Remember awhile back when Tigger was not…NOT…NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS…going to eat anything tainted by one single grain of his new very expensive supplement? Remember that I used a carrot chopped into molasses and mixed with water and the supplement and then stirred into his feed and he still tossed his head, swished his tail, etc, etc, in protest but would slowly…very slowly…eat his food? And would not eat it unless I left the barn area, while he was shut out (leaving Rags in possession of the barn, where Rags always ate?)
Gradually the protests diminished. Oh, well, *maybe* he could force this mess down to regain access to the barn. Oh, well, maybe he could eat while I finished the evening barn chores of cleaning the water tubs and refilling them as long as I didn’t stand there watching him. Oh, well, he might as well eat, still making the occasional head gesture if I was there, while I paused and watched him. Actually…actually it wasn’t that bad to be eating carrot chunks and tasting that good dark molasses all over his feed…
Since twice is often enough to create a habit for horses, we have now reached owner satisfaction. Yesterday was the second time for the return to “normal” (for us) feeding. Horses are shut out of the barn while I weigh and mix their feeds. Rags gets one supplement, Tigger gets two. Both get a feed-through wormer. I put Rags’s feed pan just outside the barn in the south barn lot, and Tigger’s feed pan inside, in a straight shot from the gate where they’re let in, far enough from the gate that he feels no need to threaten Tigger with a kick. Tigger goes straight to his supper. Rags then comes in and veers to the right, out the open side of the barn, to his supper. Peace reigns. Much easier for me than having to let Rags in through the narrow side gate and fend Tigger off, then carry Tigger’s feed pan through the wider gate while not letting him through and put it down.
Even though Tigger is now getting a little more feed than Rags (colder weather) he eats it up promptly. While they’re eating I carry out their “evening hay” and sometime between 9 and 10 their night hay, clean the water containers, top them up, and then I’m done until late in the evening. The timing changes with the seasons and weather. The next change will be gradually reducing the amount of molasses….and eventually (I hope) no molasses at all will again mean ease for a lazy owner…no need to stir the mixture of molasses, carrot chunks, liquid supplement and dry supplement together with the pelleted feed.