I was thinking about this as I fed today…
All of my horses line up and demand to be fed in hierarchy order. Bosses first, then Lieutenants, next comes Wannabees, then Orbiters.
Now, what is interesting is that it doesn’t matter how much I feed the first Boss up, or what type of feed I give the first Boss up, as long as he/she is first.
Have you noticed this?
So, today, for giggles, I fed the Bosses of each pasture first, as always… but, I fed them a small amount.
Rojo, Finn and Dodger all received a small amount of grass hay. But, they got it first and they were happy.
Everyone else was fed in order and they were happy.
The Bosses did not notice that they had received a smaller pile than everyone else – until that small pile was gone. Then they pushed the others out of their food to claim it for their own.
(Don’t worry, I supplemented the pushees.)
So, the amount of food doesn’t matter, as long as the Bosses are first.
TYPE OF FOOD
I also fed the Bosses the ‘more unpopular’ grass hay. They received this less palatable hay first – before anyone else was fed.
Now, the unpopular grass hay is very edible and they like it, just not as much as the Orchard they prefer.
As long as I feed the Bosses far enough away from the rest who – were getting the preferred Orchard hay – the Bosses didn’t notice and didn’t care as long as they were fed first – which they were.
So, it doesn’t matter what type of feed they get, as long as they get it first and cannot smell what the others got that might be better.
I also noticed that the Bosses refused to share the initial bites of any food with their First Lieutenant until the Bosses had eaten at least a few bites on their own. Then after those few bites – and if the First Lieutenant bowed and acted ceremoniously submissive – the Bosses allowed the First Lieutenants to nibble at the Boss pile with them.
(At my place, Rojo, Dodger and Finn are the Bosses of their respective Fiefdom pastures.)
I have noticed that the First Lieutenant is usually the ‘Muscle’ in the herd. They are a bit pushy and more hot-tempered and irritable than the ear-flattening Bosses.
I also think the First Lieutenants are always looking for loopholes in the rules, opportunities and places to push through. Because of this, I have noticed that the First Lieutenants often notice the size/placement of all of the hay piles and choose the one with the most hay and best opportunity. They don’t always bow to the Boss and nibble their hay. Often times, FLs go for the biggest/best pile after they’ve successfully evaluated every pile after pushing everyone around while making their evaluations
(At my place, Remi, Slick and sometimes Wrigley are the FLs.)
Wannabees usually frantically circle and bow to the First Lieutenants. Once the FLs have landed on a pile, the Wannabees do whatever they can to eat with the FLs. (Sound like High School?)
Sometimes they end up eating the edges of the Boss pile with the Boss and FL. Sometimes they eat side by side with the FL in his/her pile. Other times, they rush around, fretting, until they push the Orbiters away from their pile and settle unhappily upon the Orbiter hay.
(At my place, Gwen, Bodhi and Wrigley are the Wannabees)
These guys just go with the flow. They are familiar with being pushed around so they simply go away whenever they are pushed. These guys (at least around here) know there will always be enough piles and that they need to just leave and find another. The Orbiters are fairly laid back and comfortable in their positions. It seems like a choice more than being stuck in the rear.
(At my place, Sam, Norma Jean and BG are the Orbiters.)
MAMA TESS – the sequestered Queen.
MT is the respected leader who is tucked away so that her subjects don’t know she is physically impaired. Being in the barn has saved her face.
She still eats first (Total Boss demand), but she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone else to stay first in line.
MT will flatten her ears when any other horse comes near her food (and they run – even though they are on the other side of the fence). But she doesn’t have to put her money where her ears are, so to speak.
I know that MT knows that she is completely incapable of winning any battles right now, but I keep her secret with me.
JEWELRY WITH A PURPOSE – For the horses!
EVERY SALE HELPS THE BUCKET FUND! NEW PIECES DAILY!
We gift wrap, can add personal message and drop ship! Just email me !
MAMA TESS’ Holiday Necklace! Only $54!
Here is an MT “Stand in the Light” pendant with silver rings at lobster clasp closure and Czech glass ruby and scarlet ‘light glinting’ red nuggets! Really pretty! Necklace is 16″ and the handmade Sterling Silver bales are an additional 2″. Total Length: 18″
SOLD! THANK YOU, PATRICIA!