Thursday, January 15, 2009

How to get a round bale moved*...

When I first moved to South Dakota almost 11 years ago I was newly out of grad school and looking forward to living somewhere for longer than 2 years. I wanted a place of my own and a horse, a barn, a couple of cats to chase mice, and a dog or so for company and feet warming.

Nine years later
I'd accomplished...

the horse part.


Sunny has always lived on the farm where he was born. I initially bought Sunny from J with the expectation of paying pasture rent until I found a place, but one thing led to another. I ended up earning his keep at the farm with vaccinations, worming, halter-training lessons for the babies, fence fixing, and various other horse chores.
J loves her horses - but she'd be the first to admit that she's more comfortable looking at them than looking after them. She's still working on the confidence it takes to handle them through the mundane stuff, but she's getting there.
Summers, the horses have good pasture and don't require daily feeding. In the winter, feeding duty has always fallen to J's husband. G handles the farmer duties on the farm. But his interests are more with cloven-hooved critters that go "BAaaaaaa" and "Mooo."
G's take on equines: Horses eat grass that sheep and cows could eat. They require different fences, different hay, you can't eat them, and they're demanding (hoof-trimming, vaccinations, worming, halter training, weaning, good grief!). They also don't sell very well when you want fewer of them.
But in spite of his preference for more marketable livestock, G's generally been a good sport about the additional work the horses require. He's always moved bales and dumped grain into feeders as necessary, leaving the remainder of the horse-related activities to J and me.

I'm ashamed to say,
I don't know how to run the tractor.
(But I fully intend to learn
When we find our own place
and there's one to be run.)
The big round bales have, therefore, always been hostage to G and his schedule. I can grain, but in the winter, horses need hay. Lots of hay. And they haven't always had it quite as promptly as a (fussy horse) person would like.

Nine years ago I met my now-husband. T grew up on a farm in Kansas, doesn't mind dirt and getting dirty. He knows how to put up a (horse) fence.

And not only can he operate a tractor, he likes to.


T didn't have horses growing up, but his friends did. He even rides. After he'd been out to the farm a few times, J, who also liked him, decided she'd help me keep him around.

She gave him a horse.
Don't you just love it
when your friends look out for you?

Of course there were a few strings attached to the deal. But since he was already acquiring one horse-loving woman (and her horse) marrying me, I've at least provided him with tractor-access to go along with his one-horse-power ride.

And now,
I can get those round bales moved

when & where I need them.
Although sometimes, it does
require a little bribery.

[*Regarding the title: How to get a round bale moved - I didn't say it was the BEST way to get a round bale moved, now did I?]

2 comments:

Meandering With Marilyn Horse Blog said...

What a nice story! Sounds like you have a mutually beneficial relationship going on.

I hope your temps have warmed up by now. Ours have, and it's a big relief.

Glenda

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