I had to pick up hay yesterday and then the joy of unloading it at -20C. Normally it isn’t an issue, since i Am usually able to unload by rolling the bale off the truck.
Now I probably need to explain that this is our first winter with horses and we are using 600 lb round bales. When we ordered our hay for the year it was under the mistaken idea that my hubby Tom, would actually be here to help unload. Well, it turns out he’s working in a logging camp five hours away from home and is only home for two days every two weeks. That means that I am on my own to pick up and unload the hay every 10 days.
So far this winter he’s been home exactly twice. Which means that I have had to be pretty creative in how I get the bales off the truck. Depending on how the bale gets loaded where we pick it up, I can usually get it off without too much trouble. I have a system – and it isn’t pretty to watch – but works and makes me ever so grateful that no one can see me. I am usually able to get up into the back of the pickup and brace myself against the cab of the truck and use my legs to push the bale up and off the truck.
Of course, yesterday was an exercise in frustration. I didn’t really notice that the bale got loaded right up against the cab of the truck until I got home and had to climb up to wrap it in a hay net and then try to get to off. So began an hour long struggle to move the bale. I ended up jimmying it from side to side until I could get between it and the back of the truck box. And for whatever reason yesterday I just couldn’t muster enough strength to flip it off. So then I began to use my whole body & shoulders to push. It only took a few minutes of this to make me stop and laugh as I realized what makes young football players so tough.
So as I was gasping for breath and leaning against the bale for support, both of our horses were ‘circling the wagon’ in anticipation of the new hay. From the way they carry on you’d think they were starving, however, reality is that both boys are FAT. And haven’t gone hungry for a minute since they came to live with us. Tom’s horse Floyd, is more easily persuaded to stay away, but my boy, Gold is persistent. In addition to trying to keep the boys away from the truck, both our dogs were adding to the fun as they were looking for any treats that might be in the hay for them. There never is.
Several of my horsey friends have suggested that I use a tractor or a quad or a tree or fence post to help but since a tractor or quad isn’t in the cards until later this year and the feeder is in the middle of the pasture with nothing solid enough to attach to pull it off, I am stuck with wrestling it myself.
Believe me- next year things will be different 🙂