Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hay hay!

For many of my blogger friends that have their own properties, this hay routine every year, is old hat ! 
(like the one worn by the dude in the pic!)
 But for me, boarding, it is not.
Now that I have a truck, and the will to better my rounding of the Equine Management learning process, I decided to pick up a ton a hay... preferably..actually letting someone else "pick it up" and  I would point here and there... Well...sometimes haying is a very tricky business...the WEATHER playing a HUGE-O part in the processes of it!!
The man above,  is using a tool that measures moisture content. It tells him if it is ready or needs to be undone (too wet), or if I can have it and stack it on top when unloading  later. He is the husband of the woman selling premium locally grown Timothy/Orchard mix hay.
I was to get this hay a week ago...told that I had to pick it up, so that it did not sit on the ground and get moist
THAT- is something I did not know...if it sits on the ground in the field too begins to moisten, then can mold.

I had a team standing by for two days in a row, to help me and I was so happy!...then the woman called the first day..."Um, it's not ready...too'll have to be tomorrow now". Okay..I will pick it up tomorrow, cancelling my ride plans.
Tomorrow comes and I am sitting pretty..only have the hay to do that I wander around doing errands till...the woman calls me again, "Now it won't dry and needs another day"...she explains.
Now I have a one to help me at all! AND, I can only go 4 days from now...she is NOT happy, it will sit in the field too long..but...if I pay $15 dollars more..they will load it up , out of the field. Okay...plan established finally.

While I so appreciate her knowledge and skill in growing and testing for content, and making sure every bale is good...this has become tedious and I am wondering how Friday will pan out!

She calls me early Friday morning..and by now...each time she has called me..she revisits the whole story again verbally so, as if it were not happening to me as well... just her- and Wooo...I see her name on the phone, and I kinda cringe.
NOW...she tells me, " The folks that picked up a ton and a half this am...took an extra ton!" 
That was my ton!

So, as the story goes from there... Obviously..I got my ton of hay, as you can see for yourself.

I had to play a bit rough to do it though..rough for me is: "Well, lady( I did not say lady) I have been waiting patiently for your hay, and as you know, I cancelled other hay to come closer to get yours.
 Are you going to sell me hay, or letting me lump my efforts in being loyal  to take it off your hands? See she had to put the hay on Craig's List because someone backed out and left her in the lurch in the first place!
She came good...and took some hay out of her own barn, and made sure I got my hay!

They were nice enough to pick it up out of the fields too...load it and tie it down.
It is really nice hay and they are truly nice folks. I rarely stand up for myself in these situations..but something came over me . I am glad that I did. They treated me well, and I am on the"Permanent list" to receive 2 tons next year.
I will have the use of a flat bed trailer, and it'll go much easier than lifting it all into a truck!

I backed into the barn...unloaded it all myself ....33 bales of hay in the barn!

Then, met my Barn Owners's at the local restaurant in town for dinner...
and a nice cup-o-Java! 


  1. That's a lot of work! How many bales is in a ton? How much does it cost there?

    Oh, and that's such a lovely picture of the coffee. It looks all hot and swirley- great!

  2. The woes of growing and buying hay are very similar. Both the grower and the buyer want good, clean, dry hay! It's a very good feeling to get it out of the field before it gets rained on and into the barn of some lucky horse keeper. Looks like nice hay.

  3. My local souce of the Golden/Green stuff is a wonderful place that has alfalfa supreme, alfalfa regular(reminds me of Gasoline), Oat,Grass, and straw, each type has its own barn.

    And once they mixed the regular with the supreme so we got supreme for $8 bucks a bale!
    The perks of liveing by Dairys and Cattle Ranches.
    Ahhhaaa...the feeling of stacking you barn to the roof with hay mmmmm...

  4. Val, Hi~
    These are "Becky Bales" my sis calls them..light enough for a gal like me to maneuver around...about 60-70 lbs.
    I got them for $3.50 a bale. I got 33 bales this time.

    MJ~ I did appreciate this gal..though somewhat fanatical..she made sure I LOVED my hay and she is a scientist...really enjoys growing a great product for herself(had 5 horses)+ others!

    Yea..I am very glad i found her...since I used to have to travel hours to the other place my sissy bought it.This was only 20 minutes away!
    It does feel so good to have the hay in and done...!!!

  5. $3.50 a BALE!!!! Oh well done. Sounds like the mare will be dining in style come winter.

  6. I know only too well how much hard work it is getting the hay in! We have large round bales here in France. The farmer makes hay off our land and then brings it in for us. Great.
    Glad you got your supply, it's always a relief when it's safe in the barn!!

  7. Hay is one of the biggest jobs and dilemnas in the horse world, as anyone with horses knows. ARound here we get it from Upstate New York, and generally pay about $7.00 a bale for timothy alfalfa mix. Local hay can be cheaper but it just isn't as good a quality. If it's been a bad year for hay, it's hard to find a good load and it becomes even more expensive.

    My back will never be the same after 25 years of unloading trailers of hay, hundreds of bales at a time. Thankfully, with help and conveyors!!!

    But, a great load of hay, no mold, no stalking thorny stuff, great smelling, is a thrill I can't explain. It's a year of happy hay feeding. :-)

    LOVE that appy in your header!!...

  8. Kacy - I am so glad you got your hay FINALLY and you like the quality. Your shadow photograph and coffee photo are both lovely and tell the tale of relief!!! Glad it worked out.
    Hay is one of the biggest problems I have had the last two years. I am mad at myself for complaining because we have nice quality hay compared to the rest of the country and we have really great prices ($3.50 - $5.00 for GORGEOUS hay). But it took me a long time to work it out. We have a hay field an my farmer makes hay, but he waits too long to cut it and the horses hate it. I learned that after personally loading 200 bales (Brian is allergic) into a haywagon and then personally reloading 200 bales into the barn. (Did I mention that I lost a lot of weight that year and got lovely arm muscles?) The horses left it all in their stalls! So I finally just gave up and bought from someone else and had it hauled here and the hay is perfect! Sorry for the long comment - I feel strongly about my hay history and woes! LOL!

  9. Is that the cute Wa mare peeking out from under her friend on the new header picture?

  10. Kacy, glad you got some good hay, even for all the problems! Doing hay is tricky as everyone has said. Down in this hollow where I live it is even harder to get good hay. With all the dampness the window of time to get hay in is small. You had better have the hay off the ground here at 3:30 or it draws moisture from everywhere! We don't sell our hay to anyone, our fields are small; three small ones that don't even make 2 acres. But we get enough for ourselves and that's good.
    Love your pictures, good post!!!
    Awwww, coffee!!!!

  11. Congratulations on your purchase...that is one thing I do not miss about not having a horse anymore...getting hay several times each year...It's always extremely hot when hay needs to be cut, baled, hauled...

  12. Ergh - a new security system at work has firewalled me out of my blogrolls. So surfing the net over lunch and reading blogs is no more... so far behind on posts.

    As always, enjoyed your story & pictures. Always fun to have a new friend to ride with.

    Those shoes look incredible. I may have to consider something like that next time.

  13. We have a moisture meter. Takes temperature too. Saves you a lot of wasted hay. Hay should be no more than 18% moisture.

    Unloading 33 bales is better than the 8-10 thousand I unloaded this year approx. Actually the number 33 sounds appealing :)

  14. Yep, we have been waiting for 3 weeks for Orchard/Timothy! Too much moisture :(
    We have grass hay and pure Alfalfa on hand, but the mares DO NOT get the Alf!

    Buying quanity is smart money!

    Have a blessed weekend! xo, misha

  15. Con el henos hay que tener mucho cuidado con la humedad, ya que si se empaca húmedo, este se enmohece y ya no lo comen los caballos.
    Tambien en el almacenamiento hay que tener la precaución de no amontonarlo sin uan camara de aire entre los montones de pacas. Y tambien con el suelo, lo mejor es ponerle unos pales en el suelo y encima colocar las pacas de henos, asi transpira y pasa el aire.
    Tambien hay que tener cuidado con los perros y los roedores, ya que unos destrozan las pacas y los otros las roen, deshaciendolas.
    Saludos desde España de Gabriel.

  16. Love your photos and Good for You! Sometimes, (as horses seem to know), standing our ground gets great results.

  17. That's funny (odd) that they test for moisture before they pick the hay up. Here where the hay is going for export (mostly to Japan) it must test below 14%. We will do four or five bales at the beginning of the field and if they're not below 10% we don't bale!
    I'm with Sydney Bitless--33 bales (at 60-70 pounds each) sounds just loverly! Foe export our bales are about 125 pounds each! But then, you've seen the mechanical help we have. I did, however, "rearrange" about four tons over the last week, from three stacks to two, so I'll have room for another stall at the end of the barn...

  18. Good for you for sticking up for yourself! And you got a fantastic price for your hay! We pay through the nose for our hay, but it's top timothy (1 horse is allergic to almost everything else), barn stored, and they deliver and stack it.

  19. OH Hi everyone! Hay seems to be a universal generator for comments!
    I am so happy I did it... and Sydney woohoo..that is making me older and stiffer- just thinking of that much work for you!
    I had a Physical therapy session within a day after I did the work on my measly 33 bales!

    The header is The Reg Appy Mare, Pantz...20 this year and Wa's best freind.
    She is my sissy's. She bought her for $1.00 4 years ago, from someone that was afraid of her. She simply is the Best darned Trailhorse I know, and canters a mean drill team routine, as well!
    We love her...she may be coming to stay for good, soon..I hope.

    Sometimes Wa mare gets tired of her bossing her around, but all in all...loves her!

  20. Well, as everybody knows, getting good hay can be very difficult. You are a lucky girl, although you've had your share of difficulties with it ;-)
    We gave up on hay and now feed dehydrated grass. Comes in bales wrapped in plastic. Never mouldy, always dry, smells like chocolate (I don't know why, but I like the smell of chocolate, so I'm not complaining) and the horses love it. Only problem is, it's very rich, so can't feed too much of it. They have to make do with nibbling straw inbetween feeds. And grass when they are in the field. They don't have such a bad life.
    I'd love to be able to give them good, lovely smelling, big heaps of hay however. Nothing beats the smell of good hay *sigh*.

  21. Ugh... doing hay!!!! It is a science that's for sure!

    When I was at the private barn I always bought large amounts (200 to 300 bales) for my girls before August. Seems like a lot, but Rosie goes through almost a bale a day in the winter.

    You would think living in Ohio hay would be easy to find. Quality is harder to find... I've paid up to $6.00 a bale here.

  22. I love the smell of drying hay! Our whole neighborhood/region smells like it right now....

    PS-Thanks for the advice about the pea gravel. Amber's vet recommended that as well, and she is working on making his shed, and the area around it, sand and pea gravel. : )

  23. Hi there sweet Kacy and Sister -
    I like hearing about your history too - riding Trixie around the fields of your childhood - sounds idyllic!
    I would love to meet your sister - you had a great post about her last visit and your rides together. She would think me a big baby though as a rider - I don't have the guts for eventing!!!!!
    talk to you soon!

  24. Love the shadow pic!!

  25. Haying is quite an adventure. It will draw moisture if left out and horses are more sensitive to mold than cattle.

    I do not miss bucking bales into the loft with hundred plus temps.

    Glad you found good hay.

  26. Thanks for sending me the nice message. With so many followers and comments, I'm impressed you notice someone new! I really like your blog - lots of interesting information / posts and it's good to find someone else finding their way back to horses.

  27. Wow! $3.50 a bale sounds like a great price. Wish I could get such quality hay for that price.

    I've done that routine of getting it out of the field. You had more patience than me. LOL

  28. OOoh the coffee is so pretty. But after bucking all that hay, I'd be wanting a tall cold lemonaid. :)
    What a strong hard worker you are. I hope Wa mare appreciates all your hard work when she's munching her hay.

    I think the color on your photos must be off because the hay looks kind of light brown, or is it nice and green inside. I've bought hay that has some brown on the outside and is lovely green and soft inside. But I really prefer my hay to be uniformly green all over and not sun-bleached or dry straw outside.

    But still, $3.50 a bale? It's rare to ever find hay that price here. Only if we've had a lot of rain down in the valley where it's grown. But I tend to buy our grass hay from either California or Colorado, and I spend between $8-$14.00 a bale for either 2-string 70-80lbs, or 3 string 100-150 lbs.

    Speaking of hay, there's been a huge scare here in New Mexico due to a hay farm in Socorro that sold hay to feed stores in ABQ and the mountains which was infested with blister beetles.
    Ingesting blister beetles can kill a horse...and that's what happened. A local horse and two donkey were killed after eating just two flakes of hay that were infested with between 30-80 blister beetles. It happened so fast and the poor animals suffered.

    Apparently the Blister Beetles live in all mainland states and tend to be attracted to alfalfa fields.

    So be careful.


  29. Oou Liss,
    that Blister Beetle scare and reality...BADD! Poor Animals!!!
    I have not heard of the Beetles before. Not much Alfalfa grown here...but maybe I have tuned out, since I don't feed it.

    The haying situation was a bit worse for the timing of our weather...I got in late...and the sun did bleach it some. They tested it and it still tests well for nutrients and protein..but looks worse. It is a little greener inside..but Timothy hay is a bit "stalky" looking anyway. The photo's did not show thw "Sweet grass" hay I got smells heavenly! Wa does seem to enjoy her hays!!

  30. Trouble with Hay, is that as you now know,nothing is simple. We got ours in June, just before the rain came, and stayed and stayed!

    Like the coffee shot, reminds me?


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