Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hay is for Horses

Today was hay day! The equine dentist was scheduled to float Jessie and Blue's teeth this morning but his filly's chiropractor was hours late which in turn caused him to reschedule his 40-50 horse appointments in our area. Just goes to show that all of us do indeed affect each other's lives at times...I am sure this woman was oblivious to her blatant inability in keeping this man's appointment and creating such a ripple effect. I say that because I have heard from more than one disappointed client that this is just her way...tsk, tsk.

Back to hay... I have a 78-year old hay man named Earl. He was a former trainer in the California racing industry and tells amazing stories of the yesteryear racing world. He co-owns a farm in Washington where superior hay reigns and ships prime 3-string 125-135 lb. bales all over the world. My 'ponies' eat timothy only which has the lowest protein content, maybe 10-11% unlike alfalfa with upwards of 18+ percent. This hay is like no other...no weed, no mold, no grass mixture, no blister beetle, no heat, just awesome timothy with excellent head. My horses do not waste it and eat every strand. I have purchased local hay for years only to be totally disappointed with having to return moldy bales. This has happened with three different suppliers and that gets old fast especially since I have to reload the bad bales and haul the hay myself with no reimbursement for my expense. It is so frustrating to put up maybe sixty 35-40 pound 2 string bales (by myself) and find that several bales are useless. So, I made the decision to travel to Lexington and buy the best. My horsey friends think I am crazy, but I think it has been worth it for three years now. Well, I thought so until today... my cost per bale was increased which makes no sense since diesel is way cheaper than it was last year. Oh well, maybe I can find some decent summer hay that hasn't been put up wet.

It was a long day for me. Little Bear woke me up at 4 am which is now her habit. Just as I began to doze back to sleep, the electricity went off. Thankfully we have a generator but the disturbance created the second unhealthy sleep interruption making it difficult to fall back to la la land. I fed early and cleaned the stalls early out of respect for my equine dentist so no sleeping in which farm owners cannot do anyways...

Earl and his grandson (who will inherit the business) loaded my 2-horse gooseneck filling it with 29 bales. It hauled well and the trip back, thankfully, was uneventful. Upon my return, I was greeted by Callie, Cricket, Coty, and Nugget, showing their faithful love to their mama with wagging tails and kitty rubs against my legs. The good husband was watching the BB games, so I grabbed a quick snack and backed the trailer down the hill into the barn, well, a few feet into the barn, since I have no room to properly pull out and back it in straight without damaging the numerous tractor implements left in places where I would not put them.


Ahhh, now the looming task of handling 3,770 total pounds of hay and stacking the bales in an orderly fashion. The lower back was already protesting since it hasn't fully recovered from the surpise meeting of those four unforgiving steps a month ago, not to mention stiffness had begun to set in resulting from the 2 hour drive home.
I think I finished in about an hour and wouldn't you know, the good husband arrived when I was handling the very last bale. He provided a much needed boost to shove the final bale into place. He quickly exited fearing that I might request more help and pretended not to hear 'honey, help me feed the deer'. Off he went in his Kubota, worrying that he might miss those important basketball plays...uggh, men's sports....

Well, there you have it...this middle aged farm girl is quite pleased that she alone was able to stack five high and remain injury free. Hail to the good strong Fuller (Grampie, Floyd Fuller) and Davis (Great Grammie Fred) farm genes that still live on today! ps... I may be eating these words tomorrow after the lactic acid invades my aching body....


3 comments:

delphine said...

Your posts are so interesting and informative! Thankyou for your comment on my blog, but I must explain that the chateau in my present story was my first Chateau and I lived there 20 years ago, the Chateau on my banner heading is my fourth chateau and present home, the story will tell of my 4 moves and why I moved--if I ever get to finish it haha, thenkyou for following my story

Teri Conroy said...

Your Earl is like my Earl!!!

Kritter Keeper said...

teri, you should see his barn...huge! and they moved another barn just like it to his property.