History of the Hay Steamer

Necessity is the mother of invention - the history of the Hay Steamer

Most great ideas are born from a need to overcome a problem and the inspiration behind the creation of the world's first hay steamer was a friend, her horse and his respiratory condition. The rest is history.

Back in 1997, the designer of the original hay steamer concept, Cliff Cogger, had a friend who had to soak any hay given to her horse as he had developed a respiratory condition and so was extremely sensitive to any dust or mould present in his hay. To make the problem worse, the lady in question also had a back problem and was unable to manage heavy, wet hay nets and she had reached desperation point. Cliff suggested that steaming his hay might work to eliminate dust and mould, while reducing the weight problem caused by soaking.

After some trials with steaming using the old method of a kettle and hessian sack, the problem of heavy, cold and wet hay nets was eliminated, but this method required many kettles of boiling water and the whole process was still very messy and time consuming.

After much further thought and analysis of the effects of steaming on hay, it was discovered that if a continuous steam supply could be maintained, it was possible to steam larger quantities of hay with very much less water. The result was the construction of a very basic Hay Steamer from a large container and small steam generator, which formed the basis of the now vastly sophisticated system available today from Happy Horse Products.

As with most great ideas, the word got out and requests for the Hay Steamer increased to a point that a commercial unit was designed and first sold back in 1998 under the Happy Horse Products banner.

Over the next few years many more benefits of steaming came to light and the system was further developed and enhanced to enable greater quantities of hay to be steamed efficiently and effectively. Subsequently a patent has been applied for and Happy Horse Hay Steamers have been awarded 'patent pending' status. The Happy Horse Professional system uses a unique and innovative process that introduces steam and re circulates it for fast, even and effective steaming for all types of hay - from whole, small bales, to hay nets, to loose hay from large, round bales.

In 2007, the Happy Horse Hay Steamer was displayed at the 2007 BETA International Trade Fair and the system was rewarded with a prestigious Innovation Award, one of the most well recognized and respected awards in the industry.

As a company built upon the process of innovation, Happy Horse went on to perfect a system that introduces steam via a steam lance placed into the middle of the hay. This system works by purging the steam from the inside out and was first found in the popular Happy Horse Traveller hay steamer, a unit designed to enable horse owners to steam their hay while away at competition.

Happy Horse Products now have a very successful range of affordable and user friendly Hay Steamers systems, designed to meet every need. These original Hay Steamers are environmentally friendly, retain vital vitamins and minerals, neutralize dust and kill off 99.9% of damaging moulds and spores found in hay.

Design and use of the hay steamer is important to us.  I mean it has to work but it needs to be user friendly: light, durable and easy to use.  In a barn setting, we consider space limitations and want all our unit options to be easy and fast to clean out in our sometimes cold climate.  And, most important, we stop and prevent the cough caused by hay.