This is the view looking to the south. You can see my barn gloves parked on the bale in front there.
Just behind this spot is a square hole where I throw down the bales. I flip them end over end then give them a shove with my knee. It works pretty good.
Now we take a little walk along the edge of the mow. This usually freaks people out real good and proper. That small path of planks... that's it. That's your path. And the boards themselves aren't very close together. Jethro won't go up here, because he hates how the planks flex under the weight of his size 13 barn boots.
See the white glow over there, past the hay bales? That's where we throw the hay out of the barn. Go... to... the light....
But don't fall out.
No really, don't fall out, because that window, on the third floor of the barn, is pretty high up. Long way down. Look at this, my horses look like toys. Not often you get to see them from this angle, eh?
I'm at least kind enough to give a yell before I throw hay down. They look up, but not usually all the way up (I don't think their necks are designed to look up!) and swivel their ears to the direction of my voice.
But they're mellow little Appaloosas, and this doesn't really excite them all that much. Even if my aim is bad, or there's a brisk wind, and they end up with a couple flakes of hay in the head, they don't do much more that walk a few steps and dive their noses back into the feeder. A flake, by the way, is a section of hay. The baler gathers it up and binds it together into a bale made up of sections.
For perspective, here's a shot with my toes in the picture.
Ya like them purple barn boots? I got them for my daughter at the thrift store a few years ago. She quickly outgrew them, and instead of moving them along to another kid, I tried them on. Much warmer than unlined rubber boots. And kinda flashy! Really brightens up the old boring navy coveralls! But I digress, as I often do when I start talking about workwear.
So yeah, it's fun to see the world from that viewpoint. Sometimes I take a few deep breaths while I'm there. I should do that more often.
After throwing some hay down into the corral, it's time to go back down the ladder to the second floor.
I repeat my bale-flipping to get over to the hay chute. A sturdy piece of plywood with a hand hold fits flush into the floor until I need to push the hay downstairs.
I even get a push broom and sweep the hay leavin's down the chute. I don't like to have a layer of hay on the cement floor up there. It eventually rots into a musty smelling mat if it gets left long enough. Also, sweeping it up means more edible hay makes its way out to the corral.
And I'm sooo cheap, I'd rather have the horses eat every little stem than throw decomposed hay onto the compost. Of course all of this hay is just compost waiting to happen, if you catch my meaning. I'd just rather have the horses enjoy it first.
More vertigo! Have a look down the hay chute! Each bale slides down the sheet of plywood, and lands on the one thrown down before it. When I get downstairs, I stack them up at the end of the aisle, and rake up all the loose hay that's escaped on the way down. I like to keep about five bales of hay down there. It shouldn't be stored long term on concrete, but four or five days is okay, and means I don't have to go up to the haymow every day.
Oh look, there's my purple toe again. Beside the plywood, you can see a gate (which is not as closed as it should be). This is the section up by the stone wall, not big enough to house a horse, where the stairs go up. I also park my wheelbarrow at the bottom of the stairs. I would like to point out that nice cleanly swept concrete floor.
So that's how the hay gets from the hay mow, down to the stalls.
And just remember, people: Make the world a better place. Less Hatred, More Hay.