Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oddities of Nature

This morning P.S. and I tried out a de-spooking exercise involving one of us opening and closing an umbrella while the other one lunged a horse in half-circles between her and the umbrella.  With each half-circle we moved the horse a few steps closer to the umbrella as it was opening and closing, spinning, and waving around.  As soon as the horse showed concern, we stepped back to offer a release until it felt comfortable, and then we resumed moving closer.

I quit lunging Gabbrielle when she was licking and chewing.  You've got to end on a good note.  P.S. lunged Bombay while I controlled the umbrella, and these unpredictable bursts of wind kept coming up and nearly ripping the umbrella out of my hands.  Bombay sensed when I wasn't in total control of the umbrella and he responded by getting more wary and running faster with one ear on the umbrella and one on P.S.

Suddenly, the umbrella exploded in my hands, with pieces springing all over the place.  So, that kind of ended Bombay's lesson, but he was doing well, so it was okay timing for the equipment malfunction to happen.  Now I owe my husband a new umbrella.  I've destroyed a lot of my kids' toys over the years by using them for de-spooking exercises with the horses, but this is the first time I've got to apologize to my husband for breaking one of his beloved belongings.

The exercise gave us a chance to work on getting the horses to listen to us and trust us while something distracting is going on.  In addition to the umbrella, a neighbor was remodeling his deck at the back of the arena, so we had to compete with the ongoing drone and screech of power tools.  This morning he was out there at 6:15 AM making a racket and I said out loud, "If you don't finish that deck pretty soon, I'm coming over there to finish it myself!"

I just do not have the patience for do-it-yourselfers!  If they'd just hire a professional, the job would be done in a few days, but this guy has been working that project all year.  It's not fair to the neighbors.  I moved out of my old neighborhood in part because the construction and engine noises were endless.  This guy in the house behind me is a stock car driver in addition to a construction worker, so he's responsible for both the engine and construction noises in my new neighborhood.  He doesn't have a job outside the home, so he's always out there doing something that involves noise pollution.  Everyone else is pretty quiet.  Perhaps I can convince him to move to Nevada and rent my old house from me, because he'd fit in perfectly over there.

But I digress...  P.S. rode Bombay in the arena for a while.  I passed on riding because I was having a combination of a low blood pressure day and cramps in my calves from doing too much walking lately.  She brushed him down really well after riding, fed the horses, and locked them in their stalls.  I've been having to lock them up during meals to get better control of their diets.  The mares are too fat, and they wolf down their hay, then kick Bombay out and eat whatever is left of his meal.  Locking them up limits them to only eating what I give them.

So, I was inside while the horses were eating, and I heard a crash.  I looked out the window to see a really strong whirlwind moving through my neighbor's yard.  It had picked up dirt, rocks, leaves, branches, and whatnot, and was taking down whatever was in its path.  I thought, "Thank God that didn't go through my barn and hit my horses."

When the horses were done eating, I went outside to let them out of their stalls.  Bombay was huddled against the gate and I tried to get him to move so that I could open it, but he was paralyzed.  I stroked him, and came away with a dozen little thorns in the palm of my hand.  I looked closer, and sure enough, that poor horse had these stickers embedded in his skin all over one side of his body.  I had to go get a soft brush and brush them off him.  He seemed thankful, and then moved so that I could finish opening the gate.  Apparently, another dust devil had come through and hit just Bombay's stall.  Lostine and Gabbrielle were totally clean.  These dust storms are another argument for fly masks.  I'd hate to have that debris take out a horse's eye.

I think I will skip taking my blood pressure medication tomorrow so that I can actually have the energy to ride one of my horses myself.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

Yikes! Those dust devils are kind of scary. Poor Bombay!!

I have to admit I laughed out loud when you said you had to apologize to your husband for breaking his umbrella hehe. I hope he wasn't too upset. :)

My mom was having problems with her blood pressure medicine too. No fun at all! I hope you get it sorted out.