Thursday, October 16, 2014

Playing Nice

I was going to write a Post about the end of the summer/fall season and share some pics of the day early winter arrived but decided to share how things are going with Galileo.

"The boys" are usually not far apart.

They share the water trough.  But there is an issue at the feeder in the loafing shed.  Galileo doesn't play nice and won't allow Elvis near the hay.

When Galileo arrived there were no issues.  For the first four days the two horses stood next to each other munching hay which we always offer in addition to free grazing.  

On Saturday I decided to dole out some grain.  Call it a stupid gesture with Elvis already plump and Galileo filling in nicely.  I separated the buckets quite a distance to allow the horses to keep to their own food, which worked out fine.

It was after that when Galileo started chasing Elvis out of the loafer via barred teeth or turning his rear at him and trying to kick him should he get too close to the hay.  

Poor Elvis.  He's a lover, not a fighter and yes, Galileo is the dominant horse.  Elvis was perplexed about all of this behavior and stood outside the loafer looking forlornly at me whenever I was outside.

It was apparent that Elvis wasn't getting any hay so I started carrying a flake out into the field for him.  Initially Galileo chased Elvis from that flake and also the loafer.  Elvis would wait until Galileo went back into the loafing shed and then sneak back to his pile of hay.

A few days later our beautiful summer/fall season came to a close and the wind and rains moved in.  I went out to check on the boys and was relieved to find that Galileo had backed off on his aggression and allowed Elvis in the loafer (as long as Elvis is facing outside with his back to the feeder).  

So far the rains have come after Elvis has had a chance to eat the hay I leave out for him.  However, it's only a short time now before I'm putting a flake of hay out in pouring down rain and I don't want to start having to feed my horses out in the rain.

I'm hoping things are settling down and I can keep to my plan of wintering the boys in the loafing sheds in peace.  Our loafing sheds are all huge with rubber mats.  We've always used them to winter our horses in the past.  It's my hopes Galileo will realize there's no threat of going hungry, relax and allow Elvis back to sharing the feeder as he initially did.  

If not I guess I'll have to use our stalls this winter - something I don't want to do as I think it's better to keep them outside not to mention that means cleaning stalls daily and spending $ for lots of shavings.

Hoping this is a short-term issue.  Last night I observed them sharing Elvis's hay in the field.  Maybe Galileo will play nice once again.


  1. Awww Galileo!!! Silly boy. Have you thought about adding a divider into the loafing shed? Then Galileo would have to go back and forth out in the rain if he wanted to keep Elvis out. I think he would eventually get tired of doing that. The only other thing I can think of is slow feed hay nets. Then Elvis could eat when Galileo gets full since the hay would last longer. I feed free choice hay so when ours had to share the barn they would just take turns (the lower horse would eat when the higher up horse got full and left the barn). The hay never ran out so they didn't have to worry about going hungry. I hope they sort it out soon!

  2. It sounds like they might settle this themselves. I would suggest leaving all grain/sweet feeds out of the equation. I don't think your boys need it and it seems to always cause issues with dominance. Good luck.
    Bionic Cowgirl