Ok. So my answer for grooming her while eating is this: until you become more comfortable dealing with the herd, able to keep the herd off of you and your mare, I would not groom her while there is hay out in the pasture. The reason is horses do move from one Pile of hay to another. Which results in the horse version of musical chairs. Sometimes the "pushee" doesn't want to leave their pile and the "pusher" insists and heel and teeth can strike.
No need to get in the middle of all that.
I agree. Even though yesterday I was fine going out and catching her, I just brought my carrot stick with me and the herd kept away at a nice distance while I walked my mare up to the gate and took her out.
If your BO allows you to grab some loose hay when you bring her into the barn to groom, then you can show her that you will groom her while she eats hay.
Dont think he will let me, not sure, but I dont want to ask. I know he doesnt like people just pulling hay from his shed and one of the members here mentioned how BOs are on a strict budget (especially with winter here) so I wont put any stress on him by asking. Instead....see below for the following
If he doesn't want you grabbing hay, you can buy hay pellets and groom her .while she eats them.
This is actually one of my goals for his winter is to get my mare on vitamin supplements since I know vitamin A, E, omega 3's get depleted in hay when temps really drop. So Im hoping to get her on a vitamin supplement so that she doesnt lack these in the winter. I obviously need to put it in/mix it with her food and because she doesnt get grain anymore thats out the window. So a friend suggested I feed her like 1/3 of a bucket of hay cubes (is that the same as what you suggest...pellets?) and mix them in with that. She said with that little amount each day, it shouldnt be a problem for her gaining weight. But I would be feeding her the vitamins on the hay cubes everyday, or at least whenever im out.
I was planning on picking up some hay cubes this weekend and getting her on it as early as this weekend. Was told its best to soak them though. I would feed them to her while shes tied in the barn isles.