Monday, February 16, 2009

Clearing the air

Things were okay yesterday when I went out to do chores. J came out & we chatted pleasantly enough. Nothing was said about hay, other than that G will be moving up some more bales.
The silly thing about the whole hay issue? It's not that there's any lack of it - G purchased hay in the fall for all the livestock, including the horses, and there's plenty. It's just that this year he decided she'd get the bill for the horses' portion, since she's been telling him for years that the horses don't eat as much as all of his sheep and cows.

When it was "free" hay, she didn't care how quickly they went through it. Now that she's "paying" for it herself, it's critical that they not waste any of it, because it's expensive....

What's that old saying?
Something about the way
to make a small fortune
in the horse business is...
to start with a large fortune?
I suspect this winter has been a reality check.

Anyway, she's contacted a couple of people who've been interested in her horses in the past, and maybe that will pan out. I'm going to continue to press - tactfully - for the benefits to getting a couple of the mares started.

I'm very grateful for the suggestions everyone has made, and when things have had a chance to cool off, I'll drop a word here or there and let the ideas percolate. Right now since she has the inclination and is actually exploring sensible options for selling a couple, I'm going to let things rest for the time being. We'll see how things shake out.


BrownEyed Cowgirls said... truer words have ever been spoken about horses(starting with a large fortune to make a small fortune). I have personally known MANY people who were bankrupted by horses. The sad part is that usually what happens is the horses that they spent everything on and for end up getting dispersed to the 4 winds. Sad for the horses and the people who put so much effort into them.

Funny how perspectives change when money gets involved? Stress also has a way of making people say and do things that they normally wouldn't. Good for you for saying what you knew was right and giving your friend a little reality check.
It's also weird what some people think a horse's system can handle. We've had people try to sell us stemmy, weedy, mouldy crap hay "because they wouldn't feed it their cows, but it's okay for horses"...WHAT?? A cow is a ruminent and it's system can't handle that or utilize it, how could a horse's much more delicate digestive system??

So anyway...hope you have gotten to enjoy the decent weather we have been having...not too bad for February right??

Anonymous said...

Wow. You have gotten some really good comments on this situation. Does she really feed moldy hay to her Arabians? Dont they have fussy digestive tracts? I dont know - i just know Arabian owners who really are careful about feed.

SunnySD said...

It is amazing, isn't it? Feeding a good round bale free-choice is one thing when horses have ample & easy access. They'll pick through and not eat anything that isn't appealing, just as they do out in the feed eating grass.

Which doesn't mean that you can feed crappy hay as long as theres lots of it - but it does mean that given the option, they're probably going to leave the dry, brown edge-bits that don't taste as nice, just like they'll leave the weeds out in the pasture if they aren't really hungry.

But since I'm feeding them from a round bale they aren't getting 24 hour free-choice. So it becomes my responsibility to remove the bits I don't want them to have access to just in case they get hungry and decide that something questionable looks tasty.

SMR, good question - the hay they're getting is good, it's just that round bales stored outside tend to have brown bottoms by this point in the winter. I always peel those parts off so they don't get the chance to eat them. And while they haven't shown too many signs of they typical Arabian delicate digestion, I wouldn't take the chance even if they weren't Arabians. After all, as someone said earlier, I sure wouldn't want to eat the yucky stuff, so why should I expect them to! LOL!

Anonymous said...

greetings all... as an arabian horse owner (as well as qhorse.. and tb).. as careful as we are about money... my motto is "you can't put a price tag on the health and wellbeing of your animals"... we pay what seems like tons :) for our hay... but i sleep at night ...

But who'da thunk gazi arabian slurps up beet pulp like no one's business
gp in montana