Sunday, November 15, 2020


      At this time of year people will be looking to have a treat and go for a hayride. Fine horses will pull the sled or wagon. Horses will have fancy harness with colored rings and bells. Off people go and there's no hay on the ride! I once saw a rig with hay bales and another rig with wooden benches. 

     It reminds me of the many hayrides I had as a child. Very few people will have experienced this or remember it. I think Maybe JB from Cottage Country Reflections might  remember these days.

     I was born in 1939. My Dad bought his little farm in 1935 in the middle of the depression. He had very little money to buy animals or equipment. However, at that time many farmers had gone broke and were leaving. They would have an auction sale and move. Now people going to the auction sales didn't have much money so many things didn't sell and were left. This is where my Dad got his stuff...on auction sales. This stuff was very old and in poor repair. He bought horses that were poor and old. 

    Farming at that time was labor intensive. Before the depression farmers always had hired men. Dad had to work by himself. 

    So getting and storing food for his animals went on for a long time. Grass was cut with a horse drawn mower that had a 5 foot blade. It took a long time to cut much grass. Then the hay was raked in rows. It could be put in small stacks at that time or hauled home.

                              The hay mower.

                                The hay rake

                              The old hay rack     

    So here come the hay rides. When I was big enough I arranged the hay on the rack while he loaded the hay. Then ride home to the yard to unload the hay. It was fun to lie in the hay. My brother and I probably threw hay at each other. On top of the hay was a good place to practice our wrestling technique. Somehow we never fell off the load of hay.

   In the cold of winter the hay ride was different. It was on a sleigh and sometimes very cold. We would run through the hay and bury ourselves in the hay. If it was cold we didn't notice it. 

   It was a lot of hard work for Dad and some fun for us kids but it was a realistic hay ride.