After wondering why his horses were pulling hay out of the feeders and throwing it on the ground to eat, Pat McCarty, unintentionally, set out to make a feeder that would reduce waste and mimic the way nature intended his horses to eat. “There had to be a better way” he thought. With the help of veterinarians and equine universities, he discovered that horse’s teeth are not in alignment until their head is down, hence the throwing of the hay on the ground to eat. Pat became an inventor out of necessity and created a product that puts horses in a more natural eating environment which leads to healthier horses and a happier pocketbook for the owners.
Over twenty years ago he made his first 3 in 1 horse feeder that allowed his horses to eat straight out of a low profile feeder, which reduced hay waste and inevitably saved him up to 20 percent in feed costs. Because horses need to eat their own body weight in hay every month, Pat’s research discovered that when you feed horses twice a day, rather than having a constant food supply, put copious amounts of stress on their digestive system, made them panic and gorge their food. With Pat’s new 3 in 1 Feeder, his horses were able to naturally graze all day long which helped their cantaloupe-sized stomach digest hay and absorb essential nutrients more efficiently.
After trial and error, Pat created a product that has lasted through the abuse that horses put on “everything from metal down.” Jake Telford still has some of the first feeders that went to market over 15 years ago. Jake says, “They work as good today as the new ones I put in my new barn.” Joking, Pat says he had no idea they would last this long. He thought for sure that the horses would tear them up, like they do with everything else, but it just isn’t the case. This made in the USA product (Caldwell, Idaho to be exact) shows what can come out of necessity and wanting to make things better. Pat is proud that thousands of horses are fed correctly, thanks to his 3 in 1 Feeder, but with nine million horses in America, he says he still has a ways to go.