I have always wanted to "free choice" hay feed my horses, but when I open a bale of hay and set it out, the horses always lay down in it and use it as a potty. So I get a lot of waste, and a lot of hay gorging. So Tamara Cisek, trimmer extraordinaire from Southern CA, came over last week and brought with her a very fine mesh hay net. We filled it full with hay, and the horses took a long tim to eat through it because the holes were so small. No waste, no pottying, and the horses were engaged with it all day and night. They were also only getting small mouthfulls, not gorging themselves. Horses in the wild would just take small bites, chew well, and move to the next area. You can hang the hay bags low so the horse is not eating high. The mesh is so small, that hooves won't get stuck. And they are cheap - $10 a bag. You can put 3 flakes or so in each bag. You only have to fill them once a day if you have enough. I bought 6 and will put them all over my property. People say this is a good way to slow down an obese horse to take weight off, and a fast way to put on weight for a skinny horse, like Princess. So well see how it goes. Also works well for goats, which I have plenty of.
Here is a link to a good place to buy the bags: http://www.smithbrothers.com/product.asp?pn=X3-27286