With hay prices soaring and equines starving everywhere… how do I express to my horses that pushing around the hay they don’t like – isn’t OK…
This is so embarrassing. I just wanna paddle them…
Instead, I’m channeling my father. Like my Dad always said to my Mom as my brother and I were stuck at the table well past our bedtime for refusing to eat our dinner (it was liver and onions – ugh, I still hate it), “If they get hungry enough, they’ll eat it”.
Unfortunately, Dad was wrong. We never ate that awful stuff. In fact, if my Mother hadn’t broken down, we’d still be there today.
But this hay issue with my horses is different, I think.
JUST LIKE MY STEP-DAUGHTERS
I swear, I could never understand how Hubby would let his little daughters refuse to eat their dinner and then give them dessert as soon as they smiled at him. I would just seethe and tell him how they were ‘working’ him.
Funny how life kinda comes around and kicks you in the hiney, eh?
You see, the shoe is on the other hoof, so to speak. I have 5 horses in one pasture who are refusing to eat the perfectly good hay they’ve been given. Why are they doing this?
THE MANIPULATION BEGINS…
Here was our exchange today when I realized that they didn’t eat their breakfast:
Them: Hey! Come back please.
Them: Uhhh, we understand how this could happen, but we believe that you accidentally gave us the servant’s hay.
Me: What servant?
Them: We don’t know but clearly this hay isn’t the hay of preference. Surely you don’t expect us to eat this?…
Me: Eat it, and don’t call me Shirley (ba dom bom!)
Them (giving me the sniffy head toss): Um Hmmm.
Me: OK, well, that’s all you get.
Them: Not if we stare at you and make you feel really badly and sorry for us. Actually, we think we’ll push it around so that you think it is moldy.
Me: I’m not falling for that one again!
Them: Yes you will. We’ll stare at you incessantly commencing now.
Me: I’m hard as nails, baby… Hard as Nails!
Them: Heh Heh. We’ll see about that.
I think there is a mastermind behind all of this.
Yup. The Grand Dam horse feels that this hay isn’t quite up to her caliber of feed and she is greatly influencing the others.
How else would 5 horses in one pasture refuse to finish their hay when all the other horses in every other pasture have hoovered every last leaf? All the horses were fed from the E-X-A-C-T same bale. I’ve checked all the shreds on the ground. No mold. They were fed in the same order… Nothing has changed.
But, they won’t eat it because she won’t eat it.
PROBABLY MY FAULT
As I look back on how Hubby was wrapped around his daughters’ little fingers, I can see how maybe I’ve been a bit manipulated as well…
I spoil Tess. I feel guilty that she was my show horse for so long and then had 6 babies for me. I mean, I don’t think she hated it. In fact, she was a bit let down when her show career was over… and she looooves her babies… but I feel guilty about it all.
Now that she’s a ripe old age of 22, I give her everything she wants. If she nickers at me, I go over to her. If she wants to come into the barn, I let her. If she asks for a cookie, I usually oblige. If she asks me to jump, I say, “How High”. Basically, I am her minion and she knows it.
Clearly, she is teaching them all about ‘working’ me to get better hay.
THE WAITING GAME
I promise you, as (muffled word here) as my witness, I will NOT give in to her.
Eventually, her gang of 4 disciple horses will resolve their solidarity with Tess and they WILL eat.
In the meantime, I’ll feed the other 6 benevolent horses in the other pastures the yummy hay that the naughty 5 want – the 3-Grain hay. I know it is childish to parade in front of Tess’ paddock with the very hay she desires, but in an odd way, it makes me feel better for the brief hour or so before I cave and give her what she wants…
Good thing Hubby isn’t around… ;)
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