Relative Something

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

Waste Not

with 5 comments

This is my reality: horses waste hay. Not only do I need to clean up their manure every day, but they dump a tragic amount of hay on the ground that I have to deal with, too. I think there is a grass in the mix that they don’t prefer and they eat around it to get bites of something more pleasing to their refined palettes.

I had just filled a hay net that Swings moseyed up to for some post-feed pan noshing yesterday morning. After passing by to deal with other housekeeping around the overhang, I caught sight of all these bites already on the ground.

Really? -_-









The horses have split their time evenly between the nets and the slow-feeder boxes. They waste about the same amount when eating from either one. Sometimes I find the uneaten hay wadded up and nosed out of their way on top of the grate in the boxes and sometimes they pull it all out and drop it on the ground.

When I showed up to serve the last feeding in the afternoon, this is how it looked:

To maintain my signature pristine accommodations under the overhang, I have taken to raking up all the wasted hay each day and piling it to the side just beyond the overhang.

Here’s the part that gets me: the horses then rummage through those piles (mixed with mud and random bits of manure that get raked up with it) and eat from there. Maybe they are pulling out stray bits of good hay that were accidentally mixed in with the bites they dropped to the ground.

I also notice they like to stand on the piles of hay, I presume for the combination of insulation from the cold ground and the bit of cushion from the surface of packed, frozen sand. It just adds incentive for me to continue clearing it out of my way from under the overhang and letting them have at it in piles on the side.

Since we don’t ration their hay, they almost always have more than enough. Occasionally, I’ll notice they power through a net-full or a bale in the boxes with little to no waste. I think it depends on how cold they are. My take on that is they are showing me the waste is a function of them simply being picky.

I could be wrong. Different bales could come from different parts of a field that provide a mixture of grasses more or less to their liking.

Still, how do you think it makes me feel when they choose to throw their food all over the ground? Waste not, want not.

I run a nice place here. First-rate service. Show some respect, will ya, horses?


Don’t get me started about my beef with them dropping manure all over the place in the dining area. It’s like these beasts were born in a barn or something.



Written by johnwhays

January 3, 2023 at 7:00 am

5 Responses

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  1. My cats do that when you give them new food and they want their old stuff. Pick out what they want and throw the rest on the floor.


    January 3, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    • Oh, cats. I think they invented picky eating. I wish they hadn’t taught it to horses, too.


      January 3, 2023 at 9:19 pm

  2. Horses!

    It’s also great when they poop in their (usually only) water bucket…..

    We now are the happy owners of 2 rabbits- and they are just like little destructive horses. It’s almost like having a part horse, part cat, and part puppy all wrapped up in a floofy body.

    They get the horse hay as their “‘main diet”….. And proceed to waste and ruin about 95% of it. 🤣


    January 3, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    • Yes, I know what you write. Funny how we love these creatures so much despite the grief they can cause with their antics. Waste not, want not. How do you teach that to bunny rabbits?


      January 3, 2023 at 9:18 pm

      • 🤣🐰🐰🐰
        I’ll l let you know when I figure it out!


        January 3, 2023 at 11:14 pm

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