Have Questions? You’ve come to the right place.
FAQs About the OptiMizer
Why isn't the red handle in the middle of the slide arm?
How did you choose the netting?
We wanted to ensure the netting was gentle for the horses’ muzzles, mouth, and teeth and durable.
Over the years, we have used a variety of hay bags made out of different polymers and styles and learned that knotless nylon nets were the best for our horses. We tested various sources of netting and found that netting made in North America was the best.
For the first year of production of the OptiMizer, we used raschel knotless nylon netting. Our initial experience was excellent, but we learned that there was an important minority of horses that were chewing through this net. We tested several more durable options from the mill in North America and with production starting in September 2020, have switched to a thicker, 4 strand raschel knotless nylon.
We also tested numerous different net sizes in the OptiMizer: 6”, 2.5”, 2”, 1.5” and, 1.25”. We find that the 1.5”, thicker net is optimal for regulating consumption but not frustrating the horses. In fact, the horses seemed most content, sometimes even trance-like while eating from this net.
So at this time, we will provide the 1.5” thicker, 4 strand net as our standard but we will continue to offer 2” net replacement kits on request.
Is there replacement net available?
Absolutely—replacement kits are available with either 2” or 1.5” netting. The net is loaded on a tool to make it easy to put on the hay assembly. Detailed instructions are included in the kit, and there is a ‘how to’ video showing each step is on our website.
Are other colours available?
How many horses can eat from one OptiMizer?
This depends on the dynamics of your herd and some of your management practices. Our experience with our herd is that 4 horses can eat together at the OptiMizer. However, I have heard anywhere from 1 to 6 horses from various customers!
As the temperature gets colder, horses need to eat more hay and they will spend a lot of time at the OptiMizer, especially if it is their only source of hay over a 24 hour period. For example, our herd of 8 horses live outside all the time (with access to shelter in a cozy bank barn). Last winter, we had 3 OptiMizers, which were refilled once a day with up to 6 bales of hay. On especially cold days, we also put some flakes of loose hay in the corners of their barn, so they could choose to eat indoors if they wanted.
Do you wait for the OptiMizer to be empty before you refill it?
How do you get the horses to move around when they are eating from the OptiMizer?
We just had a lot of freezing rain and the net is trapped in a layer of ice frozen to the bottom of the feeder. What should I do?
Now that I have the net out of the ice how do I get the chunks of ice off of it?
After a freezing rain event I'm having trouble moving the slide arm. What should I do?
To fix it, you need a kettle with some warm water (it doesn’t have to boiling; lukewarm will do) and a dry cloth:
- To start, gradually pour the water out along the part of the assembly closest to front to melt the ice.
- Next, use the cloth to wipe the water off and prevent it from re-freezing.
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So nice, we bought it twice! The Optimizer slow feeder. With the money that we saved on our first purchase, we purchased a second feeder a year later, we monitored the wasted hay from ground feeding, hay huts and the Optimizer. Hands down the Optimizer saved us money compared to the other two hay feed methods.
Very little wasted hay on the ground, to be slept, peed, and pooped on! Or pushed into the mud. I would highly recommend this feeder, especially with the new and improved slow feed net. This feeder keeps horses busy slow feeding, all maintain healthy weight and condition on the slow feeder and the feeder is easy to move if needed.
If you are looking for a safe and reliable hay feeding solution, that will save you money, The Optimizer is the one for you.
– Tracey G, Serenity Stables
My horse is a 17 year old, off-the-track thoroughbred who lives outside all year. She's a hard keeper, but by getting her the right amount of hay, whenever she wanted it, it was the first winter she didn't need an extra blanket or grain.
– Laura T.
We use 3 OptiMizers for our herd of 8 horses. We fill them about once a day, even on the worst days, and have found ourselves going through a lot less hay. I'm confident our OptiMizers will pay for themselves in the amount of money we've saved in otherwise ruined hay.
– Heather M.
I've always had slow feed bags. I needed five or six a day to feed three horses. Last winter with the OptiMizer I could slow feed two bales in one place. This saved me a ton of time not having to refill bags everyday, plus I noticed it was way cleaner in the spring.
– Amanda M.