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I think I was 11

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posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 12:40 AM
I think I was 11 when I got my first horse. He was a mean SOB, a spirited giant (17h) 5 year old Palomino Qtr. horse. He'd been owned by the Wyoming State (and Western Regional) Barrel Racing Champ. Reno hated everyone. Best, fastest, horse I ever knew, but he was just plain mean. The little gal who raced him gave him up for college and a friend of my Dad bought him. She was terrified of him, but loved him as a pet. She "gave" Reno to me, just so long as she could still keep him as a pet. (confusing, I know, but she was afraid to ride him).

That little girl who raced him couldn't even handle him herself. Took (4) people to bridle and saddle him. Only person who could ever get near Reno was me. For some damn reason that horse "liked" me (we'll go into his definition of 'like' in a moment). In any case, I could get a bit in his mouth and a saddle on him and still be alive afterwards. Reno was a lightning bolt on steroids! I digress...this story isn't really about Reno, but rather about hauling hay.

I think I was about 11 when I hauled my first hay (not me driving, of course). It was part of the deal for Reno, I'd haul all his feed forever (and Jean would get to pet him). I was just a kid. The ride out of Rock Springs to the north wasn't so bad in the cool morning air. When we got to Farson, it had warmed up a bit. It was August. The farmer pointed out to the hay stacks in the field and we drove the truck over. Now it was time to start loading. But wait, the stack is 20' tall, how are we going to do this??? Get a ladder, doofus!

Now, I'd been up on some really big ladders before, like up 4' on the 6' step ladder in the garage to push something off the rafters in the garage, but ummmm...well...I'd never been up 20' on an extension ladder on the side of a hay stack before (sssshhhhhh....don't tell anyone!). AND, I'd never picked up a green bale of hay before (and certainly not while standing on the top of a 20' ladder!!!).

Now for those unfamiliar, green hay is not light. In fact, it can be heavy as hell, especially for an 11 year old. Maybe 75-80 lbs or there about. So imagine this dumb-ass 11 year old on top of a really tall ladder (like "up in the sky" tall), trying to horse a 80 lb bale of hay off the top of a stack!

I'm sure it was funny as heck to most of the onlookers, but it was skeery as hell to this 11 year old!! Why? Because when you actually did man-up and get the bale, you had to swing it over the side of the ladder, which put the ladder off balance, to throw it down. The whole point was to make an opening, eventually stair steps you could walk down on the bales, but you had to start somewhere. AND, what better place to have a 11 year old greenhorn start than at the top of the stack on the very first bale, right? LOL!! (it actually is funny to me now)

End Pt I

edit on 7/3/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 12:56 AM

When I'd left the house that morning I knew it was going to be hot in the afternoon. I knew I shouldn't wear shorts though, but I thought some regular jeans might be okay. HA...WRONG! This other kid who's dad drove us up there was way more cowboy than me then, and he rolled out of the truck all decked out in canvas chaps and an apron.

"Wow...isn't that going to be HOT?", I asked?

He just laughed, dork-wad that he was (read: brilliant western horseman-boy whom I was envious of)

Probably about 13 minutes after that my nice Levi jeans were shredded into ribbons, I was sucking for air with one hay hook stuck in a bale 12 feet off the ground (where I fell of the ladder) and the other stuck in the left rear trailer tire (they got really mad about that for some dang reason). In between the wheezing, gagging and swallowing bugs I realized we'd loaded exactly (4) bales so far. A noble effort!!

Okay, I'm ready to go home how; we only needed those four bales, right....oh, and only three trailer tires?

From my knees I wasn't sure I heard the answer correctly, they couldn't have actually said there were another (250) bales to go...could they?

Seriously though, this is exactly what a first hay hauling experience is like for an 11 year old. Worse, we turned the corner out of the field onto the highway and dumped about 75% of those bales right out on the road...........and had to load them right back up again a 2nd time! GAWD...that sucked!!

edit on 7/3/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 06:58 AM
im 40 and couldnt do any of that #

posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 08:06 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I helped make hay at that age.
I hated every minute of it.
I'd much rather fork manure all day than make hay.

posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 12:19 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
Ahhhh---hauling hay in August---I remember it well. Because I was a girl I was assigned to drive the loaded wagons rather than swing the bales onto the wagons. At the end of the first day one of the boys (a cousin) got all ticked off when he realized that I had made the same money he had. He began sputtering ...."but she didn't work as hard as we did..." That's when the boss explained to him that I also didn't dump any wagon loads of hay the way he'd done the year before.

I was about 11 at the time I think and had been driving the tractor since my feet could reach the pedals. Never dumped a load of hay (or anything else) and never turned the tractor over like my male co-workers. But cutting hay and tobacco were two of the jobs that convinced me that I wanted a career that didn't involve tractors and wagons. By the time I was 15 I had found myself a cushy job that could be done inside when the Tennessee Valley was sweltering with 100% humidity.

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