Thursday, September 6, 2012

On a Cooler Evening

Happily, Gabbrielle is moving fine now.  She probably just bruised her legs while trying to get away from the dump truck.  Once a wind picked up and the sun set, the horses had a rumpus party on the pile o' gold gunk.  They were digging at the sides of the sand pile, so I climbed to the top of it and stood up.  Bombay's head was lower than my feet.  I kept urging him to climb up there with me but couldn't convince him with no treats in my hands.  That stuff was so soft that I started thinking that if I spread it thick enough, I could fall off the horses to my heart's content and probably never get hurt from hitting the ground, at least.

Before the dump truck had arrived, I relocated my horse trailer from in front of the gate just below our porch to beside the hay barn, which is right where horseback riders pass through.  Though I doubted anyone would dismount their horse to rifle through my trailer, I padlocked the back where I keep the saddles.  I was hesitant to lock the tack room since I have to get in there all the time for supplies.  If I forget the keys, I have to hike all the way back to the house, which is no fun in the heat.  I figure the less energy I spend hunting down objects, the more energy I have for the horses.

However, my gut was telling me to lock it, so I did.  Right when it was getting dark out, I took the dogs outside to do their business and noticed the horses pointing at the bluff.  A teenage boy and a woman who was probably his mother hiked right past our PRIVATE PROPERTY sign into our backyard.  I was standing there with my mouth hanging open over the nerve they had.  And what kind of example was that mother setting for her son?

The woman looked at me and quickly changed course to enter my neighbors' yard.  I knew that my neighbors like to chase off anyone who does that, so I contemplated calling them to let them know someone was back there.  I watched the horses, because they were pointing at what direction the trespassers were moving in, and could tell that as soon at they reached the part of the arroyo that was out of my line of sight, they were moving back onto my property.

I sat down on the porch with the dogs waiting for them to come up so that I could talk to them, find out where they were from, what their intentions were for coming onto my property, etc.  I didn't want to hike down into that arroyo myself because of the rattlesnakes.  I couldn't believe these people were even risking it.

The horses froze and pointed at a clump of shrubs, and I realized that the woman and boy were in the bushes watching me, waiting for me to leave so that they could come closer to the house or the horses.  When I didn't leave, they gave up and hiked back up the bluff.  The teenage boy turned around, pointed at the sign and called out to the woman, "It says 'NO HIKERS'."

She yelled back, "I know!"

I noticed that she was carrying a heavy bucket, so she had taken something out of the arroyo.  I couldn't imagine that she was taking rocks, because rocks are aplenty on everyone's lot around here.  I'm still wondering what she took.  My husband's theory is that she took something that crystallized, because he saw lightning strike the arroyo a couple of times the night before.  It's odd that we have all these tall metal poles and roofs, yet the lightning struck the lowest part of our property.  I considered that maybe she was a horseback rider who returned to clean up her horse's manure, but she didn't have a fork with her.

At any rate, I was glad that I locked my horse trailer now that I know there are people around here who have no respect for property lines.  It bothered me that they came out just before nightfall, because sometimes we don't close our blinds right away, and anyone in our back lot could see right into our house through our windows.  We just assumed no one would be back there, because it's private property, but I guess some people feel like they can go where they please, even if it invades the privacy of others.

The more I get to know people, the more I realize that our perceptions most often come from the thought of what serves us, rather than how others might be affected by our actions.  If someone feels they have good reason to trespass, they do it without a thought to why the land owner might not want them to trespass or how the land owner might interpret the intentions behind their trespassing.

If I'm using a tool like a shovel on a daily basis, I want to be able to leave it out in my yard without having to worry that some stranger is going to come walking along and carry it off, or even step on it and have the handle fly up into his face and knock him silly.  As the temperatures cool down, more and more people are coming out of the woodwork to get their outdoor time, so I suspect we will have to keep a closer eye on things.  I figure I'll treat the hikers like the horseback riders -- stop them when I can and ask questions, so they can connect a human being with the land, and so that I can get a sense of who has good intentions and who doesn't.  People are more likely to behave themselves if they know another person on some level.  Then if someone crosses the line and does steal something or wear out their welcome like my old neighbors did by hanging out on my land whenever they pleased like they owned it, I'll probably have to close off the property to everyone, and apologize to those who have been polite.  It's that old teacher's quandary of do you punish the whole class if you can't identify the offender?  If the offense is bad enough, sometimes taking everyone's privilege away is the best option.

Basically, I just want to know who these people are and what their intentions are.  The horseback riders are easy, because I know they just want to get to the bridle trails on public land and back home without having to ride in traffic.  Some hikers may have the same excuse, but they can easily get in their cars or on their bicycles and drive or ride to the public land without going through private yards.  They don't have the burden of having to load and unload a horse in a trailer.  I just know that when people hide in the bushes of my back yard and watch me on my porch, my hackles go up.  Somethin' ain't right in their heads.

Now that my horse trailer is parked in a place where the public passes through, I have to keep the keys to the tack room close at hand so that I remember to take them with me each time I go to the barn.  I've learned that any time I tell myself that I've just got to do one thing "really fast" down at the barn, it turns into a huge production, so now I always go to the barn assuming some problem is awaiting my arrival, and I go prepared with my hair pulled back in a ponytail and the keys to my horse trailer in my pocket.

Yesterday I went out just to put the fly masks on the horses "really fast" and found blood smears all over Bombay's leg.  After inspecting the leg, I realized the blood was transfer, probably from his face.  I went to the other side of his head and found a big gash with blood trickling out.  I ran for the first-aid kit in the horse trailer, only to find it locked.  That's when I knew I had to work out a new routine and always carry the keys with me regardless of my intentions.

I'm trying to relinquish control and just let circumstances guide my days since making plans never gets me anywhere.  Dogs, horses, and people tend to keep me hopping by the problems they present.  I'm tired of not getting anything I planned done, so instead I'm just making the rounds checking on each animal to see what they need, checking on the property to scope out the latest issues, and I deal with as much of what comes to me as I can.  If I get five minutes to do something I meant to do, great!  I just worry about appointments. It's really hard for me to set a date, time and place for something and actually follow through, because crazy things just keep on happening.  I've got my first hair appointment at a salon since last winter tomorrow.  I just hope the ground doesn't open up and swallow me whole or someone doesn't flush me down a toilet before then.  I really would like to get rid of some of these gray hairs.  LOL.


Cut-N-Jump said...

When the woman said "I know" I would have hollered out to her- "GOOD! Keep that in mind. It's for a reason you know. Because of people like YOU!" But that's just me and I do things like that. A lot more lately. I have no problem calling people out.

She didn't take one of your buckets did she? Like the guy taking a wheelbarrow home every day, covered with a tarp as he passed security. Security looked under the tarp expecting to find stolen goods, but found an empty wheelbarrow. They didn't realize the 'stolen goods' was the wheelbarrows...

fernvalley01 said...

Great analogy CNJ, and yes If she knew it was a no trespassing property , then ???
Nuzz go get your hair done, you deserve a treat, and really Sh*t will happen when it happens and no amount of hyper vigilance on our part ever helps! I made all kinds of arrangements last spring so I could attend a conference during calving , and it snowed to boot! All was well while I was gone , the snow melted the calves were fine, the day I arrived home all hell broke loose!

aurora said...

What can you say, other then it takes all kinds. I noticed you ended another post with LOL. You are too funny, lol!

Anonymous said...

I know it is a pain, but can you find a hiding place for your keys at the barn so you don't have to hike all the way back to the house when you fail to take them?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I think if it were me, I'd be making an extra key and getting a magnetic hide a key box and hiding it down there either on the horse trailer itself or in or around the hay barn or horse barn.
I realized what a good idea this would be when I locked myself out of my house the other day. I never use a key to get in my house because I just pull right into the garage with the opener, and I realized I had given my key to my sons a while ago so they could get in when no one was supposed to be home.
Thankfully, I had remembered to leave a window open before I left with my friend, so I borrowed my neighbor's ladder to climb up to the second floor and into my house. lol!
I'm going to get an extra key made this week and hide it outside :)


Christine said...

How frustrating! Some people have such incredible audacity - especially when it comes to someone else's property!

achieve1dream said...

I'm doing the same thing you are about planning things. I realized last year that whenever I plan something it never works out, but if I just let things go and deal with it as it comes everything is cool lol. I can be a minor control freak so it's been a difficult lesson to learn, but it's better in the long run because I am more relaxed and don't worry as much. :)