Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Can't talk, eating.

Tuesday March 2nd--I've always thought that horses should have hay in front of them pretty much all the time. After all, they are grazers by nature. Besides, I've mostly been exposed to skinny, picky thoroughbreds who burn off much needed calories simply by breathing. But owning the plump miss Maggie may make me rethink my position.

It's as though she's a magician using slight-of-hand. One minute Maggie has a full flake of hay, then, in the blink of an eye, every last trace of it has disappeared. She inhales her grain with equal enthusiasm, and the moment her food is gone, she's rattling her door, shaking her head up and down, and begging for more. I have to admit, I find it difficult not to fall prey to her dark, pleading eyes, especially at night, when her hay is long gone, and Murray's still munching unenthusiastically on his ample supply. I have to remind myself that it's up to me to help her lose the excess pounds weighting down her slender legs (I wish I had someone controlling my food portions for me).

Thankfully Maggie's not aggressive about food, just obsessive. When we walk by the hay stalls, she wistfully stretches out her rubber-like lips in hopes of pulling a mouthful from between the bars. Outside, she tears-out half-frozen, still dead, brown blades of grass as quickly as she can. We've got big pastures, but I imagine it won't take long for her to mow them down this summer.

It's ironic, for years, I've tempted Murray with as much high-fat food as he'll eat, in hopes of keeping even just a meagre covering over his bony ribs. Now, while I'm still waging that battle, along comes Maggie, and suddenly I'm withholding food in hopes that she'll eventually slim down to a healthy weight. I guess between the two of them, they average out to normal.

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