LAST MONDAY, I wrote about my purchase of a “Kong Equine Mega Wubba” and my discovery that it was actually a dog toy. This is my follow-up to that piece, describing what I think about the wubba beyond the issue of it being a horse toy verses dog toy.
I’ll start off by pointing out that I am a fan of toys for animals, no matter the species. I enjoy watching critters at play.
It’s fun to see which animal likes which particular toy. It gives me glimpses into their personality and what makes them tick. I find it delightful to see their individuality displayed in their toy preferences and play styles.
I currently have a herd of three senior horses, ages 19 (Shiloh), 21(Piper) and 27(Bear). They are not exactly in their prime play years. I didn’t get any zany pictures of them running around chasing each other with the wubba like you might with a bunch of youngsters. But I nevertheless really like this toy for its versatility.
The best part about the wubba is that it has three ways that a horse could choose to pick it up from the ground (it also has a little string on the top for hanging, but I’m not sure how long that will stay attached with continued use).
With its octopus-like form, the wubba can be picked up from the small top, larger middle section or the long, thin arms on the bottom. It occurred to me that the wubba would be a fun toy for those who like to teach their horses to pick up objects on command.
So what did my horses think about the Kong Mega Wubba? Of my three horses, Piper was the only one who chose to play with it. Shiloh walked right up to the wubba when I initially hung it up but was not interested in engaging further. When I took it down, Bear was initially afraid of it. He looked on with concern while Piper made first contact. Bear did eventually give the toy a sniff, but not until long after Piper completed his thorough inspection. None of that made me like the Kong Mega Wubba any less. I still think it’s a neat toy with several potential uses.
By the way, I understand that the toy is designed to squeak, but Piper, despite having several goes at picking it up, has yet to make the toy make noise. Just thought I’d point that out as some horses might react with surprise to the sound.
Besides using it to teach your horse pick-up tricks, the wubba could be used as part of a ridden obstacle course. You could hang it off of a gate or fence post. Then from horseback sidle up to it so you can retrieve it. Then ride a pattern with your reins in one hand and the wubba in the other. You could later finish by placing the wubba back on the rope gate or fence post.
Seems simple, but it’s interesting to see how many horses are afraid of having the rider carry an unfamiliar object, particularly something that moves and flutters. Just go to any horse show. I can almost guarantee you will see at least one horse skitter away as the rider tries to walk out of the ring with their winning ribbon in hand.
Long story short, despite my reservations about some businesses marketing this dog toy as a horse toy (and charging more for it), I feel it was worth the purchase. I also think most horse owners who have large dogs would particularly enjoy having one in their tack box. If your horse doesn’t engage with it, maybe your dog will. That sounds like a decent deal to me.