Am I weak? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 10-23-2019, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Am I weak?

Today I moved some hay from the general storage area to my own stall. I put down a pallet and stacked three layers of hay on it. They were the “fifty pound” square bales, although I think they were more like 35-40 pounds. I did it by myself with no help and nothing like a ladder or step stool or anything. Looking at it afterwards, I was very underwhelmed with myself. I felt like I should have been able to stack it four bales high. What do you guys think? How high can you comfortably stack hay by yourself? This is really more a question for other women than for men.
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post #2 of 20 Old 10-23-2019, 04:06 PM
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Stacked three high, with no help, is plenty.

I hated being told to throw bales over my head when I would help put up 400 bales when I lived with my parents - its a good way to get hurt! My stepdad has been a roofer all of his life, and one thing he would always say is "until I have you carrying shingles on your shoulders, up a 30 foot ladder, you can't complain!". Now he hobbles around, and regularly feels aches and pains...maybe he should've complained a bit more in his life.

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post #3 of 20 Old 10-23-2019, 04:09 PM
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Heck no you did great!
The bales around here are at least 100lbs and I have to either drag them or put them in my wheelbarrow. It makes me feel like a weakling but I guess I only outweigh the bales by 15-20 lbs 🤷‍♀️
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post #4 of 20 Old 10-23-2019, 05:09 PM
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Three or four high is about all I can do without injuring my screwed-up back. Any higher than that and I put a trailer or another bale layer down so I don't have to lift as far. Gone are the days when I could throw the bales in place on the last layer up by the ceiling. *sigh*
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post #5 of 20 Old 10-23-2019, 05:14 PM
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Yep, same here. 3 high is plenty. I have a hard time managing that - usually call in the muscle so I don't kill myself. Used to be able to do more! Haha.
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post #6 of 20 Old 10-23-2019, 05:21 PM
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I take out my hay for the week from the equipment bay or the loft, and stack it in a small space I designed specifically for this purpose. It is a long, but narrow area between a stall and the tack room so I can stack up hay pretty high. I have gone as far as throwing 6 bales high, but generally I stop at 4. I admit that beyond 4, it gets harder to throw them up there, but I can do it if I have to. I'm about 5' and 115 lbs, and I've noticed that I've gotten a lot stronger since having horses at home.

When we pick up our hay for the winter (we usually do it in several separate loads), I prefer to toss them off the wagon onto the truck and trailer and let my husband stack them up high though. Throwing them over my head is a bit too hard on my back.
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post #7 of 20 Old 10-23-2019, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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@Acadianartist I'm the exact same size as you. Maybe once we get our horses on our own place I'll get to be as strong as you, too. Maybe.

It's actually kind of why I asked -- I feel like people who have their horses at home are a lot stronger than I am. I'm worried that I'm too spindly and weak to do the work myself. But hopefully if I ease into it, then eventually I'll develop the strength.
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post #8 of 20 Old 10-23-2019, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
@Acadianartist I'm the exact same size as you. Maybe once we get our horses on our own place I'll get to be as strong as you, too. Maybe.

It's actually kind of why I asked -- I feel like people who have their horses at home are a lot stronger than I am. I'm worried that I'm too spindly and weak to do the work myself. But hopefully if I ease into it, then eventually I'll develop the strength.
You will, you'll see. At first, you'll be exhausted. I remember feeling like I was going to collapse after a full day of bringing in hay the first time. Now my husband and I can do it alone and it's not that big a deal (meaning I can still walk at the end of the day, lol). It's the day-to-day stuff that builds muscle. Carrying water and hay, lugging bags of feed (if I relied on hubby, I'd always be nagging him), hauling bedding, not to mention manure - oh the manure muscles you will build! Fun fact: horses poop on average 50 lbs a day. I have three, and I pick up ALL the manure from the pasture, stalls, and paddock, so that's 150 lbs of poop I have to move each day. Even when I use the ATV and wagon (usually because I missed a couple of days and have too much catching up to do so I don't want to use the muck bucket), each pile has to be picked up with the manure fork. I feel it in my back, but over time, it does get easier. And then there's the frozen manure! I have a special metal fork for that because you have to sort of pry it loose.

You'll get stronger. I'm just grateful that I did this before I got too old for my body to adjust (I'm almost 50). As a bonus, in the summer, people comment on my muscular arms and shoulders now :) And I don't have to go to the gym.
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post #9 of 20 Old 10-23-2019, 06:03 PM
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I think you did really well.

I had limited space for a time and had to get my hay delivered every month or two. The tractor would pull-up outside the barn door and the farmer, who was a young fit guy, would start throwing the bales off the flatbed and into the barn. I was supposed carry them inside and stack them by my stables. Plus, I'd to do it at speed so that I didn't block the door. I struggled carrying them down the passage then had to lift them in stages as the stack got higher. I could manage to four but no further and not without a lot of huffing, puffing, wheezing and groaning. By the end, my back and arms would be aching.
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post #10 of 20 Old 10-23-2019, 06:09 PM
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Long gone are my bale carting days! Last few years of working we had the very big bales of haylage, polythene wrapped. Cut them open cut strings and load it onto the back of the ATV.

The art of lifting bales high is to use your thigh to help boost them higher.

Back when I was fit I could toss bales onto the trailers about five high (plus the height of the trailer) using a two prong fork.
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