I feed 4 horses and 1 cat daily.
They are always happy to see me. Now really it is not me in particular they care about but the guy that feeds them. And it is food that interests them. I know that.
But I use the opportunity to pet the horses a little. Sometimes I think they enjoy it but mostly they just tolerate it because they know eventually I am going to get the feed for them. Judy is a different story though. They like her and they like her to pet them, food or not.
Now the cat is different. I think she actually enjoys seeing me. The other day it was raining and she actually came out in the rain to greet me. She usually comes out to see me but in the rain is above and beyond.
So I get quite a bit of positive reinforcement from these animals.
I always talk to them. I ask the cat if she's hungry and if she wants something to eat. She looks up at me and meows except that's not really what her speech sounds like. When I go in the house to get her food the door closer holds it open a second or two. The cat takes that opportunity to run in with me. She thinks that if she comes in with me that she will get her food faster I suppose.
Then when we go out the door she runs underneath my feet almost always making me nearly fall over her. This used to irritate the daylights out of me but I've become accustomed to it now.
When I leave I tell her goodbye but she usually is too busy eating to acknowledge my departure.
The horses know my car so when they see it they begin moving towards the feeders. If they are out in the pasture they will run. If the wind is blowing hard and gusty or if the weather is changing or just about anything really they get a little upset and act rowdy. Have to watch them if you're in there with them.
The old mare is always the hungriest. She whinnies at me and gets right up against the fence and strains her neck over it towards me. I have a strange respect for the old mare. She's in her late 20's now and had several foals. I always think of us being in the same age range even though she is a lot younger.
The younger mare I suppose is my favorite although I really don't know why. I just like her. She's kind of dainty in a horsey way.
The sorrel gelding's name is Bucky. That's not his real name but his descriptive name and apparently well earned. He irritates me no end. For one thing he uses his head and mouth to scoop out oats from the feeder onto the ground. I hate this and I usually tell him about it. But he ignores me. He prefers the sweet feed to the oats I guess. He is also the "biter" of the group. He will bite me if I am not careful. He'll bite just about anything.
When I finish I tell them all goodbye and that I'll see them tomorrow. They don't even look up from the feeders. But it seems rude not to tell them I'm leaving.
Even if you feed some humans they aren't really glad to see you.
Nine Years and Counting
2 months ago