A mare is known for “mixing” her hay into her bedding every night. In order to stop this behavior, her owner reduces the amount of hay the mare is given while she’s in her stall.
While the median expert rank of this scenario was 2, the reactions ran the gamut---ranging from 0 to 5. “Some of the experts felt that, in order to minimize resource wastage, the mare should be fed only what she could eat,” says DuBois. “This would not only help the owner financially in the short term but also potentially in the long-term, which may allow them to continue to provide for their horse.” Other experts, however, believed that horses must always have access to hay, regardless of wastage and expense, due to the benefits to their digestive and mental health.
When examining the motivations behind the actions described in each vignette, “financial” was the second highest response (see “Understanding Motives,” page 42). “This doesn’t necessarily mean they thought people were cutting corners,” says DuBois, “but it was an acknowledgment that limited resources can play a very important role in decision making, especially regarding management practices.”