Waste not?

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.

EQUUS - - Eq Casereport -

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.”

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