We don’t have a trailer we could use to collect the hay ourselves so we asked our neighbour to deliver it to the end of the drive for us. Then we used the lawn tractor’s trailer to ferry it all down to the hay store.
I did some of the driving but mostly I enjoyed having a ride on the trailer – although I did learn the hard way that if you stand right on the back of it you will bend it. We had a bit of a job getting the sides back on!
It is very satisfying to have the hay store filled with hay for the winter. It smells wonderful and I’m sure the ponies will think it delicious!
We have been having a run of very hot and muggy (up to 99% humidity!) days so we are surrounded by people making hay at the moment. The field up behind us is being baled as I write and the ponies have been taking a great interest in that. On the day it was cut Galahad thought it was very interesting and was tryng to eat it through the fence. I’m not sure he was particularly successful though!
The ponies quickly got bored by the whole thing and have been largely ignoring the tractor buzzing about. Of course, they still have moments when they run around but I’m sure that a lot of that is just for fun.
This year I have even been getting involved in the haymaking process myself. Or rather, my neighbours made the hay and I went up to help load the bales onto the trailer and then unload it again at the other end. It was hard work but it was good to be involved in the actual production of the ponies’ feed for a change. It feels almost like proper self sufficiency!
Our hacks have been quite exciting recently. The other day we heard something very rattly going up the hill. We couldn’t work out what it was but when we rode out half an hour later we met it coming back down again. It turned out to be a tractor and trailer collecting the hay bales from the field at the top of the hill. I was very pleased that Galahad went past it without too much fuss, although it was at quite a speed! The farmer was lovely – he not only turned off his engine but when he moved off again he coasted down the hill without the engine running. I think the tractor itself wasn’t actually too scary but the trailer with all those hay bales was rather intimidating.
On our next ride we could hear the trailer in the field and as we went down the hill we could hear it coming alongside us so we knew it would pop out into the lane before long. We waited for it so it wouldn’t be chasing us down the lane.
In the end the ponies weren’t too bothered by it, although it wasn’t so close to us this time. We eventually decided to ride the top loop of our hack again as we were having to wait quite a while. When we came back down Galahad knew exactly where the tractor had been – he kept a very keen eye on the spot!
Yesterday I took my sister’s pony out and found the farmer doing some work in the gateway between the hay fields – it had got rather rutted. That wasn’t too scary and we still had a nice canter but as we were making our (very relaxed) way back down the track the car came up behind us. We pulled into a gateway and they passed with no trouble but following it was this contraption.
It has been sitting in the corner of the field ever since the hay was first cut so the ponies have actually got fairly used to it but of course now it was moving and rattling! He did let it get very close but right at the last minute he decided it was all too much and we cantered a little way across the field. Not very far though and we were soon quite happily chasing it down the hill. It was exciting!
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