Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Hay Games

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DSCN2781eFebruary has arrived right on schedule, showing up with a new frosting of snow for us. The horses have been doing just fine without blankets, but that meant this morning they are wearing blankets of snow that make them look like powdered sugar treats.

Makes them down right irresistible.

Until I find they have been behaving badly. I don’t know if it was intentionally malicious or just bad planning, but somebody’s butt dropped a pile of nuggets into one of the slow-feeder boxes overnight.

DSCN2779e

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I bet they can identify who the culprit is. Wonder if they chastise the offender. What would we say to a member of our family who contaminated our food? I think that person would catch a lot of flack.

We’ve got something of a new routine going for serving up the daily hay. Even though the slow-feeders are working like a dream, there is no denying a horse’s love of eating freely out in the open.

I have placed the feeder boxes beneath the overhang to keep the hay protected from precipitation. It is pretty clear the horses would prefer being out from under that roof.

Recently, I had cleaned out the bottom of both boxes of dusty remains and decided to dump it on the ground beneath the willow tree. Since Hunter, the youngest and lowest in the herd hierarchy, usually has to wait for a turn at the slow-feeder boxes, he came right down and started nosing around in the scraps I had dumped.

That got the attention of one of the other chestnuts and they left the box to come down and make sure he wasn’t getting a better deal. Soon the three chestnuts were doing a comical slow dance of rotation as they moved from the ground below and the box above.

The next time I was filling the boxes, I decided to throw Hunter a bone and dropped a whole flake under the tree for him. Oddly, it is right next to the old feeder, but they like the hay down low so much better, and I was still of a mind to move their focus away from the old feeders to the new slow boxes, so I am completely ignoring them.

Our hopes with the old feeder was to keep hay off the ground where it gets trampled, peed and pooped on, so as to reduce waste. That didn’t really work as imagined, because they still spilled a whole bunch anyway. DSCN2788eNow with the new boxes, waste has been greatly minimized, and it is starting to feel like we enough hay that such a loss factor is hardly a concern.

Since one of the boxes had been soiled this morning, I threw out several flakes for them while I cleaned up and refilled the boxes. All four of them were quick to show me they much prefered the unobstructed ground-hay under the tree.

Sure, until one of them goes and poops on it.

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Written by johnwhays

February 1, 2015 at 11:26 am

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