By Memory Reese, 17

hay webresPhoto by Danika Kent.There is a constant line of farm hands picking up the square bales. Not a perfect line, but a line spaced far apart. We are in rhythm. I walk toward a bale of hay, claiming it as my own. I wait for the truck with trailer creaking behind it to inch its way beside me. I lace my gloved fingers under raw orange strings and pull. I amble to the trailer and “thud”—the bale is thrown into the steady hands of the laboring stacker. The stacker rides on the trailer and places the bales into the most space-saving position.

All is repeated until a mountain of hay engulfs truck and trailer. This is hay baling, or at least my small part in the process. This is my summer. This is one of the things I live for in the summertime. Hay baling is hard work, but it is also rewarding. This is how I receive a discount throughout the winter for hay to feed my horses, earning it by laboring in the field.

After the field, the trailer full of hay is pulled to a dark place. I love this place just as much as I love the field. It is the barn. The trailer loaded with tall stacks of hay is backed into the narrow barn doors, opened as far as possible. A different rhythm begins. Pull bale off trailer. Lug to stall stacked with hay. Sometimes it is thrown up into the loft. Repeat until the trailer is empty.

Then, it is back to the field. This is dirty. This is glorious. This is work. This is thrilling. Oh, this wonderful country life I love!

 Memory Reese is a former Barrel Horse News Youth Forum contributor. To submit articles for consideration in Youth Forum, please email [email protected].




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