Thursday, May 24, 2012

Feeding time at Elkhorn Stables

As much as I enjoy going to horse shows and watching all types of equine competition, I am equally happy to stand in a pasture and observe horses in their natural state.  Seth knows this about me, so he wasn't surprised that I wanted to linger a bit after our anniversary ride at the Elkhorn Lodge in Estes Park, Colorado.

Fortunately for Seth, this wasn't as boring as it could have been.  Ours was the last ride of the day, so as soon as our horses were unsaddled and turned loose, the wranglers loaded up the tractor and started feeding.
Feeding this many horses is a big production, and it affords the viewer an excellent opportunity to observe herd dynamics.
The dominant horses move in first, warning the others to stay away with laid back ears and swishing tails.
Horses who are lower in the pecking order don't need to be warned.  They stand and wait patiently until there's enough food on the ground to satisfy the alpha horses' needs.
That's "my" boy Cain making his move.
There's a lot of small arguments over who gets which pile...
but eventually everyone settles down...
to eat!
Nom, nom, nom!

2 comments:

  1. We fed our herd of Limousin cattle almost the same way.... Tractor, round bale on the fork, me on the ground with a rake....cows everywhere....LOL...
    I had to fight some of the pushy ones off so I could rake the hay off. Fortunately, they were calm cows...
    It was the same with them, the higher in the pecking order got to eat first.
    Lots of fun watching animals.
    Lovely pictures as always!

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  2. That looks like lots of fun to watch!
    Great post!

    Rosie

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