Monday, April 14, 2014

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

Equine Festival Wrap-Up
Okay, I think I am almost fully satiated with showing pictures and reporting on the equine festival.  Just one more picture...

This handler's hips don't even reach this horse's belly, and the top of her head barely reaches its back!  Even if she's a short lady, that Arabian horse is amazingly tall for the breed.

I was watching how well behaved all those Quarter Horses were once they accepted their schooling, and I was thinking about how every trainer I took my horses to had to wait at least a week for my Arabians to settle down and settle in at their stable before they would even work with them on a lunge line.  Yet here I was at this show where trainers were putting Quarter Horses under saddle within a matter of hours.

Then I saw this lady trying to lead this super tall, gorgeous Arab around the fairgrounds, and it reminded me of all the times I've taken my Arabian horses to rodeos and horse shows for the exposure.  They basically ran back and forth on the lead line or ran circles around me, huffing and puffing in both excitement and terror.  This lady had to keep putting her hand up to push the horse out of her space, and it was jigging along acting like it didn't even know she was there.  I thought, "Now, that I can relate to."

But, thankfully, my Arabs have calmed down quite a bit since we moved away from the creepers, and I think that Rock's solid, relaxed, confident nature has had a positive effect on them as well.  All the horses spend more time sleeping on their sides sprawled out without a care in the world, because they see Rock do it and realize that nothing tries to eat him while he sleeps.

I also think that being associated only with people in the horse show world didn't serve me well, because the majority of what I learned was equitation skills and horse show rules, which didn't do much to keep me safe when my horses were unruly.  Now I am learning more about the nature of horses and how to train them from cowboys and cowgirls who have a lifetime of experience working ranch horses.  I feel like the knowledge I am gaining goes back further in history and has a less specified purpose, and is therefore more useful to me.  There are many different cultures within the horse world, and I feel fortunate to have been able to access more than one.

Helpless Hossie
I don't know if I pick them silly or if I make them silly, but I've got some seriously silly horses.  This weekend I heard some banging around outside, which usually just means that some horse is kicking a water tough, but Stewie made me turn and look, because he was squealing like something was wrong.  Stewie, our Chihuahua mix, likes to sit on a pillow at the top of the bed and watch the horses through the window.  He was letting me know there was a problem.  Rock was standing with one front leg in a water trough, and despite getting it in there, he couldn't seem to get it out.

I went outside and tipped the trough, but couldn't tip it all the way over because of the angle of his leg.  Keeping the trough tipped on an angle with one hand, I tried guiding his leg out with the other hand, but didn't have any luck.  I was trying to lift it out from different angles and nothing was working.  Then I looked at Rock's expression and realized that he was laughing at me.  I flapped my arms and said, "Git outta dere!" and he promptly reared up a little and pulled his leg out himself.

Got Air?
One of the things I don't care for about my new neighborhood is that it is legal to build bonfires, and I've got some neighbors who have been doing that every Friday and Saturday night recently.  We like to open up the windows in the evenings to let in the cool breeze, and before we know it, we are choking on smoke and have to close up the house.  The smoke burns my eyes, nose, and throat, and pinches my lungs, making it hard to breathe.  The next day I have an endless headache.  The smoke makes me rub my eyes, and now I've got an eye infection.  I feel like we can't even have our air conditioner running because it blows in the smoke.  It's an awful feeling knowing that I can't even control the air that I breathe because of inconsiderate neighbors.

Because our property is lower than others in the neighborhood, the smoke gets packed in and we really suffer.  I took the dogs outside to do their business and was shocked to see this bonfire roaring so high that it was as tall as the roof of the house that it was next to.  I ran in and got my binoculars to make sure it wasn't out of control, and saw a bunch of people sitting around it in chairs drinking beers, completely unconcerned about the 20-foot flames in front of them.

Fright After Fright After Fright or My Heart Can't Take It Anymore
I'm glad I had the equine festival posts pre-written and queued up for my blog last week, because it was probably the toughest time I've had yet with the dogs.  We forgot to lock the kitchen trash can on a couple of occasions before leaving the dogs alone in the house, and Scrappy knocked it over.  He and Midge got into it and ate spoiled food and chicken bones.  I thought Scrappy was going to explode because his belly was so severely distended with gas.  Both dogs had projectile vomiting, projectile diarrhea, and uncontrollable bladders for the next few days.  The incident didn't do anything to help Midge's recovery from her Pancreatitis.  We couldn't feed her or give her any insulin for a couple of days.  Being diabetic, she's not supposed to eat anything other than her prescription dog food, so getting into the trash was life-threatening to her.

Fortunately, Stewie was locked in the kennel when we left the house, but I had to stay on top of cleaning up the accidents before he made himself sick by eating them, which was easier said than done, because Midge managed to vomit eight times in one ten minute period.  It was a nightmare.  I'm pretty sure I am never going to forget to lock that trash can again.  I hope no one else forgets either, because I'm going to need some serious sedatives to survive another episode like that.

First I thought Scrappy was going to die, then I thought Midge was going to die, and then I nearly killed Stewie in a freak accident.  I'm always careful not to lower the stool of my recliner without first checking to make sure a dog isn't under there.  But one night Stewie managed to crawl underneath my recliner from behind.  I thought he was in the bedroom, and when I pulled the lever to raise the stool and lean back, I heard Stewie screaming.  I pushed the stool back down and sat forward, and he raced out from underneath my recliner.  He's okay, but I came pretty close to having a heart attack when that happened.

I'm praying for a dull, predictable week ahead without anymore traumatic events.  Bombay got his bath and was doused in fly spray, so he better not add any more wounds to his current collection.  I just want everyone to be safe and healthy for a while.  That's not too much to ask for, is it?


lytha said...

it's only legal to build fires if you get a permit here, and there is a tradition of "easter fires" coming up soon, where each neighborhood has a bonfire and invites people over. this is our first time getting invited, i'm really excited. sadly, smores do not exist here, that's something i'll have to miss.

now that we have this property, i really want to build a campfire in the backyard someday, but my husband cannot fathom using our firewood for frivolity.

achieve1dream said...

Wow what inconsiderate neighbors. I have built bonfires on occasion but not every weekend!!! The smoke makes me sick too so I can relate.

That's absolutely terrifying about the dogs. I'm glad they are okay. When Jackal was a puppy I got in the habit of not putting food in the trash can but I also had chickens to feed the scraps to so it was convenient. I hope no one forgets to lock the trash can ever again!

The story about Rock was funny!! Glad there was one bright spot in your crappy week.

That Arabian is huge!!!!!!!!! Chrome can sometimes get that way but for the most part his chill Friesian personality overrides his reactive Arabian side lol.