This morning, I set about my daily chores as usual… stumbling to the barn before my morning coffee…
I cut into a brand new bale of grass hay and proceeded to distribute breakfast to my herd.
All was going smoothly until I got to Finn’s pasture.
I threw them their hay, turned to leave – but something told me to Stay Put.
Something was awry…
Yup. No one in the upper pasture was diving into their food.
Quickly, I ran through my emergency list:
–Were they sick?
–Was someone injured?
–Were they missing any limbs?
No. No and No.
Yet, not one of the three would eat.
You see, usually after distributing hay to Finn, BG and Wrig, they all pounce onto their food and Finn puts his nose through the rails for a kiss.
Not today. Instead, he flung his portion of hay at me.
ME: What? That was very rude!
FINN: What?. Me Rude?! SMELL THIS HAY. Did you smell this hay before giving it to us? Even your teensy human nose could smell this hay…
ME: What?… What is wrong with this hay??
FINN (grumbling as he moves Wrigley off of his food): Beat it KID.
ME (watching Wrigley do a 2pt turn and run!): What is wrong with this hay?!
FINN (glaring at me): AW, you gave him the same hay you gave me!
FINN (continuing to grumble as he walked over to BG’s pile): Hey! (glaring at me again) She got bad hay, too! What’s going on here?!
Meanwhile, Wrigley has run around into BG’s pasture to test her hay and eat with her. They settle in and munch the inferior hay. This totally infuriates Finn…
FINN (tossing his head wildly at them): Why are you accepting this drivel?! Revolt! Hold strong! We can get her to give us better hay!!!!
ME: Uhh. This is all we have…
FINN: You can do better.
ME (turning to leave): It smells fine…
FINN (interrupting me): How would YOU know littlenose?
Finn: I’m telling you, this hay is substandard! I refuse to eat it.
At this point, Finn is totally disgusted and has now moved his rump towards me. He won’t even consider his breakfast and has settled into a horsey pout.
To my dismay, Finn colluded the other two to join his camp.
BG (her mouth full): OK, I’ll revolt too, as soon as I take a few more bites…
Wrigley: What does ‘collude’ mean? I can collude. I’m collude, too!!
BG (swallowing and whispering to Wrig): Just do what he says or we’ll never hear the end of it…
BG and Wrigley slowly march around to join Finn in his pout stance.
Now I have three horses refusing to eat breakfast… and I’m afraid they are going to incite the rest of the herd who are watching this unfold.
So, I race to the barn to start steaming.
HUBBY’S HOMEMADE STEAMER
I mutter to myself (“ungrateful horses…”) as I motor to the barn to find the hay steamer that Hubby built for me. I had packed it away very neatly in the corner of the shower stall. I pulled it out, opened it up and VOILA! – a bunch of moldy hay and gak all inside. Ewwwwwww.
WHAT?! Yukkkkkk! Oy.
Silly me. I had put the steamer away without cleaning the interior and drying it. So, I had cultivated a nice, healthy mold society in my hay steamer that is supposed to be used to kill the very mold I was growing inside my steamer!
This was too ironic not to find somewhat funny…
Anyway, I unwound the hose and attacked my newly thriving mold crop. Nasty stuff by impervious to water…
Once squeaky clean again, I hooked the steamer up and loaded it with the remains of the aforementioned bale. I plugged it in. The Steamer was on and working so I went back to the house to wait for 20 minutes.
AN HOUR LATER
I came back to the barn about an hour later (I can never remember that I’m steaming – once I’m in the house, I totally forget…) and I found my steamer was mis-threaded. All I was steaming was the barn air.
So, I turned it off and tried to unscrew it but the cap was too hot (duh) so I whipped off my flashy barn hat and used that to re-align the threads of the steamer cap.
OK, off again to the house to once again forget that I was steaming…
TWO HOURS LATER…
I totally need a timer…
I walked outside for something and suddenly remembered that I was steaming hay! I runtripped down the hill to the barn, sure that I had set the place on fire only to find my little tub just cooking away… still plenty of water in the steamer. Whew.
I unplugged my machine and took off the top of the steambin. The hay inside was so steamed it looked like cooked spinach in a tub. However, I have to say that it was very fragrant and very moist in a gassy way.
To start the cooling process, I took the top flake and put it in the wheelbarrow…
Ay Chi Wowwa! That hay was H-O-T! Wowee! (Remember to use gloves…)
I continued to gently lift all the flakes out of the steamer and spread them around my wheelbarrow so they were able to cool. I had a make-shift drying rack going.
At this point, Tess and Gwen had smelled the delicacy waft in the barn and were now nickering their little heads off.
GIMME GIMME GIMME GIMME, we love you best!!!!!
ME: It is too hot right now ladies, you must wait.
TESS: Tess waits for no one.
ME: Well, you gotta wait for this or your lips will blister.
TESS: They’ll heal. GIMME.
ME: Not yet.
TESS: I’m thinking of revolting and joining them in the upper field – except not if you give me some hay NOW.
GWEN: What she said…
ME: Your breakfast hay was fine.
TESS: Nuh Uh.
GWEN: I do have a funny left-over taste in my mouth…
So I went back to the house while the hay cooled and thought about all of this…
It occurred to me that although all of my 11 horses probably didn’t loooove the hay they received for breakfast, none of them had the need to push it aside and not imbibe, except Finn.
Finn is my equine epicurean. He knows fine grass. And, he refuses to eat less than the best.
Now, some of you may consider him spoiled – and I’m not arguing with you because he probably is – but to me right now, I’m contemplating a different spin on this…
You see, he ate the newly steamed hay with no issues…
So, who is smarter? The owner who listens to their horse who says the hay doesn’t smell right… or the owner that ignores his equine epicurean?
Tough call. All I know is that they ate the steamed hay… So for me, on this day, the old adage applies:
Better safe than sorry.
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