Encouraging head-down eating?
Somehow things have manged to work out that most of Lacey's human-facilitated eating time has ended up with her having her head level with her withers or slightly higher.
I know it's better for her to eat off the ground so I'm thinking that someone, somewhere, might have a good suggestion I had not thought of.
First off, she spends most of her day grazing the pasture. There's not a whole lot of grass out there but it's enough to occupy her all day so her head is down then. She's out from about 7:30am-5pm everyday.
Then, from 5pm-7:30am-ish, she's in her large stall. She has a hay net in there (she'll eat too much too fast/make too much of a mess if it's just piled in a corner), I feed her a single flake on the ground, and her "extras" (hay pellets+supplements) go in her bucket in a corner feeder.
I had previously been setting her bucket on the ground but she is much more interesting in finishing her food when it's off the ground. I assume it must be some combination of maybe some neck arthritis and her blindness.
Maybe there's nothing to be done... I had thought of maybe making some sort of off the ground feeder for her grain bucket that wasn't as high as the corner feeder but was still raised a foot or so...
Maybe it's not something to really be worried about...I've just noticed an increase her coughing after trotting out of her stall, or whatever, and the increase seems to be directly related to when all her fed-food went off the ground...
Ideas? Thank you!
Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding
Rest peacefully, Lacey.