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Horses at home - winter high fives to you, small barn keepers!

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  • #21
    Live in the south and go hunting!
    ... _. ._ .._. .._

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    • #22
      Mine stay out unless there is ice or snow and we have both this morning. I only have two and stalling them is an exception so it was kinda nice this morning to feed and clean the stalls. If the forecast is accurate they will be stalled until Monday or Tuesday at which time I will tired of this.

      But I hunted on Wednesday when it was 55 degrees and on Thursday it was 67 and I drove my donkey. So today it's binge watch a show then watch a football game tomorrow afternoon.

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      • #23
        kande04 I have done the Haywagon Slalom too.
        And these wagons are lined up.along my long walls. So I really could ride.
        But this damp cold has my crappy knees begging me to rethink getting on a horse.
        Once I'm in the irons knees don't hurt, it's the getting there & getting down ​​​​​​​
        *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

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        • #24
          dqtastic and Pehsness I have no human children, so for me, going the 200' to the barn in yucko weather is a chance for the furkids to get in a romp while I feed.

          Yeah the weather is poop here with what feels like never-ending mud and mud on mud, but at least we don't get much snow and very few freezing days in a row. As my ex said, you don't have to shovel rain.
          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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          • #25
            I can’t complain too much this year - I’ve missed more riding due to my health than weather. My outdoor drains well, and I have lights. I have overhangs and gravel around the barn, so can avoid a lot of the mud. My arena is worst in early spring - snow melt and rain combine to make it way too gross. I ride on my gravel driveway then. But mainly just slow down my expectations and enjoy my three. I have 15 years before I can retire, and I plan to sell and move south and board then, before DH and I get overwhelmed. I want to love this phase of life to the fullest extent before transitioning to a new life as we age. I hope to be here long enough that my oldest two pass here, and then I anticipate only having two horses to move - my current 10 year old and new horse I’ll buy in a few years.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
              Once I'm in the irons knees don't hurt, it's the getting there & getting down
              I have a giant mounting block so can slide onto the saddle even on my 17 hand horse. Not that I have bad knees, but I'm old and weak and can barely mount a 14 hand horse from the ground now, so don't even try to pull myself up on the taller ones, anymore. Sad but true...

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              • #27
                It has been warmer than usual here. But...it is storming as I type this. At least someone is making use of the paddocks.
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                My hopeful road to the 2020 RRP TB Makeover: https://paradoxfarm.blog/

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                • #28
                  It hasn't been too bad here yet. I haven't had my annual thoughts of "why am I doing this" yet. I'm sure those days are coming at some point in the next two months or so, but having them here the rest of the year is nice. One year, I'd like to try filling the barn with a year's worth of hay instead of picking it up one pickup truck load at a time all winter. Right now I'm down to about a week's worth of hay so have to stress over finding the right weather/footing and hay guy availability to get the next load in.

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                  • #29
                    Now THIS weather is a bit much. It's winter in the snow belt and instead we're getting 50mm of rain. Supposed to freeze tonight so I'll be skating to the barn tomorrow

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Mango20 View Post
                      One year, I'd like to try filling the barn with a year's worth of hay instead of picking it up one pickup truck load at a time all winter. Right now I'm down to about a week's worth of hay so have to stress over finding the right weather/footing and hay guy availability to get the next load in.
                      Keep a stock of pelleted complete feed handy so that if the hay supply gets low you can stretch it with bagged feed. I feed one of my old toothless horses a pelleted complete feed and she's done well on it for years. Friends with limited hay storage space do the same. They feed a flake or two of hay and then make up the rest with bagged feed, which is always easily available, so helps with the hay supply stress levels.

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                      • #31
                        This is a good emergency feed; http://stampedepremium.com/timothy-grass-pellets/
                        ... _. ._ .._. .._

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by kande04 View Post

                          Keep a stock of pelleted complete feed handy so that if the hay supply gets low you can stretch it with bagged feed. I feed one of my old toothless horses a pelleted complete feed and she's done well on it for years. Friends with limited hay storage space do the same. They feed a flake or two of hay and then make up the rest with bagged feed, which is always easily available, so helps with the hay supply stress levels.
                          Show barns that travel much use only those pellets, no more hay feeding.

                          They say horses do fine once used to them, take all day to finish their pellets before next feeding, don't just gobble them up right after feeding, as they do grain rations.

                          Much easier to carry sacks to shows than loose hay and many show vendors have the same pellets for sale right there.

                          We had a blizzard yesterday evening and all night, but only 1" of snow out of it.
                          Was 16F this morning, ice to break in water tanks.

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                          • #33
                            It hasn’t been too bad in the Mid-Atlantic so far. We’ve only had a handful of truly freezing temps at night, very moderate rain totals, and it’s even been rather warm the past few weeks (set a record high today). My little herd has been more interested in whatever grass is growing than in hay, which I don’t mind a bit. As someone else mentioned, I haven’t had the “Why do I do this?” thoughts yet.

                            I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop—blizzard? Flooding rainfall? Nor’easter blowing 50 mph off the ocean right around freezing? I hope not. But, at least it’s almost mid-January. Usually by the end of February/beginning of March, we’ve had a few days promising spring and the horses start to leave their hay for grass sprouting up.

                            If some major winter weather crops up in the forecast, I will take several days’ worth of hay out of the hay shed into the feed room along with a plastic sled to transport it out to the pasture. I’ll fill all my hay bags and have them at the ready for any prolonged indoor stays. That’s rare, though.

                            For now, my fingers are crossed. With every nice day, I think, “We’re one day closer to spring.”
                            "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Melissa.Van Doren View Post
                              I moved South.
                              We moved south too, I honestly thought I would miss the winter but when I see all my friends posting pictures of beautiful snowy fields I’m just glad to not be there.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Mango20 View Post
                                One year, I'd like to try filling the barn with a year's worth of hay instead of picking it up one pickup truck load at a time all winter. Right now I'm down to about a week's worth of hay so have to stress over finding the right weather/footing and hay guy availability to get the next load in.
                                We buy a year's worth at a time and it's the best if you can make the upfront investment. However, in 2019 we bought the usual number of bales and didn't know that the neighbor we buy from must have adjusted his baler to much lighter bales. What should have been enough actually only got us to the end of December. My backup source (another neighbor) sold me a few bales and then backed out, citing the 'impending hay shortage' rumor that keeps flying around.

                                I had to buy hay the week before Christmas in the pouring rain, and ended up with the ugliest-looking hay I've ever seen. I know nutritional value has little relation to color, and at least it's clean and weed-free, but it's basically bent grass straw with a few seed heads thrown in; calling it "horse quality hay" was a bit of a stretch on the supplier's part I think. Thankfully I have an easy keeper pony who thinks it's tasty enough, I've just been throwing copious amounts at him and he's not lost weight (yet). There isn't any local hay left on the market and this pony doesn't need the rocket fuel $$$ stuff they grow over the pass.

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                                • #36
                                  Hay this year has been awful, and last year was too. It is borderline crisis in the Midwest.

                                  My dad gave me hay for Christmas, and his farm 500 miles away! I have always been able to store the year’s worth, but added 5 stalls and no longer can store enough for 11 horses. Local hay is up to $9-12 a bale for crap. By April it will be grim. Hay farmers are suffering too, as their production was so low compared to normal.

                                  that said, I promise free choice hay to my boarders (except fatties who are rationed) and that is what I do. I do require nets so we don’t have waste, but I am staying the course and praying for a good hay year next year so our prices can normalize. Otherwise the market price for boarding is going to go up substantially in this area. It makes me worry for the horses at lower end barns.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                                    Hay this year has been awful, and last year was too. It is borderline crisis in the Midwest.

                                    My dad gave me hay for Christmas, and his farm 500 miles away! I have always been able to store the year’s worth, but added 5 stalls and no longer can store enough for 11 horses. Local hay is up to $9-12 a bale for crap. By April it will be grim. Hay farmers are suffering too, as their production was so low compared to normal.

                                    that said, I promise free choice hay to my boarders (except fatties who are rationed) and that is what I do. I do require nets so we don’t have waste, but I am staying the course and praying for a good hay year next year so our prices can normalize. Otherwise the market price for boarding is going to go up substantially in this area. It makes me worry for the horses at lower end barns.
                                    Time will tell here. There's a lot of bickering back and forth on the various local groups and forums about whether there IS actually going to be a shortage or not, or if it's just an attempt to drive up prices. Rumors here are driven by the recent hemp farming craze, mostly, people have seen hay fields turned to hemp or planted with hazelnuts instead.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post

                                      Time will tell here. There's a lot of bickering back and forth on the various local groups and forums about whether there IS actually going to be a shortage or not, or if it's just an attempt to drive up prices. Rumors here are driven by the recent hemp farming craze, mostly, people have seen hay fields turned to hemp or planted with hazelnuts instead.
                                      Situation is much different in the Midwest. We had a bad year last year from drought, and this year very few got any first cutting as it rained all May/June, then the rest of the summer was a drought so the remaining three cuttings were very thin. Like 1/3 usual yield. supply is very low.

                                      For comparison, I didn’t add my new horses until December, so they didn’t affect my pastures. Last year I started feeding hay to pasture horses in Mid-December. This year I was supplementing in late August. That is a good 200 bales for me and I was at 6 horses instead of 11.

                                      Your area might go short from shipping hay east for bigger prices. Farms here are starting to ship in.

                                      I started warning local horse friends in June as I grew up on a hay farm (hence shipping in from my dad, I told him then I needed hay this winter and it has only gotten worse.)

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post

                                        Your area might go short from shipping hay east for bigger prices. Farms here are starting to ship in.
                                        Its pretty normal for hay grown where I live to only produce one cutting a year (it rains frequently through June) but the central part of the state is a 2-4 cutting yield on the irritated fields. So far I haven't seen any dip in that supply, prices are about what they were last year this time. Some of it gets exported to Japan and other countries as compressed bales, I can't imagine what they pay for that!

                                        I don't know the economics of shipping hay cross country, but I feel very sorry for anyone subjected to those kind of prices. With the rising costs of every aspect of horse keeping I am grateful to be down to just one easy-keeping pony in my backyard!

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Here in the Portland/Vancouver region, we’ve gone from near drought conditions to almost normal rainfall. But so much wind! And mud. Mud. Mud!! My retirees are stuck in their mud free sacrifice paddocks and not happy about it. And now, we are about to get freezing temps and snow, along with those famous Gorge winds. Nothing like 60mph gusts and 23 degrees to make chores more fun. I don’t mind the farm work,I have it down to a science after 16 years here.

                                          Hay is a hot topic here for sure, like Heinz said. My hay supplier said there’s plenty this year despite the changeover to hemp by hay farmers in Oregon. I put in 5 tons of central Oregon orchard every summer. Then I buy alfalfa as needed. I know next year may be very different, and more expensive, if hemp continues to dominate. The CBD market may drive the hay market into a crazy high price zone. It is worrying.
                                          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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