Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Approaching Drought

I may have to put a slight disclosure on this post. I'm a little cranky. I'm people'd out. The fourth of July was fun and I'm missing my kids dearly but I'm people'd out. I guess that's the curse of being an introvert? But I'm worried and I'm not sure if that's from being people'd out, simply my nature, or if I really should be worried. I'm leaning towards the last one.


Last night I paid our hay guy. Not in full because the remainder is sitting in our paypal account and I can't figure out how to get it into our bank account. Yet another flaw of me being technologically unsavy. Can anyone walk me through it? I need help.


Because you know, it's a little uncool to tell your hay guy that you need more hay when you haven't paid for last year's hay. Yes, it took me that long and yes it's totally wrong and yes I know but things have been tight at the Sanctuary. I need to do a few more fundraisers but everything seems to be coming to a screeching halt instead of moving forward. I need moral support and physical help to get any of my ideas off the ground. As it is, some of my ideas for this fall are already down the drain.


But back to the conversation last night. Some people are starting to talk about the drought. I knew it was coming more than a month ago because our hay guy mentioned it. I was a little surprised because we've had rain and I mentioned it to a few others and they all poo-poo'd me but now even the national weather is saying we are going into a drought so people are starting to talk about it.


But where my hay is, there's a bubble. No rain has fallen in weeks. I'd dare say, over a month with no rain. Of course at the Sanctuary we've gotten rain. We've gotten so much that there was standing water in the fields but not where the hay ground is at. The rain will hopefully keep our pastures going but not the hay ground.


Our hay guy bailed up his alfalfa and what was there was a third of what he'd normally get. He baled up first cutting of hay and the same thing happened. He got a third of what he'd normally get. IF he can get a second cutting, it'll be the same.


What does that have to do with the Sanctuary? EVERYTHING! I prefer to get first cutting hay but a dairy farm already swooped in and bought every bale available. Our hay guy also has cattle so he has to make sure he has enough hay to feed his cattle. So there's probably not very much left over for us...if any. That's a problem in more ways than one.


I do have access to another hay guy. It's the same guy we used to go with but switched because I'd rather have my money stay in the family (my hay guy is my uncle). But if my current hay guy can't get enough hay, we'll have to go back to the other hay guy and be somewhat in the same boat we were in, where we have to pay for hay almost a year later (although that seems to be the case right now) and we'll probably have to pay premium. I'm not too bent out of shape for paying premium because it is high quality hay but its' still hard to swallow.


But I DID say we needed hay but I never got a confirmation that we'd get hay this winter. So I'm stuck. If our hay guy goes out of cattle, we'll have all that hay available. If he keeps his cattle, we'll have to find someone else. Our previous hay guy may be in the same boat where he's already gotten most of his hay sold.


And after paying for almost all of our hay from last year yesterday, I'm tapped out. So even if I could buy a load of hay today to keep us safe for the first frost, I don't have the money. There is no cushion.


I prefer to buy and use the high quality hay so that we can avoid having to grain the horses, which adds even more money to the dwindling bank account. I'm guessing that most people will be hanging on to their hay in case there really is a drought and they need it. In the past, we'd get a few bales here and there donated and it really made a difference. Even with a few small squares donated, it makes a difference and I can sleep a little easier.


But I'm not going to sleep easy for awhile.


The first of June was stinky hot and then it cooled down. Now we are into July and the first couple of days were chilly and now....now it's going to be stinky not... and stinky hot for the foreseeable future. The heat is so hard on the horses. There's nothing I can do to keep them comfortable except offer water and shade. I wish I had a mister of some sort or more runin sheds for them to cool off in ....to stand in front of  a fan to at least catch a breeze but we aren't set up enough to do anything like that.


So now that the holidays are over, I'm back to really stressing out. I hate this waiting game. I wish our barn was full of hay right now. Everyone it seems is talking hay and filling their barns and it feels like we are sitting on our hands doing nothing. But we have no hay ground to bale and no equipment. We are making payment's on two tractors which takes a chunk of change to pay off. We have our big tractor that moves hay around. That was a hefty sum of money and we are paying for it personally rather than having the Sanctuary pay for it. Last fall I bought a little belly mower to hopefully help keep the weeds down where I can't spray...or when I can't spray...I'm also paying for that one personally rather than having the Sanctuary pay for it. But it all adds up. Every penny is going towards maintenance or horses but it seems to be going out faster than it's coming in. I'd even considered a second paying job but there's no time. With a full time paying job, fill time mom of two little kids, and running the Sanctuary (not including being in charge of a saddle club and a member of the drill team), there's no time. So there's no time to look for grants and no way to swing any available grants so that we'd get anything. So what's a girl to do? I guess continue to stress and hope for the best.


So here's what I'm worried about:


1. Having money to buy hay
2. Having access to hay
3. Not having enough hay
4. People selling horses because there's not enough hay and the market gets flooded....and more horses end up headed to slaughter


So if I seem quiet over the next little while, it's because I'm worried and stressing over hay and I simply don't know what to do. I'll try to post a few videos on Facebook but I may be a little quiet on the blog because I am a bit more outspoken on the blog than anywhere else and I'm not sure that I'll be anything but a Debbie Downer.

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