Of course you can buy horse toys if you like, but why? There are lots of ways to make horse toys of your own.
• Place pebbles, whole corn, dry beans, or pennies in well-washed half-gallon or gallon plastic milk jugs. Use baling twine to suspend jugs from the ceiling in your horse’s stall or pitch them into his paddock so he can toss them around.
• Traffic cones make great fling-it-around horse toys. Buy them at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or the like – don’t liberate them from roadside construction projects!
• Buy a secondhand tetherball and hang it in your horse’s stall.
• Toss old basketballs, soccer balls, footballs and the like in your horse’s paddock for him to play with. Buy them at yard sales or ask the athletic department at your local school for balls they would otherwise discard.
• Used 55-gallon plastic barrels with the top and bottom still intact and with or without a few stones inside make great toys to push around a paddock. Before buying, make certain they contained food-grade products, not toxic substances.
• Hang a cowbell in your horse’s stall. Don’t do it if you have close next door neighbors.
• Buy plush toy animals at yard sales, remove eyes and anything else your horse could choke on, then tie them together at intervals with strong rope. Hang the toy or simply place it where your horse can pick it up and fling it around.
• Place empty soda cans in a poly feed sack, fold it in half or in quarters. Secure it with a piece of duct tape and let your horse have at it.
• Drop apples in your horse’s water bucket or horse tank and let him bob for apples. Or float a rubber duckie in his bucket or the horse tank—fun!
• A strange one I saw online but that I bet horses would love: buy a large rutabaga (in Britain: a swede), drill a hole all the way through, then run a sturdy piece of rope through the center and suspend it where your horse can knock it around or nibble – his choice.
– An excerpt from Horse Tips & Tricks; More Than 400 Ways to Care for Your Horse Better, Safer, Faster, Cheaper, by Sue Weaver