I'm about to lose my mind!!!
Let me preface this saying that I've been doing my best to be an educational horseperson....to embrace the green humans and educate them on the equines I love...however, this is the final straw.
DH and I own a coming 2y/o mini horse. I searched high and low for one with good breeding and a good mind....and so, then a weanling, Oliver came into the picture.
I planned to let him grow up and then eventually teach him how to drive. (He's currently ground driving like a champ btw!)
Anyways, as some of you already know, DH and I live next door to his family's farm....the 90 some acres all belongs to his grandpa....nothing much lives on it now aside from some chickens and turkeys and of course Oliver....He has a stall in the barn with a run off his stall. He can go in and out as he pleases and has happily lived there for almost a year and a half.
DH's grandpa doesn't have much to do with the property and barn anymore aside from owning it and feeding the stray cats that accumulate in the barn which normally happens around 5:30am.
Now, Oliver being a mini and very fine boned is on a pretty strict diet....He gets 2 small flakes of hay a day in the winter and no grain.....I had grained him in the summer and cut back his hay a bit to make him lose his hay belly but in the winter I don't care if he gets a little round. Aside from that, he gets NOTHING else. No extra hay, no grain right now, and almost never gets treats, although I have a container of them outside his stall that he gets on very special occassions.
I typically go out to the barn around 7:30am....I work mostly afternoons and nights to am not awake at the crack of dawn.
Recently, Grandpa has been going in Oliver's stall to check on him as it's been below freezing and his water sometimes freezes...okay cool. I didn't ask, but if that's something he wants to do, that's fine.
So then, shortly after the water checking starts, I start notice my bales of hay are only last 2-3 days instead of a week...there's also some hay that is getting soiled in the stall and I'm having to throw it out. So I ask Grandpa if he's been feeding him. "Yes," he says, "whenever I go in his stall he never has a drop of food, you're STARVING him!"
I try at length to explain to him that Oliver is not starving. He only gets a flake of hay at night and by morning he's probably finished it up....it's okay for him to be out of hay for a few hours...if he ate constantly, he'd be the size of a balloon. He still insists that he needs to eat at 5:30 and that 7:30 is much to late for an animal to eat breakfast. :lol:
Okay, the man is 73y/o....I'm not arguing with him. I tell him, in the morning, when you come down, you can feed him ONE flake of hay...I'll set it out every night and that's all he gets.
Okay, everyone seems to understand. Life is good.
A week or so later I notice my barrel of feed (from the summer no less) is opened when I go down in the morning and the feed scoop is inside.
I ask, "Have you been feeding Oliver grain?"
He says, "Yes! You're STARVING him! He won't let me out of the stall in the morning until I've given him grain. :rolleyes:
I'm sure that the 30" mini pins you in the corner and won't let you leave until you grain him.
My main concern at this point was whether the grain was moldy or not. He eats Purina Mini Horse and Pony grain and it's a sweet feed.
Luckily, it was not...so again, in an effort to compromise I say, okay, you can give Oliver a SPRINKLE of grain in the morning....and I show him how much I mean by a sprinkle.
Okay, crisis avoided again.
Yesteray morning I walk into the barn early..about 6am, and look in his grain bucket which is in all actuality a 2 quart tub....it's 3/4 of the way full and Oliver is happily munching....I kid you not. :eek:
So I lost it...freaked out in the empty barn. I took the bag of grain and put it in my car....figured if the temptation wasn't there..he couldn't possibly feed him....DH also has conversation with him and says, we took the grain, he doesn't need it. Grandpa is cranky but says okay.
This morning I go to the barn and the tub of treats that are setting outside his stall, previously only missing maybe a third of the treats from a 3lb tub, is empty......I wish I was joking, because I am not....no, nothing got into it....we don't have to much as a mouse in our barn and it was a tub with a sealing lid.....I also found remnents of treats in his stall...three in his water bucket, a few on the ground. etc.
I'm literally at my wits end. What else can I do? I've explained about the dangers of laminitis and colic. About how he is very small and needs to be fed accordingly, etc. He blatently ignores me and I'm scared for this little guy's health.
I've taken all treats and forms on food out of the barn but I'm just waiting for him to do something stupid like feed him chicken feed or something.
Any and all advice would be MUCH appreciated.