When I was growing up, my Mom would correct me whenever I said, “Hey.” Her retort was, “Hay is for horses.” Hey and hay are homophones; they sound alike but are spelled differently and have unrelated meanings.
When I learned that the Greenhorn Ranch had 55 horses, hay came to mind. We’ve all seen bales of it and perhaps taken hayrides (maybe not – see below), so I did a little digging.
The first thing I learned is that hay and straw are not the same. Hay is a crop grown and harvested specifically for horses and other farm animals. Straw is a grain byproduct and I suspect that was in the wagon on my “hayrides.”
Horses weigh between 1,000 – 2,000 pounds and usually consume hay at the rate of 2% of their body weight daily. For the Greenhorn Ranch that means maintaining a big supply on hand to keep the horses well-fed and happy.
So, as always, my Mom was right, “Hay is for Horses.”