Hay Purchasing

Horsekeeping

Awareness of the outside world. “It wasn’t just a cute, spontaneous wedding at a horse show. It’s about more than that; it’s about being visible. A courthouse wedding would have been silent, and this was public.” The Chronicle of the Horse: Get Me To The Barn On Time: Riders Wed During Dressage At Lexington, Clawson, Jul 19, 2022.

~~~

[Annoying Shortages Not Related To The Virus, But Of Course The Current Situation Makes Everything Worse, 2020]

Hay buying. You wouldn’t think it would be quite so varied. Not the hay, the actual method for purchasing it.

Years ago, we used to stock the barn for the winter from a wonderful hay supplier a few counties away. Good prices. Great hay. Delivery. Full barn. Yay. This is the best method.

As a side note, Previous Horse and Mathilda used to cut way back on their hay consumption come March. We’d feed it but they wouldn’t eat it. The current team, not so much. All hay, all year. End side note.

Sadly, the gentleman in charge of the hay farm passed away and the family left the hay business.

After that, we ran in quality inconsistencies with local suppliers. Some loads were great, some less so. Don’t want to load up on what would turn out to be mediocre hay.

Second side note. Previous Horse and Mathilda were more generous about what they would eat. These two, not so much. We are now even more concerned about loading up on hay that that our picky petunias won’t eat. End second side note.

So we turned to feed stores and bought hay in smaller loads as needed. They were often able to get better hay from farther away. We are rural enough that we have several feed store options. If one didn’t have hay, the other would. Expensive, but it’s easy to pay a bit more with two horses than when you have a herd of 20. We’d run low occasionally, usually in late winter. We’ve been able to find hay somewhere. So far. See above.

Now, between supply chain issues, uncooperative weather, and high prices for tractor fuel, we are concerned about finding hay next winter.

Therefore, we will be trying a new hay acquisition theory. Used to be we brought hay, fed it, bought more. Start at the top, work our way down. Now, we will work side to side. Buy a load, feed this half of the stack, restock, feed that half of the stack, restock, and so on. This gives us time to scout out the next batch.

We’ll see how it goes. Already I can tell you that it is weird opening a bale at waist level when there are still bales at head level.

Anyone out there have hay finding magic?

Onwards!
Katherine

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