Cheetos, YuckyLip, and You.
I planned on heading to the barn straight after work. I had brought my "barn clothes" with me- jeans, a scrubby (and probably permanently stained) shirt, my Ariat boots, and thick comfy socks. I waited until it was time for my work day to end, and then changed into my horsie attire. Then I realized the horror. The horror of ALL horrors.
I had brought NO offering for the horse.
See, I usually bring a piece of fruit for him to enjoy at the end of our time together. It's usually an apple or an orange, sometimes other offerings, but always in the scope of what is "acceptable fare" for horses. I searched frantically through my purse, my backpack, the break room at work....I had brought no such treat.
Now, let's be serious. Would Altivo really care if he didn't get a treat after our ride? Would he hold it against me the next day, angry that I had not brought him something to nibble on? Probably not. He would probably just dig into his hay and move on....giving treats is as much a psychological gift to me as it is a gastronomical joy for him.
Regardless, I lamented my oversight out loud to a co-worker. I told her in whining tones how horrible of a horse owner I was. I wailed that I was ashamed to show my face to my horse, of having to explain to him my drastic oversight. Taking pity on me, she searched her desk, and came up with this:
Yes, a single serving bag of Cheetos. (Please note, I have yet to be paid or compensated for any endorsements on my blog, so this is entirely non-biased. I haven't eaten Cheetos in years, and this tiny snack bag was more Cheeto-ness than I had taken possession of in a long time.)
I immediately exclaimed, "Horses can't eat Cheetos!!!" She shrugged, and dropped the snack size bag onto my desk. "Well, they're yours now, so take 'em!"
I looked down at the orange bag, and did what anyone needing validation would do. I googled it.
This is what I googled: "Can horses eat Cheetos?"
I didn't see any immediate danger signs pop up, and I figured, well, they were corn at one point....so I jammed the bag into my purse and headed for the barn. It rained earlier in the day, so I had a muddy horse. Rather than rinse him off for a ride, I figured today would be a good day for ground work. Then I remembered the bag. The tiny little orange bag in my purse....the crinkly foil bag.
I crosstied him and groomed him as usual, then I couldn't wait to give him this new, exotic treat.
I showed him the cheery bag with the flashy print:
It's very charming....so I offered a single cheeto.
I have named this look, "YuckyLip".
I offered one more Cheeto, which he took slowly, chewing slower now. He thought for a moment, then it happened.
He gave me a solid YuckyLip.
Not at all what he expected, and certainly not at all tasty!
I offered a third Cheeto, and he clamped his lips shut, dropped his head, and looked defeated.
It's not a bad thing, really. Horses shouldn't be eating junk food, and since there's no mini-mart near his stall, I'd be the culprit supplying him with Cheetos. I'll stick to fruit and veggies, and leave the Cheetos for me.
And don't worry, I took him out to eat a few mouthfuls of grass to cleanse his palate after the horrible episode, now known as Cheeto-gate. An apple followed the day after, and he seems to forgotten about the whole incident....for now.