The Baggie Ritual.
If you own a horse, and that horse takes supplements, you know the Baggie Ritual.
In fact, the Baggie Ritual is so universal, it begot a very successful company: Smart Pak.
However, that is a whole different story…
I have to leave town on short notice this weekend. So, I called my horse feeder and said, “I’ll leave baggies.”
She knew exactly what that meant.
It is shorthand for: “I will measure out all the stuff I add to her feed each feeding and I’ll put all of that into a baggie which I will label accurately. All you need to do is read the baggie label, open it and dump the contents into her bowl – and add water to dampen, but not wet.”
It is Feeding Made Easy.
Of course, you still have to rectify how you want the feeder to measure whichever hay you are feeding per feed. But hay measuring is a little easier. Is it a flake? ‘X’ number of pounds? “About this (hand motion) much.” Or, my favorite, “A little more than half a flake… unless it is a heavy flake, then only a little more than a quarter.”
??. If I think about this too much, I’ll be bagging my hay soon…
THE BAGGIE RITUAL
Once you know you are going to go away, the Baggie Ritual begins.
First, you have to make sure you have enough baggies, either recycled or fresh. I prefer the kind with the zipper because they just work better and are a bit hardier so that you can reuse them.
Then, you have to get your system set up. Food products first. Get all the scoops ready. Then medicines and supplements go on top of that. Put everything in order so you don’t skip any steps. Make sure you have hammering space so you can crush the pills, too.
While you are preparing is when your audience usually arrives…
I don’t know about you, but as soon as my horses hear me preparing baggies in the feedroom, they all come running.
Herd: She’s going away, she’s going away!
Herd: BAGGIES! We love baggies!! We especially love baggie-prep day!
I know exactly why they love Baggie-prep Day… it is because I am around long enough for them to actively annoy me so much that I will give them all a treat just to stop the annoying behavior – which of course, defeats the purpose.
Usually, I am too busy doing the Baggie Tango (One scoop there, ba da dah, and a dose of psyllium la llaa la, a scoop of senior and a doxy-cy-cline crrrrruuuushhhed..) to notice them gathering.
But, after they are all up here, noses pressed against the glass, waiting for me to accidentally trip and spill all of the feed bins into their pasture, I notice.
Because they form their own band.
One bangs on the gate, another runs her teeth along the pipe corral, a few whinny, some paw and the rest swish their tails against the fenceboards. Bang Band rrrrrrrrrrrsh, heehheeee, thump thmp, swishyshwishshwish.
THE FINAL BAGGIE
Once all the baggies are created, and after you’ve checked to make sure they all have the appropriate colors of different powders and potions so you know you didn’t leave anything out, it is time to put them in an obvious place where they will be noticed but not destroyed by anyone or any marauding dog or equine.
I put mine in two different areas. The pony baggies are put into buckets marked “PONY AM” and “PONY PM” respectively (because they have different medications each feed). MT’s baggies are put on the counter – unless I am going to be gone a long time, then I put the baggies in bigger bags (empty feed bags, usually). I put those big bags containing the littler baggies, labeled, in the most visible place possible.
There. No room for error. Everyone will be fed appropriately.
(Except for the hay portion dilemma… I still have to work on that one…)
THE BAGGIE RITUAL ENDS…
The baggie ritual ends, but not before I have given every band member a tasty something.
My ability to be trained never ceases to amaze me.