Thursday, May 9, 2024

Feeding Horses

With three horses in possession, we are burning through a lot of hay. More than my little square bale pile can keep up with. Thankfully, I have access to some round bales and am equipped to handle them. 

You ain't no Catholic Cowboy priest unless you have a bale feeder flatbed on your truck. 

Chuck and Joanne Tweedy have some two year old Crested Wheatgrass that they have been donating to the cause. Much obliged. 

White Horse's Hydra Bed is built to load and feed round bales. However, I put arm extensions on it to string up cows. She still works to load bales, but the extra length makes for a lot of leverage. Got to take it easy when breaking over center. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the horses were out of hay. The recent storms this week have dropped about 3" of rain in this area. Beautiful moisture, thanks be to God!

With rain comes mud, though. Not really sure why I didn't think it would be muddy in the corral. But all White Horse did was slip and slide until we were up against the fence with no where to go. 

The gumbo mud just caked the tires and took away all our traction. 

So we had to bust out the iron. When chaining up a truck, make sure the cross-links have the open ends facing up when you throw the chains on. This allows for more slack when hooking them up. Also, if your connecting ends are one hook and one cam lever, make sure the cam lever is facing the outside. 

If you're smart, and stop spinning before you get stuck, you can roll over the chains and get the ends in front of the tire, which makes for easier hooking up. However, in cases like this, you can still hook the chains up from the bottom of the tire. It's just harder and dirtier. Often you'll have to dig around the tire to get enough slack to just barely grab a link. 

Then you can roll the tire around a bit and re-hook your chains tighter. 

Once chained up, we were able to crawl away from the fence and aim up the hill. It definitely got western. But with a limited-slip rear-end, White Horse is an animal with chains on. After we got to the feed ground we unloaded the bale. With net-wrap, you want to cut it off the bottom before you set it down. 

Then we rolled over our new feeder and placed it on the bale. I usually tip the bale on end. But with this mud, I was just thankful to get it off my truck in the right place.

Mission accomplished. 

Happy Horses. 

Sometimes I think the Lord clouds my good judgement just so I can have a little cowboy fun. It would have been nice to be in and out of there like I planned. Then I wouldn't have been late for my next appointment and have had to come in all muddy. But what fun is that? Having to chain up warms my heart. 

I hope these horses appreciate what it takes to keep them alive. However, their turn to earn their keep is coming. With branding smoke in the air, we'll be pulling Chief out of the bunch to go drag some calves soon. Get ready Ol' son. It's Ranch:30 !

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