Do you have a good feeder person for when you are gone?
Well, if I were you, I’d go out and hug that person right now!
Many of us do not have really good horse feeders… Oh sure, we have someone who can come over and throw a flake over the fence and fill up the water troughs – but I mean the really, really good ones.
You know the kind… they arrive and throw a blanket of calm and peace all over you.
LET ME EXPLAIN.
I have to work out of town next week.
This is very challenging for me since I have a sick mare in the barn.
I mean, I’m fairly certain that anyone could make sure her hay is spread around and that she has water.
Who will understand when she needs something?
I’m not talking helicopter owner here…
I’m talking nuance. I’m talking experience, know-how, that certain something that makes one take a second look – the hunches, the knack, the feel of the animals on the other side of the fence.
You know… Dr. Doolittle and St. Francis all rolled up in an athletic package of calm.
JUST 20 MINUTES, TWICE A DAY…
On a normal day, it takes me about 20 minutes to feed.
In that 20 minutes, my brain is constantly scanning my charges and their environment. I don’t notice that my brain is doing this – in fact, half the time I’m asleep for the first 10 minutes – but my brain is doing its thing.
And, every so often, my brain yells at me, ‘STOP AND LOOK AT THAT’.
So, I do.
I might find a piece of old barbed wire glinting in the sun… Or, I might notice that Dodger needs some special love. Or maybe something as simple as finding my long lost hay knife that made its way into the pasture via some wayward thief puppy.
Or the simple maintenance stuff.
Bodhi, for example, backwashes in his waterer. It has to be dumped and refilled twice a day. Same with Tess. Her water might look OK, but if I don’t change it twice a day, she won’t drink. Not good.
Are there any fence boards down? Are the salts all good? Is anyone too hot? How is Norma’s weight? Are there bees eating the cat food?
You know how it goes… your brain is constantly monitoring.
And it is that constant, subconscious, monitoring that keeps the place running smoothly.
Does your feeder person have that instinct?
And if they do, do they know how to act? Or react?
A feeder who has the knack, know how and then the SMARTS to know what to do when they need to do it – is golden.
A great feeder is someone who you think might be even a bit better at it than you are…
A great feeder is someone who does it your way, even when they would rather do it their way.
A great feeder is someone who floats in and out and the horses hardly notice.
So, if you have a great feeder person, please pack them up and send them to me… ;)
No, really, if you have a great feeder person, please let them know how much you (and I) appreciate their wonderfully comforting selves.
A great feeder person is worth their weight in gold!
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