Valentine Vacuums His Stall

Our feeding routine is a little different these days. With three horses, all of which have different nutritional needs, it’s not as simple as it was with one horse. Still, it’s not three times harder.

First, Moonshine gets her half-scoop of Purina Strategy. As alpha-horse, she gets her ration first. Next, Valentine gets his one and a quarter scoop of Strategy. He likes to hang out up on the hill until the feed hits his bucket. Then he bolts from the top of the hill next to the barn straight for the gate at full speed. He’s serious about supper time. Finally, with Moonshine and Valentine in their stalls, poor bottom-of-the-totem-pole Sinbad can eat freshly tossed hay without being run off. He doesn’t get any grain, just hay, by order of his owner, who is a vet. And don’t worry, we put the daily hay ration in three piles so Sinbad is getting plenty. Fifteen minutes later, when Moonshine is trying to eat her wooden stall (she cribs), I know to let her out. Valentine takes longer, though. Not only does he eat more but he has a bad habit of sloshing the feed out of the bucket and onto the stall floor where he would spend the next ten minutes vacuuming his stall if we didn’t stop him. Yup, he sucks the Strategy pellets off of the ground. This of course increases his chances of getting colic, since ingesting sand is apparently a factor.

Our horses have all kinds of bad habits and this is yet another one. So I guess we’ll be looking into one of those feed buckets that makes it hard to slosh feed onto the ground.

Of course we try and stop him from doing it but he won’t budge without some force. And since it’s hard to push a 1300 pound horse who doesn’t want to move, we often grab some old hay twine to make an impromptu halter and lead him back to the pasture. This works surprisingly well.

Any of you have a horse that vacuums?

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