Small-Mesh Hay NetsThis is a featured page

Slow feeder designs permit horses to eat a controlled amount of feed, constantly. The hay never runs out, but overeating is prevented. Mealtime anxiety disappears. (Note: this concept works best with grass.) Many horses prefer to eat from a restricted free-choice hay feeder even when loose hay is available. This section shows slow feeders made with small mesh. The most effective slow feeding net hole size is 1-1/2 inches (no larger than 4 cm). Some horses require smaller openings as they become accustomed to this method of feeding. This chart also has clickable links to other web sites for purchasing smhn products.

Freedom Feeder "Pasture in a Net".
The original slow feed hay net system Made in the USA.
Available in 3 sizes: Extended Day ($50) shown above), Trailer/Mini ($30) and Full 3-string Bale size ($87).
Wiki page on this product with video of how to load.

Nibble Net review from JoAnn's blog
Nibble Net 1.25" has different closure now.

The Free Up Feeder "Patent Pending"
Go Strapless, easy to use, comes with 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" net. $60.00 Includes Shipping on USA orders!
Netting can be replaced with the SF 1 1/4" x 1 1/4" or SFX 1" x 1" nets. The ultimate feeder for saving Time & Money!
Made In The USA!
Free Up Feeder

The Cinch Net Mini Net "Patent Pending"
Comes in Mini 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" $37.50 Mini SF 1 1/4" x 1 1/4" $75.00 Mini SFX 1' x 1"
Made In The USA!
The Cinch Net Mini Net
Hockey Goal Net and Small Mesh Bag
Hockey goal net and small-mesh bag -- with a view!

hay tree
"Hay Tree" portable post for low-hanging hay bags (click photo for details)

Mesh hammock
Puck barrier net - mesh hammock by Bearcat

Chery's Plastic Drum Hay Feeder Bottom View
Cheryl's Plastic Drum Hay Net

Brenda R's hockey hay net
Brenda's hockey hay net opens like a change purse.
Jewel's hay pillow
Jewel with "hay pillow," converted from a Dover (Miller's) small-mesh hay net (smhn). 13-pound capacity.
Texas Hay Net

Nibble Net Hay Bag
Nibble Net Hay bag on platform, in use :-)
Busy Horse Snackers and small-mesh hay net hung low on Hay Tree.

BH Snacker on plywood tray
Busy Horse Snacker on plywood tray

Hockey Net Hay Net
Hockey net hay net easily holds about 12-16 pounds of hay.

Roma net rings
Roma 2-inch small-mesh hay net has rings.

Busy Horse Snacker tied shut
Busy Horse Snacker - holds 3 pounds

CG-Haynet L
CG-L Haynet from Heunetz. Width is 1.5m, height is 1m. Holds 10 to 15kg of hay. Mesh size between 6cm and 7cm.
baseball hay net
Baseball hay net by Lydia
tennis net hay feeder - click to see blog with video and more photos
Recycled tennis net

Cinderella & Sophie - hay pillows

Hay Pocket
This Hay Pocket hangs from rigid bars, which does not have the risks associated with an unsupported net hanging suspended from two points.
hay bouquet
Trial size idea - timothy hay in a basketball net.
Maria Siebrand's hay feeder
Bracket mount by Maria Siebrand
SMHN hanger
Russian SMHN
SMHN on tree string
Click to visit Tangledmanes "Satisfeeding" page.
(Multiple SMHNs last 24 hours and encourage movement.)
round bale feeder box with TX Hay Net
Texas Hay Net in a box feeder
Cheryle's Fish Net Slowdown Feeder 1c
Fish net lid for Cheryle's hard-sided slow feeder
The Hay Pillow™
Available in 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1 1/4" and 1 3/4" mesh sizes.
Covered by 2 or more US patents

Standard Hay PIllow
The Hay Pillow™
Available in 3/4", 1", 1 1/4" and 1 3/4" mesh sizes. Great for stalls and horse trailers. Covered by 2 or more US patents

The Hay Pillow™
Designed specially for miniature horses, enables them to access all of the netting without standing on it.
Available in 1/2", 3/4" , 1" and 1 1/4" mesh sizes.
Covered by 2 or more US patents
MADE IN THE USAMini Hay Pillow
The Standard™ and Mini Hay Pillow™ original and Version II allow your horse to eat in a natural grazing position. The best choice for voracious eaters; when used on the ground it is not attached to anything so they can't tug or pull on it.

Why is feeding my horse from ground level best?
Small-Mesh Hay Nets - Paddock Paradise WikiLess strain on the skeletal system and soft tissue, a horse is designed to eat with the head down.
Small-Mesh Hay Nets - Paddock Paradise WikiAllows the mandible (jaw bone) to come down and forward in the joint capsule, the atlantoaxial joint (between the atlas and the axis between the two vertebrae) to open, and the mandible to move up and down, side to side forward and back without any restriction
.Small-Mesh Hay Nets - Paddock Paradise Wiki Enables nasal passages to drain effectively.
Small-Mesh Hay Nets - Paddock Paradise WikiTheir emotional state is closely tied in to body position and posture. If we require a horse to eat with their head elevated, we are encouraging an alert and tense mental state.
Small-Mesh Hay Nets - Paddock Paradise WikiThe Standard and Mini Hay Pillow™ do not impair the horse's peripheral vision. If impaired, this can create tension psychologically. Horses are prey animals and depend on sight and sound to detect predators.

Q. Why does Hay Pillow Inc. offer so many mesh sizes?

A.¼” makes a significant difference in rate of consumption! Hay Pillow Inc. offers mesh sizes to accommodate very adept equines and those not so adept or patient. Customers have reported a 2,000 lb. draft horse that can empty a ½” Standard Hay Pillow and a 220 pound miniature horse that requires a 1 ¼” Mini Hay Pillow to be able to extract hay and not be frustrated.   

Bag Buddy
Holds open any slow feed bag for easy filling, just slip it over any fence or wall or I just put mine on the back oBag Buddy holds bags open for easy filling- click for websitef my golf cart to easily fill my bags. Then you take the full bag of hay off and hang it up for the horses to enjoy! This is not meant for the horse to eat from, just holds the bag for filling.
TNT Custom Metal Works, Inc.

Bale Bag - holds 2 string square bale.
Bale Bag - Holds one 50-65 lb. 2 - String Hay Bale

Made from High Quality UV and Abrasion Resistant
Double Braided Poly Cording. These bags will not fall apart or tear!
Comes with large snap hook for closure.
Made to hold up to the punishment that horse's can deliver.
If you want a bag that will last, order from us today!

Visit :

Stall Bag Buddy

.Stall Bag Buddy
Mounts on any solid wall and opens 90 degrees for easy and fast filling then just snap it closed for horse to enjoy the hay...Click on Photo to go to website:Stall Bag Buddy

Made in the USA
Includes Slow Feed Hay Bag

Made from strong 5/8" solid steel rod, and hinges on solid steal plate. This unit is made strong and safe with horses in mind. Frame opens at corner with tapped bolt, so nets can be easily changed when worn. Try our slow feed bags, or use ones you already have. Don't put your horse's safety at risk, our products have been tested.

Satisfaction Guaranteed!


SAFETY NOTE: All traditional hay net wisdom says to hang nets higher; Jessica Jahiel's archives specifically state that even small-mesh hay nets should not be down low. HOWEVER, I think the reason is because hay nets have traditionally been tied with long looping rope that could entrap a leg. Also, shod horses could catch a shoe in the netting. My horses are barefoot -- I would not recommend low hanging small-mesh hay nets for a horse with shoes. Their hooves are also significantly larger than the 4-centimeter holes of my small-mesh hay nets. This page shows alternative closing methods to replace the tie string. Use double-end snaps to clip them onto an eye bolt. Do NOT use non-locking carabiners or spring links. See the Pawsplus blog for further explanation.

My own experiments with ground-level small-mesh hay nets (since 2006) for my three horses have gone very well, with no tangling at all.
These are my recommendations:
- Use your own judgment about introducing low-hanging small-mesh hay nets to your horses.
- Keep traditional large-hole hay nets up high if you must use them. They are not slow feeders, and they are not the nets discussed on this site.
- Always eliminate the tie string from ground-level small-mesh hay nets.
- Make sure your horse's hooves will not fit through the mesh (this may be a concern for minis).
- If your horse has shoes, have them removed before using a ground-level small-mesh hay net. Low nets are for barefoot horses only.
~JoAnn Johnson (tangledmanes) 3/23/2009 update 5/28/2009

Latest page update: made by tangledmanes , Oct 17 2014, 3:20 PM EDT (about this update About This Update tangledmanes changed table to "fit to page" - tangledmanes

view changes

- complete history)
Keyword tags: None
More Info: links to this page
Started By Thread Subject Replies Last Post
Anonymous How to hang or attach SHHN? (page: 1 2) 21 May 3 2011, 4:07 PM EDT by Takelababy
Thread started: Apr 23 2009, 8:30 PM EDT  Watch
I posted on the "Mistakes to Avoid" section - but, I just ordered 6 SHHN for our 3 horses. They are all out 24/7 in drylot/pasture. Normally, they are tossed hay flakes all spread apart (6 flakes spread well apart for 3 horses) twice/day

Want to try this though! Not sure how to "spread them out" in the pasture. Can attach to posts at perimeter I guess? I like the most natural grazing hang low on post....or....hay pillow? Is hay pillow anchored on ground?
Do you find this valuable?    
Keyword tags: None
Show Last Reply
ubergigglefritz Boarding for the Winter - SMHN Ideas 13 Oct 31 2012, 7:42 AM EDT by logriffy
Thread started: Sep 14 2012, 8:28 AM EDT  Watch
So at my place I use SMHNs, and have hay trees around my whole track. I use the hay trees a lot in the winter, since the ground is more wet, and if it snows, you can't lose the hay nets in the snow =) I need to board my horse for the winter, and am hoping to still use my SMHNs, but am trying to figure out if there is any good temporary way to hang them other than if there were trees around. I am going to go visit the facility today. The only thing I've come up with so far was if they have board fencing, putting up the bigger nets up onto the fence so the guy putting out hay for her can just shove the hay into the opening every AM and PM (but assuming he'd let me install the nets onto the fence, not sure if that'd be ok or not :-/ ). Are there any other ideas? If nothing else, I guess I will attach orange surveyor tape to the nets, pre-fill them all for the week, and hope that I can find them all when I go to gather them all up to re-fill, ha ha. Thanks for any ideas!
Do you find this valuable?    
Keyword tags: None
Show Last Reply
Equemily Acclimating to SMHN's 6 Apr 23 2011, 6:21 PM EDT by Equemily
Thread started: Apr 18 2011, 7:31 AM EDT  Watch
Anyone have thoughts on the best way to acclimate shod horses who are out on a PP 24/7 to SMHN's?

Especially for horses who think the only way to eat from them is to rip holes into them?

Do I just need tougher nets? Was a week or two of loose hay at the same time not a long enough transition period? Maybe the holes were too small to start with (1.5")...

Should I try larger holes next, and then gradually narrow them down once they're not ripping them?

That's what I'm leaning toward.

I think I may have overestimated the patience level of my poor beasts :(


Thanks for any ideas :)

Do you find this valuable?    
Keyword tags: None
Show Last Reply
wilecat confused 3 Feb 16 2011, 4:37 AM EST by tangledmanes
Thread started: Feb 14 2011, 3:13 PM EST  Watch
I am just starting my Paddock Paradise and am confused at all these slow feeding techniques. All I read in the book was the recommendation to spread the hay directly on the ground at whatever intervals works for you .As far as quantity it is whatever you feel works for your horses and basically there should be no left overs the next day. It appears to me that horses are just going to hang around the hockey net or the tub with the grate on it filled with hay and camp out since they won't have to actually "forage" for the hay. Again I am brand new to this. I would appreciate input thank you.
2  out of 2 found this valuable. Do you?    
Keyword tags: None
Show Last Reply
Showing 1 of 1 featured threads and the last 3 of 14 threads for this page - view all
JPEG Image 032.JPG (JPEG Image - 447k)
posted by equinets   Dec 22 2010, 7:33 PM EST
Equinets Pillow Feeder
PNG Image brumbyslowfeeder1thumb.png (PNG Image - 255k)
posted by ThoughtfulHorseman   Sep 13 2010, 6:40 PM EDT
Brumby Slow Feeder Fence Mount Net Feeder