Colder weather has arrived, and George can't think about anything except where his next meal is coming from. Even while his current meal is in front of him.
He is not cold; he is not thin. But he is apparently very anxious about starving to death.
The other horses are acting normal - that is, they get enthusiastic when food appears, but they can still can spare as many brain circuits as before to devote to other topics.
George has started trying to stake a claim to all the food buckets when they arrive. He doesn't succeed, but whereas he used to get his nose into his own bucket and stay there, he now runs over to Bridget's as soon as it hits the ground (hers is second in the chain), which causes Bridget to go over to his bucket, and then it's musical buckets for the rest of feeding time.
He looked very cross at me today when I patted his neck while he was eating hay. If you go in to talk to him, he has only one question: "Did you bring me something to eat?" And if the answer is no, he walks away.
Last winter (our first winter with George), we didn't face this issue, as we were in Mississippi, where the weather stays mild most of the time. Although I think maybe we put a rug on him, as this was before I started hearing about how much better it is for horses to regulate their own temperature. Perhaps he'd feel safer if he had a rug.
I think this is all psychological. He is clearly getting enough calories. Cold weather must bring on a fear of hunger for him.
I don't know whether to give him more food. Sometimes, he'll even be worried while there's hay on the ground (still edible, as the horses are eating it). Today I took some treats in, and the mares didn't even bother coming over to hover in the background. They were like "Nuh uh, that George, he crazy, we aren't going near him when there's food around."
We're dealing with some some issues here, that's for sure.