Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Bento for My Horses!"

This is not as crazy as it sounds. Today I packed a bento box lunch for my horse. Well I guess that is actually pretty crazy. But:

On a longer trail ride I like to bring a few treats for my horse. His faves are: granola bars, grapes, and carrots. So the usual thing is: stuff the snacks in the saddle bag, drag them out all crushed and broken hours later, feed him mushed grapes and broken up granola bar, etc. End up with wadded plastic bag that might or might not get taken out of the saddle bag at trail's end and if not, end up with moldy mush a few weeks later.

Today I was going out for a 2 hour ride so I packed him a bento snack box.

Here it is:

I also packed myself a bento so that I could skip breakfast and have a bento brunch out on the trail:

Yummy organic pink grapefruit, fried basmati rice, and peanut butter pretzels.

As always with horses, the question, "What could go wrong?" is not rhetorical. I had no sooner stopped for lunch and placed the bentos on a log:

...than my horse John decided that red thing was interesting.

He was merely following the #1 Commandment of The Horse:

If It Looketh Interesting, Thou Shalt Try to Eat It.

Faster than I could say NO, JOHN!, he had the bento belt off, the compartments separated, the contents available and half of them eaten.

By this time I was thinking bento box rescue, so I dived in and did an intervention between his moochy lips and the container. He was unable to open the granola bar HA HA NO OPPOSABLE THUMBS!! and so I was able to defer this much of his gratification at least.

It then devolved upon me to help him get the carrot bits out of the brushy ground cover and offer them up to His Highness;

That took care of his snack, with a bit more drama than I'd expected. Now it was time for me to eat my own bento brunch.

This was tricky as I had brought one tiny slippery pair of chopsticks, and I had to hold his lead rope while eating. Plus, John decided that fried rice was something he had not yet enjoyed in life and that was a crime against equinedom.

Why did I not tie him to a tree, you may well ask?

Well that was because I had put his cute bear bells on his neck today, and I knew that if he had a tree to rub on he would follow Equine Commandment #2:

If Possible, Thou Shalt Break It.

So I juggled horse, chopsticks, and bento container as he alternately munched grass and loomed his big face into my space to beg for fried rice.

I gave up on the grapefruit sections and they are sitting in the fridge even as I write, a snack for a later more peaceful time. The peanut butter pretzels melted in the saddle bag:

..although you can see I ate one of them anyway, big mistake as the scent of peanut butter makes John revert to Hungry-Hungry-Caterpillar mode.

I think that horse bentos are a thing that needs some work. I believe I am a person who can take on that work. The ideal sequence of events may be: tie horse, eat one's own bento while horse noshes on grass, then feed horse his bento.

"What Could Go Wrong?"


  1. YEAH!!! I am so glad you posted! I have been missing you and your bentos!!! *HUGS* I assumed you were taking a bento-break since school got out. School ended here last week but, alas, no summer break for me TT__TT

    Was the red box ruined? Were you able to salvage it?

    John is gorgeous BTW and I look forward to hearing more about his wacky adventures! ^^

  2. Avie, yes school ended and then I had Brian's graduation (YAY!) and then just stuff, so bentos haven't been so plentiful. I saved my red snack bento and the dog face belt - Johnny took them all apart very delicately all things considered. I'm loving your new bento domain!

  3. YIPPEEE!!!! Well, I am super glad you are back!! Glad the box and uber cute puppy belt were saved! :)

  4. that's so cool, although it really shows me how out of touch i am - i knew what a bento box was, but not that you order them on ebay and exactly what they look like. like tiny tupperware stackables that fit in your saddlebag. awesome.

    peanut butter does not go over well in germany.

    looking forward to seeing america again and all the stuff i have no idea about.


  5. It's lunchtime as I comment and now I'm hungry for some rice and teriyaki chicken. Those peanut butter pretzels look really yummy. I've not seen those before. I love it that you packed a bento box for John. That is so sweet. He obviously loved the idea too. It's fun to share lunch with our equines. Marley and I shared lunch last Saturday. He'll be jealous if he finds out John had a special bento box of his own. I just packed Marley's carrots and apple in a camping cooler and we ate at the trailer. Not nearly as romantic as dining in the woods with bento boxes. I still need to try this out for myself. Our cafeteria at work closed a week ago and I need some good lunch ideas.

  6. Got a question for you Bentobabe...are bentos meant to be served chilled? Are there bento boxes suitable for the microwave? If so, what kinds do you recommend for the microwave? I looked at a few on ebay, but don't see that they are microwaveable. Thanks!

  7. I love that you packed a bento for your horse! Awesome! :)

  8. Lytha, I could not live without peanut butter!

    OnceUpon: Usually the bottom part of the bento box is microwaveable but not the lids, so I just put a paper towel over it. Many of my lunches are eaten at room temperature but some get reheated, other stay chilled in the department fridge. If the bento is made in Japan, it's almost invariably microwave safe; some of the Chinese ones I've seen are not. I hope I can draw you in to this bento obsession! And Marley needs a bento too... :)
    I'll post pics of some of my microwaveable bentos...

    Susan: Thank you! he loved it too, almost too much. :)

  9. Lilly, I was on Ebay and Amazon for hours last night. Haven't bought an official bento box yet (I'm overwhelmed at the selection), but I bought some Rubbermaid containers, an insulated cooler, some silicon baking cups, and a couple mini soy sauce containers. That Ebay seller you mentioned, luckyshipper, has some bento boxes with cute art chopsticks with dogs on them. I'm tempted by those chopsticks.