Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Who’s Boss

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These days I’m on my own in tending to the horses and we have added a third feeding at mid-day to their routine. As a result, I am singularly tasked with managing two different serving sizes among the four horses. The general routine we have tried to maintain has involved closing the upper gates temporarily to break them into pairings of Light and Mia on the left and Swings and Mix on the right.

Oftentimes, they arrange themselves perfectly after they see us coming, but not always. Although, even if they start in the desired positions, it is pretty common for at least one of them to decide they need to go check on the other pan on their side, just in case it tastes better.

Or something like that. It would not be beyond them to also be flaunting a little dominance when they are feeling it.

The last couple of days I have taken to showing the interlopers that I am the boss of all of them. For example, Mix eats slower and gets served a larger portion than Swings. When Swings decides it’s time to saunter over and nudge Mix off her pan, I have been taking the pan away from Swings and serving it back to Mix, holding it while she tries to finish.

There can be one or two more maneuvers that transpire but it seemed to me yesterday that Swings was starting to recognize my intent and accept it without protest.

When circumstance has allowed, I have also experimented with changing who gets paired or switching to three horses on one side and one horse on the other. Since Mix and Mia both get the same-sized portion of feed, I like having them together on one side. Then I don’t have to care if any of the four try to switch.

We grant these horses so much autonomy that it is refreshing to occasionally brandish my authority with enough clarity that they have no reasons to doubt who the boss is when Cyndie and/or I show up.


For The Record: Lest there be any confusion resulting from the fact our home is located in Wisconsin, *this* John W. Hays is now and always has been a Minnesota Vikings guy. Sometimes I have been inclined to whisper that fact instead of showing it off proudly. After a performance like the one yesterday against NFL’s second-ranked Buffalo Bills, where the Vikings came from behind and then survived an overtime battle culminating in an endzone interception to win 33–30, I just wanted to make sure nobody was mistaking me for a Green Bay Packer backer. Especially since I couldn’t bear to watch the last drive in overtime by Buffalo and took Delilah for a walk and fed the horses.

[silly grin]



Written by johnwhays

November 14, 2022 at 7:00 am

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