Casual Observations, Keeping My Distance

I’m one of those people who love to just stand and watch my horses.  I love to take in what they do when we humans are outside of their circle of influence.

One of our equine family members seems to have a bit of OCD when it comes to meal time. Upon consuming a ration of sweet concentrate, he will immediately reach over to his Redmond Rock for a little salt, then back to licking the feed bucket and so on, for sometimes 10 minutes. Once his cravings are satiated he’ll have a chaser from the water bucket, but only if the entire menu is within necks reach.  As soon as any one of the three ingredients to his feast is moved outside of his immediate reach, the whole performance is called off.  Humans within interaction distance also will put a halt to the dance.  Hmm…


Another of our hooved children is a little more attuned location on a larger scale.  Again, upon consuming a meal of concentrate (or horse cookies) he will make a bee-line for the Redmond Rock placed close to the water bucket in the paddock.  Little salt…..little more salt….big drink o’water.  Again, if he is in a paddock where the salt is NOT within a few steps of the water, it’s ‘Sorry, my dance card is full.’  And, like his big brother, if there is a human within interaction distance, it’s straight to grazing.  Alarmingly, this reduction of water consumption is generally not corrected later in the day.  More hmmm…


Is all of this a leftover from millennium ago when eating, and especially drinking, were necessary for survival but also fraught with predatory dangers?  Maybe, and maybe not.


Either way, I now make a habit of leaving the area during meals.  Let the kids eat in peace and do their thing.  I can watch from the sidelines.


Coach Jenn

Host of Horse Tip Daily

Jennifer Hebert
Horse Radio Network, Ocala, FL

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