WHY do I tell myself that it is OK to feed in clothes that I would never, ever, EVER wear in public?!

Do you have ‘feeding’ clothes.  Or, maybe ‘barn’ clothes?

They are clothes, but you only kept them because they couldn’t be worn anywhere else so you grabbed onto the only category left for their survival…

“I’ll use them to feed!”

I think my assortment of feeding attire was formed from a mix of laziness and the ‘play clothes’ chip my mother installed into my brain.

Mother:  “Don’t go outside in your good clothes, go get changed into your play clothes.”

To my mother, play clothes could be destroyed and I wouldn’t get in trouble.  Good clothes, not so much.

To me, feeding clothes = play clothes.  It’s all good if they get wrecked.


Except… I really don’t need to feed in my adult play clothes.  I mean, I have enough clothes…  This ‘feeding clothes’ thing is just an excuse.

At least when I was a kid, I outgrew clothes soon enough that none of them got particularly ratty or stained.

As an adult, I’ve quit growing so there is really no reason to throw out a good pair of … whatever… stained favorite painting shirt, floppy 80’s era puffy pants, flabby decorative tshirts, ripped sleeves, shrunken sweatshirts… you know the drill.

Now, I hold onto ‘favorite’ clothes that have ABSOLUTELY bitten the dust (so much so that they aren’t even GOODWILL worthy…), and I tell myself I’m repurposing  them as feeding clothes.  When in actuality, I’m just not willing to tell my floppy, puffy, flabby ripped and shrunken friends, Adios!

When feeding, I am a vision.


I feed first thing in the morning… after I brush my teeth.  (I figure horses always like minty breath.)  Generally, I pretty much just put a jacket over my pj bottoms – or sweats – and go outside and do the job.

There are two problems here.

  1.  If we have AirBnB guests, I really have to step it up a notch.  Not that they are awake when I feed at O Dark Hundred… but I at least have to put on a bra.
  2.  If I feed in PJs, invariably, they will become full of hay stickers.  So what once was a nice, soft fleecy pair of pants, is no longer nice and soft, but full of prickly things – mostly around the ankles.  So, until I take them off – or rip out the stickers while I’m drinking coffee and reading comics- I feel this nagging, sticking, prickles that drives me CRAZY.

I know you know what I mean…


For me, I’m allergic to hay on my arms.  I get welts and itchy.  So, I always have to have a ‘slippery to hay’ shirt/coat.  I don’t want any hay to stick on my arms or onto the shirt covering my arms because I don’t want to spread the hay all over the house.

In the winter, this is easy.  I just throw on a canvas jacket, or a raincoat, and I’m good.  Brush it off and no remnants of hay.

But in the summer, when it is 110 degrees, I use my lightest throw-away long sleeved cotton shirts that I’ve shrunk in the dryer.

So, I look like a sweating reject from an office party on top, with mismatched shorts and cowboy boots.  A good look.  Invariably, when I’m dressed like this, I’ll accidentally meet up with one of our AirBnB guests who has decided to take in the sunrise/sunset or go for a morning run.



My feeding clothes hang in the garage.  As I go out, I grab whichever garment is the proper weight for the weather.

Invariably, I have repurposed so many clothing items, I have them stacked upon each other on the measly 2 hooks I have there.  I keep telling myself that I only need 2 hooks – day and night hooks – and I can change out per season.  But, I never change out per season, and I never throw away, only add.

So, now I have about a dozen feeding garments hanging on two hooks plus an assortment of temporary hooks that don’t really work.  Oh, plus some hats.


I have taken the feeding ritual behavior to a new (low) level recently…  We have a huge weeping California Pepper Tree that pretty much obscures our guests’ view of me as I feed.  It is glorious.  The guests know I’m out there, but they can’t see me.

Well… Hubby decided to trim back the tree to let light stream into the AirBnB… thinking I’d be delighted.

I cried.  I literally was flumoxed because, as I said, “Now I’ll have to wear a bra when I feed!”

And sadly, I meant it.


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5 comments have been posted...

  1. MARY

    If you think you’re a clothes hoarder…I may have you beat…I have clothes that I know I got before I graduated high school….in 1976.

    As to what you wear out to the barn….hmmmm, in the summer months, I may or may not be wearing shirt/bra when I go feed in the morning….LOLOL

  2. Robynne Catheron

    Ohmagosh, this is me, except I don’t have a garage so my barn clothes hang on the hooks in the hall. I don’t know what’s holding those hooks to the wall- they must be holding 20 pounds easy. I’m also allergic to hay on my skin and hands, so I live in rubber-dipped garden gloves all year. And I despise bras, like most other women; plus, if I don’t wear one, I won’t get hay in it! Ain’t rural living great?

    Sorry about your tree ?

  3. Mary Lu Kennedy

    Could not sleep at 3 AM and was delighted to see Horse and Man on my computer. I am happy to hear that
    you do not wear a bra to feed if you can get by without it. It has given me a special freedom of living out far enough that I do not get “drop in” guests and I truly hate bras. Now I make sure that I wear one into town but I can go days without hooking one on. You have made my day and now I can go back to sleep!

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