A Horse Tale Rescue in desperate search of hay
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Mike Grenier, Executive Director of A Horse Tale Rescue, and Smouch are in search of 800 hay bales to help the non-profit organization get through the winter.
A Horse Tale (AHT) Rescue needs hay for its horses. The non-profit organization, which is based in Vaudreuil-Dorion, provides a refuge for rescued and retired horses and it’s putting out an appeal to the public for help in finding good quality hay to enable its horses to get through the winter.
The primary feed for horses is hay. Unusually inclement conditions this spring hampered the growth of the first crop. A second spate of unusually dry weather this summer also severely affected the height of the second hay crop meaning A Horse Tale Rescue doesn’t have enough stock to get through the winter.
“Hay comes twice a year,” AHT Executive Director Mike Grenier told The Journal. “The first time the hay is cut is called first cut. It’s usually at the end of May in ideal conditions or in June if it’s so-so conditions. This year the hay was only cut at the end of July because it was so soggy in the spring the crops didn’t have time to grow enough.”
The crop is left to grow for a second cut in the fall. Unusually dry conditions this summer meant that the hay for the second cut hardly grew at all. “We got 1,000 bales in the first cut and only 118 bales in the second cut because it was so dry. It’s like a lawn. It will go dormant and not grow,” said Grenier.
About 800 bales short
Grenier said that A Horse Tale is about 800 bales short this year. Because of the way the hay growing season went, it was so late that everybody is in the same situation. What this has done is made availability more difficult and increased the price.
“We had a very good deal with our farmer for our hay,” said Grenier. “Now we’re looking on the market to find it but it’s more difficult and the price has doubled. As a non-profit you budget a specific amount for certain aspects of the business and now we’re going to take a hit. I need enough hay to get me through until next June. It’s not like I can go to Wal-Mart and order it.”
A Horse Tale made a post on Facebook last Sunday to see who has hay, how it can be delivered and most importantly, the price. The organization wants to make sure the hay that’s available hasn’t been sitting around for the past two to three years.
Grenier said its Facebook post has gone viral. “It’s had about 20,000 hits and about 200 shares. I’m getting contacts and we’re working through it. It’s about finding the hay and getting it here. About 600 bales fill one tractor-trailer. I need 800 bales. And there’s the cost of the tractor-trailer,” he said.
A Horse Tale Rescue recently took first place in a Canada-wide ‘Hero of the Horse’ award for their work in providing a healthy environment for rescued and retired horses. The organization is also conducting its annual public fund-raising campaign to raise $15,000 for its hay drive. For more information, visit their website at ahtrescue.org/en/help-feed-the-herd/.