda.

    1. Yeah, we definitely luck out on hay prices, as our hay guy is our neighbor and literally kicks the bales into the hay wagon and drives it up to our barn so we can unload it! :-)

    2. Also jealous. My orchard bales are $10 - $12 and located three hours away.


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