Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vacation Cancelled Thanks to the Neighbor

Just look at the paint job on this house! Isn't it beautiful? Do you think it needs repainting?

As many of you know I took off this week from work specifically to start my young filly Gabbrielle under saddle. I didn't even have a saddle on her for more than five minutes, and a painting crew showed up at the house next door! They are power blasting the old paint off the house and pounding in loose boards. Gabbrielle became a nervous wreck, so I had to end our training session. I went indoors to phone my neighbor to find out how long this project is going to last, but she didn't pick up her phone. So, my husband went outside and asked a painter. He said they'd be working on the house all week.

I immediately sent my boss an email asking if I could have these vacation days back and return to work, since once again, one of my neighbors ruined my ability to work with my horses. This woman paints her house every 5 years! No house needs to be painted that often. She's overly concerned about property values, so every week she has some project going on at her house. If the blinds aren't being cleaned, then the carpet is being cleaned, and if the carpet isn't being cleaned, she's putting a new roof on... You get the idea.

I really had to restrain myself from going over next door and screaming obscenities at her. Of course, she didn't know I set aside this week to train my horse and needed peace and quiet, so she doesn't deserve to be yelled at. I am just so angry right now. I really needed a break from my job, but there's no way I can even relax and enjoy my time off with all this racket going on. It sounds like somebody is remodeling my house, because hers is the closest house to mine in the neighborhood. I must have the worst karma on earth, because this happens to me every year.


One Red Horse said...

My sympathy for you - is this the same neighbor that has questionable garage boarders? Sheeesh, it is really rough that your home is often not a place you can relax thanks to the goings on next door.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Awww, it is so terrible that you have to postpone your plans to start Gabbrielle! You don't think she'll settle down?

Sydney said...

Holy crap! That f-ing sucks!

I had some bad carma today. Second ride on the 4 year old mare this year and the local co-op guy shows up with three tractors and a few wagons to fertilize the crops. Mare was zooming around the round pen like someone lit her ass on fire. Luckily they went back the lane after a few minutes and haven't come back yet so I did get some peace.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

One Red Horse - This is the neighbor who has guests looking in our windows all spring, summer, and fall. I just planted a hedge to give us some privacy. I'm surprised she'd paint the house while a guest is living in it.

Fantastyk - I had exactly six days to get a million things done that have been piling up on my To Do List just waiting for me to get a vacation so that I can complete them, and everything has to go like clockwork. I can't stand around waiting for the horse to settle down or the neighborhood to quiet down. I have to be able to do everything on my schedule without interference, and this is interference of the worst kind. It's extremely loud.

In addition to needing to be able to ride a horse that has never been ridden before, and me not having any experience starting horses under saddle in the past, I need to cover all the tasks on my To Do List, and somehow relax on top of that. Adding loud construction noises into the mix just puts it over the top for me.

After years upon years of having one thing after another ruin my vacations, I'm no longer willing to put up with B.S. In fact, I stopped traveling on my vacations, because every hotel I checked into was always being painted or having construction being done. Then I'd be laid up sick from the paint fumes and dust during my time off. I only get a few days off every year, and it shouldn't take a miracle to let me have some peace and quiet.

Also, it looks like the horse boarders are still on vacation because they were out there dragging the paddock and honking their horn every few seconds to get the horses to move out of their way. I have to put up with that noise pollution once a week every week. I wish I could sneak over there and disconnect their freakin' horn. They pretty much ruined Gabbrielle's trailer training by blowing their horn every time she was about to step into the trailer.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Sydney - I would have died. Why do these things always have to happen the second that we start working with green or unbroke horses? I've noticed that when I'm working with my older horses, all is well, but as soon as I try to do anything with the wee one, all hell breaks loose in the neighborhood.

sue said...

OH NO>>>> you have got to be kidding!!!!! are you able to take a different vacation time???? I am so sorry, hope the weeks turns out better!!!!!

Kate said...

Um . . . do you need to move? To a more peaceful location? If that's not a possibility - try earplugs - for you and the horse (cotton balls work great) - you'll be amazed at the difference - I've used cotton balls with nervous horses where there's noise, and it works! And take deep breaths - your horse will begin to imitate you and before you know it you'll both be yawning! Good luck, sister!

Leah Fry said...

That really sucks. Any chance of moving?

Cheryl Ann said...

I DID have a screaming fit with the neighbors whose gardener put ROUNDUP on my sunflowers! I mean, the whole neighborhood heard it. One of them called me the "C" word and I called him a bad word in Spanish and it disintegrated from there. OF COURSE they denied it, but, after talking to ANOTHER neighbor, the same thing happened to his Boston ivy! At least we all know who the sunflower killers are (even though they still deny it!)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Gah! Oh no, NM! That is just so horrible! I wish you could just move somewhere new. Somewhere peaceful with lots of privacy and neighbors who appreciate privacy, too.

Life is too short for you to have to keep dealing with this sort of crap day in and day out. I'm so sorry, NM :(


Paint Girl said...

I am sooo sorry to hear that your vacation had to be cancelled! I don't know why things happen at the worst times!
It always seems like when I go work Brandy in the arena, my neighbors grandkids start playing their guitars and drums, I think the grandson is in a band, and it is loud or he has to get his tractor out and work right on the property line! I guess I get music to listen to while riding, Brandy has adjusted well! But I would not want to saddle break a horse with all that racket! NO WAY!
Is your boss going to let you reschedule your vacation?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Sue - I still have to give one month's notice to take another 4 days off and two month's notice to get 5 or more days off. I asked for 4 days off next month, and my boss said I couldn't have it, because he's scheduled for a vacation at that time and one of us needs to be available to manage things. We also have a major project deadline then, but it seems we have a major project deadline every week at the rate we're going. It's good that my company is doing business, though. We're in a negotiation phase over rescheduling my vacation right now.

Kate & Leah - Yes, I NEED to move, but can I? Nope. Earplugs in horses? Awesome. I never thought of that.

Cheryl Ann - Oooooh. That's a neighbor no-no. My husband chewed out this neighbor last year for having her gardeners spray poison on our grass. Now she's denying it and saying that the gardeners always lay cardboard against the fence to avoid spraying our lawn. I've never seen them do that. She actually called me to ask if I would keep my dogs indoors so that her gardeners could come over to spray poison along the fence to prevent our grass from growing through to her side. They ended up killing a 3-foot strip of grass. Now she's claiming that all they did was weed whack.

Lisa - Thanks for the sympathy, and sorry for posting so much lately. I actually still have several posts in my queue waiting to be published that I put together over the weekends. I don't even expect anyone to read them, especially when I'm posting twice a day, so thanks to everyone who does take the time to read my gab.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Paint Girl - That's annoying. I think that if the noise is consistent the horses get used to it much faster. The problem with the work that's going on next door is that there is such a wide variety of noises and they come and go without warning or rhythm. Instead of listening to me, Gebbrielle kept looking over her shoulder and bolting in my direction without watching where she was going. She did that to me last year and knocked me several feet into the air. I landed on my bum and was sore for several days afterward.

Katharine Swan said...

Regarding intrusive landscaping, I lived in a rental house once that had beautiful Virginia creeper on the south wall. Then the neighbors on that side decided to sell their house, and cut down all my Virginia creeper to make their house look better! It was a rental, and I was still furious.

Regarding your vacation -- I am SO sorry, NM. That is awful. Seriously, have you ever considered checking your house for wires? She has to be spying on you inside as well as out. This kind of thing happens too often to be truly coincidental.

City girl turned Country Girl said...

Hey there I'm just popping in from Browneyed Cowgirls blog, I really like you blog!! I too am a horse lover, so I love reading stories about other peoples horses!! That's to bad about your vacation!! I hope you get one soon so you can work on your training..

allhorsestuff said...

This just is escalating for you, it seems and the stress too...Not good for you and why can't you move?
We are making a 2 year plan to get out of the city... and own a plce so I may have the mare with me since I can't seem to get along with BO's!

I jsut saw "Pom-Poms" in Dover catalog..they are a fluffy eqar plug that the eventers use...and it you put one of the fly bonnets on too..that shoul secure them in and keep the horse from shaking them away.
I am soo sorry for this time to be taken by the neighbors AGAIN...I jsut really think you should move..or bitterness may get to an all time high for you... I know..I sometimes wairt longer than I shoud to do things for myself..because they are hard and it takes so much energies..but after..you sigh~ relief!
Well...anywho, take care and your little mare will be waiting for your training whenever..you do need to be calm!

Lulu said...

Man, that really sucks!!!

The ear plugs are actually a really good idea, and you can even purchase reusable ones. Check out your next horse catalog.

jen098 said...

NM you don't know me, so please don't take this the wrong way, but I don't know if there is ever a good training situation in perfect silence anymore, and even if you moved...better the devil you know then the devil you don't...

I live next door to my relatives dirt bike track, and next to a busy road/business, and a fire station. Some of the people at the fire station are @$$holes, and have even set off the siren for NO REASON while I am riding. There is a cow pasture with derranged cows next door, too. My brother in law is building a house next door. I used to live next to a small airport. None of these prevented me from riding.

At a barn where I worked we had semi trailers haul in hay, bow hunters creeping through the forest, deer, turkeys, people with their ill mannered children screaming through the barn etc.

I am not a horse trainer, and I don't want to seem like a know it all. All of these things have become a part of my training for MYSELF. Can I get my horse to listen to me, rather than be distracted? Can I teach them to "spook in place" rather than bolt? Perhaps look into how to get your horses beyond these things...is there someone who can help you out? I am sad to see you give up doing what you need to do. If your horse is behaving that way, young/green/broke or otherwise, then in my opinion,...that is where your focus needs to be...getting them through the distraction. It may mean you need to "get tough" with your horses (John Lyons and Clinton Anderson have DVD's on how to become a horses leader. Maybe other people have better ideas, but when I am stuck, those methods have helped me). If you can do that, then all of your other horse "stuff" will come more easily and your experiences might improve regardless of what else is happening. It may be time to seek out help.

Again, I hope you take this in the spirit in which it is offered, even though you didn't ask me for my opinion.

HorseOfCourse said...

I am really, truly sorry for you NM, because it sounds like you needed that vacation.

I read your posts and what gets me is the stress level that seems to seep through. It doesn't sound healthy.
Can you cut down on anything on your to-do-list?
Solve things in a different way?
If your neighbours are what they are, and you cannot move, how can you handle the situation? As you said, plant a hedge, set up some fences/screens? Talk to them to give notice in advance when it comes to larger projects etc?
Do other things during daytime when I assume is the period when they are painting, and save the training with Gabbrielle to evening time instead?

I hope things sort out - even if not in the way you had planned, and that you take care of yourself in all this.

fernvalley01 said...

Sorry you are having such a hard time

Andrea said...

Oh no!! That is horrible! I am so sorry. I know how upset I get when I plan to ride and have my horses all saddled and ready and then my husband won't show up to watch the kids. I am so sorry. I do hope your boss works with you no different days. What a complete bummer.

Breathe said...

Rats. Sorry to hear this! Hang in there...