Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

My Welder

with 2 comments

I have wanted to buy a slow feeder for a method of providing the horses their hay for some time. The system we currently use allows them to eat it too fast, and they toss too much on the ground, which is a waste. Being such a relative newbie in the world of all things horse-related, I figured there should be a common tried-and-true method for slow hay feeding. A little research revealed there are a variety of solutions, many touting the benefits of allowing them to also eat in the more natural position of having their heads down, as if grazing on the ground.DSCN2611e

There are several versions of a box that is about the size of a small bale, with a metal or plastic grid over the hay that the horses have to pull through. Watching videos of horses feeding through a grid show that the process ends up being very similar to their natural grazing process. Seems perfect for what we have in mind. Surprisingly, I didn’t find what I wanted readily available for purchase locally. In fact, when asking around, I received mostly blank stares, like they had no familiarity with a slow feeder. Really?

I decided to take a leap of faith and order online. One nice looking wood box was made out west, but wouldn’t ship to my region. I found a plastic one that looked like it came from Iowa and decided to give it a try. That site said they wouldn’t ship to a residence and suggested folks have it shipped to a feed store and pick it up there. Okay. I called our feed store in Ellsworth and got approval to have it shipped to them.

Oddly, after placing the order, I received no confirmation email. After a day, I grew suspicious and tried calling the phone number listed on the web site. I think it was an individual’s cell phone. I left a message. Never received a call back. I tried the email contact form on the web site. It didn’t work. I emailed directly to the address on the web site. No reply.

When weeks passed with no response, I contacted Paypal and initiated a dispute case. They give the seller a chance to reply to the complaint and settle the dispute. Apparently, they got no reply. I was credited the full amount.

Contemplating other options, I decided I might as well do it myself, like most of the other folks posting pictures had done. Building a box out of wood isn’t that big a deal. The key part is finding the metal grid. After a brief attempt to locate an industrial solution online, looking at manufacturers instead of retailers who don’t sell exactly what I want, I decided to ask my wise neighbor. He works at the auto body shop where our truck is currently being rehabilitated.

After he finished giving me that “blank stare” response to my description, he asked if I had talked to Gaylen. Who? Apparently, Gaylen is THE welder whom one talks to if they want something like this done here. I went for it. I’m all in.

I called Gaylen, raced home to draw a sketch with dimensions, grabbed an image off the web of what I was hoping to build, and drove to downtown Beldenville. Two bars and a post office, basically, with few houses either side of them. Take a left at the post office, then the first right after the bridge over the little creek, to the end of the driveway.

I have found the local Mecca of custom welding projects.

In the end, this may end up being a more expensive slow feeder than necessary, but I am investing in a relationship that could prove priceless to me in time. I like the thought of being able to say, “my welder,” like other people say, “my therapist” or “my lawyer.”













Written by johnwhays

November 15, 2014 at 10:15 am

2 Responses

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  1. Lol!
    My husband and I always talk about the need to have great people in our lives and we do have a welder across the street!

    He has fixed my horse trailer, stall partitions, and a flat tire.

    It’s good to know gifted people!


    January 8, 2017 at 8:54 am

    • Indeed it is. Then the next level is finding a way to reciprocate. I like the idea of barter and wish to offer more than just cash for services. Usually, it ends up being Cyndie’s baking… 🙂


      January 8, 2017 at 11:25 am

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