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Poor, poor feeder and evil horses

August 31, 2009

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons I have to go with four or so other people to feed 157 horses.  Each horse gets different grain in different amounts and either grass or alfalfa hay (in different amounts, of course)

For instance, one horse may get one carefully measured scoop of dynasty grain, a quarter scoop of pride grain, 2 grass hay flakes, and 1 alfalfa flake.  The next horse will be completely different and probably have an even more complicated formula (“no, he gets three quarters of this grain, half of that one, an eighth of oats, an alfalfa, and 3 three and 1/4 grass flakes”).

This takes foooooorever.  And then I end up with a bunch of hay in my shirt.  And my shoes.  And my underwear.

Really, how does hay get through my longish and thickish shirt, past my jeans, and into my underwear?

Anyway, feeding all these horses takes forever plus a few hours and a lot of them are nasty when you are trying to throw their hay in there.  I mean here I am, with hay in uncomfortable places and all worn out from hours of feeding, and these horses act like they don’t even want their food?  WHY are you biting me while I am pouring grain in your bucket?  WHY are you making the snake face at me while I am bringing you your lunch?  WHY are you so evil to the poor little bringer of food?  WHY nasty demon horses?

The western barn is particularly mean.  Which is weird since usually they are these really calm, please-scratch-my-nose-types.  The dressage barn is usually very well behaved for feeding.  The jumper barn has a mix of mean and neutral and friendly, but their mean ones at least don’t lunge at you like the western horses do.  They just make faces – “unhand my lunch, you insignificant feeding person.  I am a show horse and you are messing my stall with your dirty boots and hay dropping hair.” The saddleseat barn horses all stand at the back of their stalls and wait for you to drop the food in.  So I guess they are well behaved.  Just kind of antisocial.

And then we have to go up in the haunted hayloft to reload.  Okay, it isn’t really haunted, but it should be; it has the whole dusty antique windows and cobwebby rafters and ladder of doom thing going on.

Urg, the ladder of doom.  This is a very, very vertical ladder that is about a hundred and fifty years old which lives in a little tiny claustrophobia-inducing “room”.  With cobwebs and real spider webs all over and in all the wall framing.  Because the walls don’t have panelling.  And if you fall backwards, you are either going to land on very hard cement floors or break your back over the big heavy door.  Fun.

The worst part is pushing the hay down the hay chute because you feel like you are going to fall down it which would probably hurt pretty badly.  And if the bale gets stuck going down the chute, you hold onto some of those ancient wooden, who-knows-what-is-living-up-there-rafters, and push on the bale with your feet.  i.e, you stand on a hay bale which may become dislodged at any moment to tumble many feet down a hole while precariously gripping a thick, splinter making old chunk of wood like some crazy, vineless Tarzan.

And I do all of this to feed a bunch of ungrateful, nasty horses.  Hmpff.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2009 9:19 pm

    Oh, my. Those ungrateful… ingrates! My horse has recently been having discussions about, “No, you may NOT pin your ears at me while I pour your grain.” I totally understand your confusion.

    And hay seems to be able to permeate any amount of clothing. You could toss hay in a winter jacket and still get some in your underwear, I think ):

    That hay loft sounds terrifying! I don’t mind heights so much, but the idea of climbing that high up on a really old ladder and holding on to really old rafters to push hay down a chute just sounds like a bad idea!

    • September 1, 2009 5:43 pm

      Ingrates! Perfect word for them. Eh, I guess horses are just weird. At least mine’s happy when I feed him. Since I am, like, bringing him buckets full of life, practically.

      I now have hay in my bed. Apparently the devious little stalks (is that what little individual hay pieces are?) were living in my skin, hiding from soap and showers so that they could crawl out into my sheets and itch me all night long. Considerate of them, don’t you think? That they care so much, I mean.

  2. September 1, 2009 1:30 am

    Well hello therre!
    Thanks for signing up to “Follow/Lead/Share”on my horsey blog!
    I love, love, love your write up on your header! You go for it…heck, I am going for it with a Thoroughbred on the trails! She is doing quite well…and even today, though we were “trail boss hoss”-in the lead- took out 3 other horses and had no compettitive leaps in the air or spins…so it is getting pretty nice for us.

    I just realized…you have a new look = I have been here many times in the past! Well good…look forward to catching up forsure!
    Yours in horse partnerships!

    • September 4, 2009 6:47 pm

      Yes, another new look. Hopefully I will stay here!

      And I have been reading all about your trail rides! Just haven’t commented lately :(

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