My girls recently started living outside 24/7 and they are LOVING it. In an effort to be a good horse Mom, I bought them rubber feed tubs to eat out of, so that they wouldn't waste grain/supplements in the dirt. Willow has decided that the new tubs MUST contain some sort of horse eating MONSTER creature that WILL grab her when she approaches (because, clearly she's feral and has NEVER eaten out of something like that before). So feeding time consists of her sneaking up to the tub, quickly snatching a bite, leaping away, then snorting at it while she chews. Rinse, repeat. It's hysterical, honestly.
Last night, I was grooming them as they ate, and Willow was pulling her bite, snort, hairy eyeball routine per the usual. Sadie finishes up her grain and wanders over to Willow's tub and eyeballs it. Checking for beasties, I presume. Willow is too terrified to enforce 'the rules'. Once she decided it was safe, she casually grabs the tub by the side and starts flipping it around in her mouth.
Willow just about died, I think.
They then partook in a wonderful game of chase Willow around and around with the terrifying tub until Sadie dropped the tub and wandered off to graze like nothing happened.
I think I'll just be feeding poor Willow off the ground from now on. Now that they tub actually grew legs and chased her, she's going to be scarred forever!
Criss has one of those huge black oblong tubs because he WILL flip the smaller ones over and eat off the ground. One day last week, he grabbed his pasture buddy's small rubber feed dish and gave me that look like "Are you feeding me?" I so wish I had a picture of that. Typical beggar!
Yeah, mine used to toss her feed pan over the fence because she wanted More Food Now, and then get absolutely furious because the pan was out there, and she was not.
In general, are mares more goofy about food? I mean, my horse is super-safe on the ground (and for the most part under saddle), *unless* there's food involved. She doesn't try to hurt you, but she will try to intimidate you in her anxiety to get to her food. And once she's got it, if there's a horse anywhere nearby, she'll pin her ears flat to her head and let out a few wicked kicks. "My food. Mine. You don't get any! MINE!"
With my girls, it's a bit like those seagulls in Finding Nemo. "Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine." Luckily they respect my space when it comes to dinner time (I'm not shy about backing them off either, and if ANY teeth or feet fly, nobody eats). Newbies get run through the gauntlet though, which is rather amusing to watch.
I think mares are about the most fickle creatures on the planet, but just watching Sadie antagonize her 'sister' with the much feared rubber fed tub was a sight and a half.
My mare is pretty much a rock, steady-eddy type. However, she gets really excited over food. It took me a long time to get her be patient for her carrot stretches and stretch her neck to get the carrot, instead of cheating and instantly whirling around on her feet to grab it. I don't think she enjoys the experience that much because she is so anxious about GETTING the food.
My gelding, on the other hand, while equally if not more food driven, thinks the carrot stretches are a wonderful game, stands still with a big goofy grin on his face and relishes the whole process of slowly stretching to get the carrot.
My mare loves the carrot stretches too!
She is very polite with her food. Will politely wait for you to dump it in her feed bucket. I can groom her, tack her up while she's eating, no prob.
She is the boss mare at her barn and will chase the pony away from the hay, but allow the other mare to eat with her. That other mare (she's not mine) is pushy about food. I'd not try to groom her while she's eating, lol!
My mare is a pain with her water. If there is water outside in turn out (be it in buckets or big troughs) she tries to bathe in it. Jumps in with both front legs. She has destroyed a lot of containers this way. Fortunately, she seems to have grown out of it (finally, at 15!).
When we cross a stream out trail riding, she will dunk her whole head in (up to her eyes) to drink. I worry that one day, she'll drown. The other day, she blew a bubble and FLIPPED OUT.
She cracks me up.
my mare gives me " the look"(ears back) when I approach her when she's hungry and digging in, and I have not managed to persuade her that I do not want her hay or grain. Yet, she is still well-mannered. And, when not really hungry, she'll choose socializing (with human or horse)or satisfying her curiousity about something to eating.
My gelding thinks food is the end-all and be-all--far more important than any other activity! Yet he does seem to understand that humans do not eat what he does--only other horses.