Dshetland eats faster when we hold her bucket for her, I don't think there's any reason other than she likes the attention and it helps her to focus on what she's doing. She eats perfectly well with the bucket on the ground except she gets distracted and might wander off and come back to her feed in case she is missing something going on. Or sometimes she will go off to the hay and we'll say "oi, what about this feed?" and she'll come back and finish it. I think she's just a bit forgetful and lacking concentration .
Sorry not sure if I spelt it right. It's where the food spills out of the mouth while they eat. See it could be spilling out and that's why it takes ages to eat. I used to have a pint that did it with its head down eating hard food but not when it's head was up eating. It was really strange and nothing could be done, he always therefore eat his feed up high as he wasn't a great eater anyway. c
Actually though, thinking about it, less likely to be oesophagus problem if feeding from the ground (when oesophagus is in straight line) more likely to have problems when feeding from raised bucket (oesophagus kinked) so ignore earlier comment
I dunno! I know horses can get gastric ulcers. Might be worth having her scoped?
I blame nosyness. Is that a word? I know of one like this. Also a mega slow eater prone to losing weight. Though she's a TB. She has one of those buckets with hooks on her door so she can see all the action while eating.
Sore back/neck? Does she graze happily in the field or is head up and down all the time there too? My first thought would be that she has some discomfort that is lessened by having her feed elevated. A good physio/chiropractor should be able to tell you if there is any issues.
Dd's mare is a very fit, very bouncy 20 year old. Ever since we've had her, she's been the slowest eater imaginable it's such a pain- she always has to be fed separately or she gets pushed off by anyone that's finished, and she needs to eat because she loses condition really easily.
She"ll take a mouthful, chew, look around, think about it for a it, chew, swallow, look around, chew....aggggggggh! She's very clever and curious- and hates to miss anything-typical Arab. We tried just letting her miss out on her dinner in the hopes she'll speed up, but it didn't work.
Anyway, this morning I was in a hurry, so, on impulse, I picked up her bucket and held it for her- and she just put her head in and ate the lot at an almost normal speed, for the first time in 5 years!
Any ideas why? I though on the ground was the naturof position for horses to feed? Her teeth are fine, by the way.