The Busy Buddy is a multi-function tool that is perfect for mouthy, impatient, or bored horses. First conceived as a pacifier for horses, the Busy Buddy gives orally fixated horses something to chew on instead of your reins, lead rope, or crossties while also helping them relax.
The following horses and owners were gifted a Busy Buddy and asked to test it out over the course of a month. Here’s how the Busy Buddy helped some mouthy, bored horses find better behaviors.
Briar is a 19-year-old APHA gelding that was recently retired. He occasionally goes out for trail rides (which he loves!) and can get very impatient in the cross ties. While being groomed and tacked up, Briar will spin under the cross ties and turn himself around to get a better view of what’s going on in the barn and express his impatience. With the Busy Buddy on, Briar is significantly more patient and still while standing in the cross ties. He did not spin to look around and was more amiable while being saddled.
Santiago is a 4-year-old OTTB gelding that was recently purchased by his owner. They are in the process of working on manners and he will grab the cross ties or lead rope. With the addition of the Busy Buddy, his chewing energy was directed towards the latex tubing instead of the lead and cross ties, and he became more compliant with his feet while being shod. Because he had an appropriate place to channel his excess mouthiness, his owner was able to have a more positive interaction with him and less need for escalating corrections.
Dean is a very busy and friendly 4-year-old Paint gelding that gets into everything and doesn’t always want to stand still in the cross ties. His owner had their veterinarian out to take radiographs of his stifles, but he wouldn’t stand still long enough for them to get the image. Without a third person to entertain him at his head and hold him still, the vet recommended sedating him to be able to x-ray. His owner suggested trying the Busy Buddy first. With the Busy Buddy on, Dean stood for his radiographs and his owner was able to save time with recovery and money by avoiding sedation. Dean also wears the Busy Buddy during his farrier appointments so he does not pester the farrier and steal his hat!
Top Envoy is a 2-year-old Thoroughbred gelding that will grab the lead rope and try to bite when he’s being haltered and led. Typical corrections on the racetrack could involve a lip chain, but his owner opted for putting a bridle Busy Buddy on his halter as a permanent feature. Top Envoy accepts it like a bit when his halter is put on and he enjoys chewing and mouthing it, helping him become less mouthy towards his environment. Having the Busy Buddy also helps him stay more relaxed while being handled and decreases the likelihood of him escalating his behavior.