Sport Horse Spotlight

Sale Spotlight

COTH_without Subscribe
  • Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You�re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it�details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums� policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it�s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users� profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses � Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it�s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who�s selling it, it doesn�t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions � Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services � Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products � While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements � Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be �bumped� excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues � Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators� discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you�d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user�s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

Hay and worry.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hay and worry.

    This has been a bad year for hay. The weather was not co-operative for optimum timing. My hay arrived yesterday. Some of the bales were quite heavy and I am worried that they may not be dry enough. My hay is stored in the mow above the stalls. The worry is spontaneous combustion.

    My horses are out all night but I bring them in during the hot afternoons. Now here are my choices. I can sit and stare at my barn all afternoon and not leave the farm. I have the evacuation plan in mind. I could move the horses to my empty barn but that would mean a lot of work as right now there is no bedding in the stalls or I could move them to another field where they have access to shade and not bring them into the barn at all.

    There are four horses, I am old and alone. I will go up to the mow and check all the bales for heat. The bales are all on the floor with only a small section of two rows.

    Please give kind advice as I am worried sick.

  • #2
    Cut them open and spread out as much as possible if they are warm. Put the horses in the field with shade. Best of luck.


    • #3
      Def cut some open. I had a delivery of hay that the bales were super heavy. I cut them open- wasn't wet or damp just crazy tightly baled and heavy (I don't like them).

      Definitely cut, space them like FT said. I hate worrying about it too. But you are being proactive and do all you can to put your mind at ease.
      Come to the dark side, we have cookies


      • #4
        Use a hay thermometer to check for heat if that wasn’t already the plan. Just feeling the outside may not be as accurate.


        • #5
          Could you move the hay to the empty barn you mentioned?
          Did your hayguy put the hay in your mow?
          If so, let him know you're worried & see if he'd move the hay for you.
          Then cut open bales & let them dry.

          I understand that might not be a convenient solution, and I expect additional cost could be involved, at least you'd sleep better.
          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


          • #6
            Borrow a hay probe. I say "borrow" because they are expensive to buy ($200). If you want to buy one, go to your local tractor supply store, they will have them, they may be able to rent or lend one to you. They will give you the temperature inside the bale, AND the moisture content. Small squares can have moisture content of about 20% or so, and be OK, because they are small enough to continue to dry out when baled, if stored with air around them (not tightly packed together) for a while. If you find a hot or damp one, cut it open and spread it out so it can dry.


            • #7
              I had to cut and spread a whole load the last year I did it at home. It was miserable, but it was absolutely the right choice, they were HOT. You gotta do something or you'll never have a second's peace of mind. At least go up and pull a few from the middle (if they're stacked) and bust them open and feel them up really well.
              It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


              • #8
                We single stacked ours cut side up and had hay down the aisle until I was sure they were dry. My farmer tractor reads the moisture content of each bale as it bales so he knows what the moisture is.


                • #9
                  If you can't borrow a hay probe, check with your county ag extension office to have someone check it. Open and spread the heaviest ones, and make sure the rest are stacked loosely. Some people will spread coarse white salt between layers to draw moisture out as well.
                  Leap, and the net will appear


                  • #10
                    We had the same issue this year. Your hay is already stored so this may not help you now but we simply chucked any suspiciously heavy bales to the side. The rest seemed good and went in the barn. So we have that pile loosely stacked and lightly tarped out on pallets away from the barn to be fed first. No heat but heavy! And last resort we'll cut them if necessary.

                    Can you hire a guy to come in and re-sort? I need to get myself a hay probe.
                    One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                    William Shakespeare


                    • #11
                      If you can’t find a hay probe drive a piece of rebar into the centers of a few bales. If I’m recalling correctly the red line danger level is when the center of the bale reaches around 150 F so the end of the rebar will start to feel quite warm if you have a problem brewing. It’s a lo-fi, last ditch, get-out-of the barn warning but better than nothing if nothing better is available.

                      *Adding for future posterity- leave the rebar in the bale for several hours to a day before gauging the heat level, it will take quite a while for the heat to transfer to the rod. Personally I’d just poke it in there and leave it until the bale gets fed.
                      Last edited by Raincityrider; Aug. 1, 2019, 12:26 AM. Reason: Forgot a pretty important detail


                      • Original Poster

                        I only know how to quote one post at a time so I will try to answer collectively. Turns out the hay was dry when baled but there was some rain on the loaded wagons. I actually had to help load them into the barn as no one wants to help with hay anymore. My farmer said this was his last year as it is a thankless job. He himself said there wasn't anything to worry about as they had been on the wagon for three days after cutting. It was his daughter who made me nervous about being wet. I carried some of the heavy bales and they were definitely much larger than the others.

                        I have been watching the barn all day. Gone up many times with a metal probe stabbing almost all the bales. Could not detect any heat on the probe. I can't move the hay as it requires the use of my elevator which I cannot move myself.

                        Horses are out now in the field that has lots of shade. It is my favorite field and it really wasn't ready for the rotation as they had only been off it for two weeks but it is a good 10 acres and the horses are all in good flesh so there should be enough grass for them.

                        One more question how long will it be before I can relax. Never had this problem before and I have been at it for 38 years.

                        Thank you everyone. I always get good information here on Coth which is very much appreciated.


                        • Original Poster

                          As far as hiring people to help with hay it has become impossible. Almost all the farms around me are owned by city people. Most of the farmers have died, their kids and grandkids no longer interested in farming. The farmer who has supplied me for many years can no longer find a crew. A friend of mine and neighbor owns a few car dealerships so money is not a problem. He hired ten of his city employees to help with his hay and apparently they all quit and walked out with only half a job done.


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by WNT View Post
                            If you can't borrow a hay probe, check with your county ag extension office to have someone check it. Open and spread the heaviest ones, and make sure the rest are stacked loosely. Some people will spread coarse white salt between layers to draw moisture out as well.
                            It is pretty much all one layer except for a few and I have moved them. It is a very large mow and I only got 200 bales. Due to the loss of one horse last fall I had a lot of hay left from last year. It is stacked in one corner 8 rows high.


                            • #15
                              Hay bales on a wagon, rained on need more than a sprinkle to be damaged. The outer bales will protect the lower bales. Using a metal bar to indicate internal heat is a good idea. If I didn't already have thermometers to check my bales on the wagon, I would do the same. Just stabbing the bales isn't enough. The metal has to be left in contact with the bale interior to absorb enough heat. Heat transfer between hay and metal is very poor unless there's free water. Leave the metal rods overnight and check the next day. If they're not hot, you have no problem.
                              Equus makus brokus but happy


                              • #16
                                Great advice from everyone, especially cutting the heavy bales open.

                                Heat/humidity prevail where I live until late September. I once lost about 50 bales of hay that were stacked next to a window, to black mold. It helps to heavily sprinkle Kosher salt on hay to help wick moisture -- you could do that to the bales that seem heavier than normal.

                                i also run big barrel fans on the hay. I have the fans on heavy duty outdoor timers. That will only work if you have an electric outlet in the hay mow

                                I hear you on finding help -- or not finding help as the case may be. The three young men who help us with hay all work with DH -- two are go-getters with side jobs of lawn mowing. Imagine that -- three people in my rural Ag county that are willing to stack hay already have jobs. It's disgusting there are so many "holierthanthou" kids who aren't willing to get dirt under their fingernails.

                                i don't know what state you live in but, if I were you, I would start saving money now for next year's hay and also start looking for your new source, since your farmer states he will no longer be haying.

                                I am retired and down to my last two horses (24 & 25). It is almost a relief to know these are my last two as sourcing anything for them that is quality becomes more difficult as time goes on. I spend more money on these last two than I did when my other two were alive and there were four mouths to feed and I have 20+ acres of lush pasture

                                Best wishes to you. I sincerely hope you don't lose any bales from being rained on, when they were on the wagon, but be prepared to have to toss some of those bales.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Cat Tap View Post
                                  As far as hiring people to help with hay it has become impossible. Almost all the farms around me are owned by city people. Most of the farmers have died, their kids and grandkids no longer interested in farming. The farmer who has supplied me for many years can no longer find a crew. A friend of mine and neighbor owns a few car dealerships so money is not a problem. He hired ten of his city employees to help with his hay and apparently they all quit and walked out with only half a job done.
                                  this has been an issue forever, Henry Ford developed the car because he hated farm work. Even when I was a child farmers could not find labor for hay... who in their right mind would want to work in 90 to 100 degree temps with near 100% humidity picking up hundred pound bales of hay in a field to stack on a wagon then unload wagon if a five hundred degree barn for pennies

                                  The hay we buy is produced by commercial growers and we are the first people to actually lay a hand on one of bales as everything to the point of my purchase was handled by a machine (who really did not care about what it was doing)

                                  As for "feeling the heat" of metal rod, I suggest getting a infrared thermometer to measure the heat, at least it is impartial giving an accurate value. Around here in the summer everything is hot to the touch.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Walkinthewalk I can't throw in the towel yet. I have three horses of my own and one boarder. My horses are 29, 19 and 14. I will have to stay on the farm until the two older ones are gone. The younger one I could take with me and board out. However the idea of living in the city with neighbors scares me. I hate walls and concrete. Would like to retire near a lake or ocean but I am not ready yet.

                                    I will be able to get hay from a professional in the area. He has huge buildings and some kind of indoor dryer. He exports hay to great distances. I am sure it will cost twice as much as I am paying now. I don't mind loosing a few bales I was just worried about spontaneous combustion.

                                    I don't know if this is a good idea but I plan to use BBQ skewers to insert into the bales and leave them in for an extended period.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Clanter I think round bales and large squares are popular because they can be handled by machines. I think most of the land around here is worked by commercial companies. There was an alfalfa field across the road from me. As soon as the hay was baled it was removed by large transport trucks. They then drill planted corn all night. I never saw a person.


                                      • #20
                                        Cat Tap- where are you at? maybe someone on here can help you with knowing someone in the area that could help, either with another hay source, or with moving the hay around up in your mow? I've seen people on here be like oh my you are only 20 min away from me I have this this that and the other I can come help you with. Stating your location may end up being a godsend for you!!!