When they’re not being ridden, horses don’t have much to do but hang out in their stalls. As intelligent creatures, horses need to play, learn new things, and interact with other horses or humans. And just as with humans and other animals, horses suffer in extended isolation. Their health may deteriorate, and they may develop behavioral problems, like increased aggression.
Horses love toys—large balls, chewable toys, games, etc.—to keep them engaged. You can toss a large horse ball toy in the pasture from some exercise or place a small feeder gadget in the stall for some amusement during mealtime. There are many options, and we’ve compiled some of the best.
Why buy a horse ball toy?
If you have a horse, a horse ball toy will help keep them happy and healthy! Often, horses love ball toys, bright colors, and companionship. You can play with them to build a greater friendship. Horses can even entertain themselves with the help of a ball or toy as they push them around and bite on them.
What should you look for in a horse ball toy?
- Type: Before selecting a horse ball toy, assess your horse’s needs. Could your horse use consistent, measured feeding? Or perhaps your high-energy horse needs a highly durable ball for rough playtime. Playing with a ball toy will engage their minds and bodies. Once you have a better idea of what you want in a toy, you’ll have a much easier time finding one!
- Versatility: Are you looking for a horse toy that can be used by other furry animals? Many horse toys are popular among dogs as well, so keep your eyes and mind open while you view the products below. Even goats and donkeys have fun with large ball toys.
- Durability: You’d think all horse ball toys should be made for durability, but they’re not. What qualities should you look for? Quality material and design. Horses are large creatures and need toys that can stand up to their high intensity. Look for toys that are made from quality rubbers and simple designs. The more parts and accessories toys have, there are more things to break or wear out.
Are there space constraints?
Most standard horse stalls should be large enough for a small feeder ball toy. If that’s not the case, you may want to consider a different toy. If you have a spacious pasture, a rubber ball toy with a handle can make for an interactive game with your horse. Those with smaller spaces for their horses may want to look for different toys that require less space.
This horse ball toy can be useful in the pasture or the barn.
Pros: The Horsemen’s Jolly Ball Purple Horse Toy will hold up to rowdy playtime. The Jolly Ball endures biting and general wear and tear. You don’t need to inflate it. It’s made to withstand rough play and reduce stall boredom. Use the large handle to hang the Jolly Ball in the stall or throw it into the pasture. The product is not simply multi-purpose but multi-audience. Dogs and humans love the Jolly Ball, too! It comes in a variety of fun colors.
Cons: The product is puncture-resistant but not indestructible. Horses can tear up the Jolly Ball. In most cases, it begins to break down only after lots of use.
Bottom Line: There’s no way the makers of this toy gave it a random name. It’s the Jolly Ball because it’s a happy-making toy. Watch your horse grip the handle with its teeth and run around the pasture in utter bliss.
Jolly Pets Romp-n-Roll Rope and Ball Toy
This ball toy is a great way to interact more with your horse.
Pros: This Jolly Pets Romp-n-Roll Rope and Ball comes in four sizes and six colors. The 6-inch one works great for horses. It’s made with scented, nontoxic rubber and is made in the U.S. The aspect that really makes this toy fun is the easy-to-grip rope. Hold on tight while your pet chomps and tugs. It makes for some quality interactive playtime. This toy should endure yanks and chomps without deflating or coming loose from the rope. It also floats and bounces.
Cons: Your horse may wear through the rope. They’d have to have a seriously strong bite, though.
Bottom Line: While the Jolly Pets Romp-n-Roll Rope and Ball is more heavily marketed as a dog toy, it’s absolutely fun and sufficiently durable for a horse to enjoy!
Shires Ball Feeder for Horses
This ball feeder offers a solution to stave off boredom and overfeeding. Plus, it's fun for horses to push around their stall.
Pros: Shires had the health and happiness of horses in mind when they designed their ball feeder for horses. Fill it with grain or treats and place it in your horse’s stall. They’ll figure out what to do with it from there. Watch as your horse pushes the ball feeder around in fun and in search of food. Its design is intended to promote healthy eating. The hole for the feed is small to encourage your horse to eat at a slower, more natural pace. The 9-inch ball is made from plastic and comes in various fun colors.
Cons: Not all horses respond to the ball feeder. Some can quickly lose interest.
Bottom Line: If your horse seems to be disinterested in food or eats more than necessary but doesn’t have a medical issue going on, consider this toy feeder ball to help them have more fun with mealtime in a healthy way.
Rural365 Large Horse Ball Toy
This substantial, colorful inflatable ball may be your horse's next best playmate.
Pro: This 40-inch colorful horse ball toy will get your horse’s attention. The large size is perfect for playing and training. It’s built to last, too. Made with an anti-burst rubber compound design, the large ball will stand up to horse kicking and biting. The ball comes with an inflation kit that includes a manual foot pump, 36-inch long air connection hose, air pump nozzles, and a ball plug.
Cons: Over- or under-inflating can cause the ball to pop. You may be disappointed in the quality of the included pump. Many users chose to use a bike pump instead.
Bottom Line: This bright ball will add color to your pasture and cheer up your equine friend. It’s super large and built to last through roughhousing and harsh weather.
It’s not always convenient to ride your horse every day; that’s just life. On those days, you can engage your horse mentally and physically with something as simple as these fun ball toys.