Monday, June 04, 2007

Paying for playing

This is where we went horse camping with nine other families from a Christian trailriding group we belong to: Mt. Adams Horse Camp. I can hardly imagine a more beautiful site, can you? In the woods where we rode, the wild dogwood trees were blooming, as well as lots of other wildflowers. This was Brian's first outing to ride solo, without one of us leading his horse Oliver. He's been practicing at home, but this was a REAL trail ride! There are lots of dirt tracks and easy trails there, so it was a good place to do it. Brian did great!
One of the families has four children, including a boy close to Brian's age, so the kids had a REALLY good time (and got unbelievably dirty). Can you see the big smudge on Brian's face?
Before we left for the weekend, someone from whom we've purchased hay before dropped his hay field at the bottom of our hill. When I called to inquire about it, we found out he still had some available, and planned to bale on Friday or Saturday. Weather forecasts were predicting rain starting today. If we wanted good hay, we'd need to get it out of the field Sunday. So we came back as early as we could, unloaded the camper and horse trailer, ate a quick supper, and headed out.

Five hours later (that's 11:30 last night), we had 188 bales in the barn, and another 100 or so still on a flatbed trailer backed under cover. That's approximately six and a half tons loaded and unloaded, and another three and a half ton loaded and facing us some evening when we're feeling much younger and stronger than we do at the moment. Thankfully, the farmer helped us load, or we never could have managed it.
Today I am not only sleep-deprived (from camping as well as last night) and body-weary, I also feel like I've been run over by the "allergy express." Putting up hay when one has hay fever is not a good idea, but when you have no choice, you simply load up on all the over- and under-the-counter drugs you have on hand and get through it. Last year I avoided feeling like I had the plague (first you think you're going to die, then you wish you COULD die) because we bought lovely, pollen-free, second-cutting orchard grass hay. The hooved ones love it and so do we, but the budget couldn't swing it this year. Hopefully the horses and sheep won't go on a hunger strike when we serve up this new, stemmy, first cutting stuff. When Brian saw it he said, "That's straw; we got straw." We had to laugh, because it really does resemble straw more than the green, leafy stuff we've been feeding for the past year!

That's it for now at . . .


Kathy L. said...

It sounds like you had a blast, even with the hay-work. Oh, how I remember putting up hay as a kid - one of my cousins always teasing me calling me "Powerful Katrinka" as we'd throw the bales up to the wagonhands. I couldn't do that now to save my soul, let alone stock my barn.
So here's to you, Michelle! And here's hoping that your allergies get better soon. (I've noticed the tell-tale yellow pollen from the pines pollinating on our vehicles - and on our windows, and sills, and decks and floors, and maibox...)

Tina T-P said...

Yes, I agree with Kathy - Here's to you! I can barely move a bale of hay from the stack to the floor so I can get a flake off to feed. You deserve one of those "Strong Women" commercials :-) T.

BTW - The sweater that you made for Brian is going to be so handsome on him!