Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ordering off the Menu

A couple of hours ago I came in from feeding Wally and Lexi. Once again, no matter how hard I tried to stay reasonably clean, my clothes were covered with a sprinkling of alfalfa leaves and my hands smelled remotely like beet pulp. It's no wonder my husband has placed a stiff whisk broom outside the back door. My duty-- he informs me-- is to rid myself of hay dust and any horse-related debris before I enter the house. The frequency with which I'm whisking myself leads me to ponder: Which gets brushed off more, me or the floor mats in my truck?

The other question I'm faced with comes directly from my husband. He takes one look at the scraps of leftover hay in Wally and Lexi's corrals and asks me, "Why don't they eat it all?"

I know the answer to that one. It's because I feed Wally and Lexi too much. Since they know there will always be more, they pick and choose just what they'll eat. You know, sort of like a buffet. Or a potluck. They nibble off the tenderest ends of each stem of hay, gulp down the alfalfa leaves, and abandon the rest.

They can be standing in a paddock littered with hay scraps yet they seem so danged hungry when I come out the back door to feed them their pellets and supplements at lunchtime.

"Look!" Wally says to Lexi, "There she is! She hasn't forgotten us, after all! And... and... she's bringing CARROTS!!!"

And just so you know, my horses are not fat. They're never going to be contestants on the equine version of "America's Biggest Losers." But they are pleasantly plump, and I suppose they simply decline to eat any hay that is not up to their high standards of fine dining.

Wally and Lexi are similar to a high falutin' couple who dine out at high-priced, 4-star restaurants. "Oh, dear," Lexi might say, dabbing the corner of her mouth with her linen napkin, "I'm afraid the prime rib is a bit over-done this evening."

Wally would respond by adding, "Yes, and I shant eat any more of the foie gras. It's... bland."

Okay, so maybe my imagination gets the best of me. Maybe my horses are just picky eaters.

Regardless of how your own horses approach feeding time, you can have some fun answering trivia questions about hay. Just click on this link to a Horse Channel quiz:

Quiz on Fun Feed Facts

In an hour or so it'll be time for Wally and Lexi to get their lunch. Have the whisk broom handy.


Anonymous said...

My two guys act the same way. It was -50 with wind chill last week and did they eat all their hay? Nope, they picked through what they wanted knowing that they would get an abundance more in a few hours.Unfortunately my guys are bit on the hefty side.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Bucky's the only one who eats ALL his hay. =P He eats everything then digs through the shavings looking for more. Quite a silly horse. :)

Cindy Hale said...

Yes, I suppose a little bit of "tough love" would help. I probably should refuse to feed more food until they finish what I've given them. And -50 degrees??? Wow!

Anonymous said...

My baby girl cleans up everything on her plate, and sometime what the gelding leaves over! She's not fat, but she aint skinny, either!
My 25yo gelding tends to leave stuff on the floor, including the alfalfa leaves. Maybe he cant see what he's dropped! He prefers his hay, but in the morning everything is usually cleaned up. If not, I can almost bet there is something wrong with what I served. His weight is just right, and I like them on the plump side.