Monday, August 13, 2012

The Hay Handler

You may recall me writing about the differences between Northern Nevada horse hay and Central Arizona horse hay.  In Nevada I could get a flake of alfalfa, grass or mix that was packed so tight that I could just pick up a slice, carry it to the horse paddock, and throw it over the fence in one piece.  However, the hay in Arizona is much drier and looser.  If you try to pull a slice off a bale, it falls apart all over the ground.  If you try to gather it up into an armload and throw it over the fence, it blows right back in your face, your hair, and down your top, and your investment becomes fodder for wild bunnies to feast upon.

Well, after reading that post, Cut-N-Jump contacted me to tell me that she was making something to help me with that problem.  Having lived in the area and having dealt with the hay here for many years, she had already been thinking through that problem and had come up with a solution.  I wasn't sure what to expect exactly, but while I waited I tried picking up the hay with a manure fork, piling it in a wheelbarrow, and pushing the wheelbarrow through the barn gate.

That didn't work out so well, because the horses tried to bust out the gate while I was wrestling with the wheelbarrow to keep it upright, and then all three of them would descend upon me and eat right out of the wheelbarrow so that I couldn't push it over to the food troughs in the stalls from the barn aisle.  I then had to bring a long whip with me and keep cracking it at the horses to make them back off.  Feeding time was beginning to expend way too much of my energy and time.

This is what Cut-N-Jump created...

It's like a hay hammock with handles.  It's a pretty, semi-metallic fabric on the outside with a canvas-like lining on the inside, and she sews the border and handles really well so that they are strong.

You can lay it out flat beneath your hay bale, and then knock the flakes down with a fork or your hands onto the material.

Once the hay is on the material, you fold the sides up like swaddling a baby in a blanket.

Then you pick it up by the handles and away you go.  You have a purse filled with hay.

I haven't had any loose hay jump out of this thing.  I can carry it around in high winds and nothing blows out.  I can squeeze through the gate into the barn without having to open it wide for a wheelbarrow, so there is less risk of the horses escaping, and if they try to snatch hay out of the bag while I'm walking in, I can beat the little muggers with my purse.  Ha ha!

I was talking with Cut-N-Jump about how pleased I am with her product, and she said that her goal is to provide horse owners with long-lasting, durable solutions.  She's honestly trying to make life run smoother with horse and barn products that are easy to care for and built to last.  So much of what we buy on the market is designed to fall apart quickly so that we have to buy more.  That's called "planned obsolescence" and is an actual business strategy.  Fortunately, there are people like Cut-N-Jump who care more about quality for others than lining her own pocketbook by creating consumer dependence.

I was telling her that this hay handler is such a simple solution to a common problem, yet I've never seen anything like it.  I tried stuffing the hay into those canvas hay bags with feeding windows in the front, and all the hay just fell through the windows.  I almost needed to make a temporary flap to cover the windows, but still it was difficult to stuff the hay through the tiny opening at the top of the bag.  There is nothing about Cut-N-Jump's hay handler that is difficult or complex.  It works with grass.  It works with alfalfa.  I'm sure it would work with cubes or pellets. 

There are probably many more uses you can find for it around your house and barn.  Shoot her an email if you want to order one.

11 comments:

Reddunappy said...

Cool!!! great solution!!

fernvalley01 said...

Well done CNJ!!! I love it! I may need one here too,way too much hay has found itself stored in my bra !

lytha said...

that's awesome that she helped you with a problem that you had to deal with every day! coincidentally this week i had just noticed my friend tami has one (made by cashel) and i watched her feed using it and then showed my husband how awesome they are. such a simple solution, a perfect one.

Tara said...

I have a hay tote, think I bought it from horse.com, when it was still country supply...made from a cordura material with wooden dowel handles....it does coming in handy with hay issues, :) I got it for having to carry hay for a longer distance...allows me to carry both horses flakes in it...saving time.
Tara

Breathe said...

Hi NZ,

I've been going through posts and catching up. Hope you're healing up from your sprains and glad to see the horses are doing well.

I do hope you find renters, we are still evicting ours who we believe has a meth issue. Which would explain a whole lot of how all of this has happened.

Midge certainly looks well, even in a diaper and thundershirt. Here's to a break in the storm activity!

Have you identified any riding groups? I am looking forward to "seeing" you in the saddle again this fall.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Very clever idea. I bet you are so grateful not to have to go through such an ordeal just to feed your horses anymore.

For the past 5 years I've been using humongous blue Ikea bags to haul my hay out to the animals. I even use the Ikea bags to haul my saddle...they are about 3 feet wide and just as deep! They are made of a very strong heavy duty tarp material and have held up through 5 years of hay hauling. And these bags have a a super wide opening, too. I can fit 4-5 large flakes of hay inside each one.

I have even used the Ikea bags to carry laundry to the laundromat when our washing machine was broken. And I've packed blankets in it when we've gone to a ball game or while camping.

I was given the Ikea bags when I went to a Mothers of Twins Yard sale about 7 years ago. Everyone who shopped was given one.
I'm not sure if Ikea actually sells them....but it would be worth it to buy some if they do. I can't imagine they would cost more than a few dollars. I would buy several more because they are incredibly useful for so many things.

~Lisa

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

OMGosh!!!!!!!!!!

Ikea does sell them!

And only $.59!!! That's incredible!

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/17228340/

If only we could buy them online! wah! The closest Ikea to me is in Phoenix! Lucky you!!!!!!!!!!

~Lisa

ps Not to add any more to your already busy schedule, but if you do get to Ikea, and you are feeling generous, I would be so grateful if you picked up at least 5 of these bags for me...and I will send you the money for them as well as shipping. :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

As I was searching the IKEA site, this popped up, too. I got excited because this bag could be used to hold hay bales (under 55lbs) for a horse camping weekend!

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90149148/

Hmmm...I might just have to see if John can go shopping for me....of course, he'd have to take a bus from the airport to Ikea...but maybe I can sweet talk him :)

~Lisa

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lisa - I'll see what I can do. There is one somewhat near where my kids live, so I can try to swing by there next time I visit them.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Thanks NM!
But John says that he can get one of his co-worker friends from work to drive him over to the Tempe Ikea from the Phoenix airport next week.

Then he can just stuff all the tarp Ikea bags into his duffel and bring them home with him :)
He did think I was a little nutty for getting so excited about a bunch of tarp bags, until I explained just how useful they are. He uses these cool bags to haul hay, too, so he thought it was a great idea to get some more :)

~Lisa

achieve1dream said...

That's really cool! She is such a nice friend. :D