Saturday, September 20, 2014

Raising Cain

You may remember me blogging about helicopters flying low, hovering near my house and making a disruptive racket last spring.  I was worried they were surveying the land in front of my house to build a subdivision, but it turned out that they were examining the condition of the electric poles and lines.  Then red X's started showing up next to poles out in the desert.

I had hoped that they would do whatever repairs were needed over the summer when it was too hot to be riding horses, but the desert was quiet all summer and the red X's just sat there.  Now that the temps are dropping back down into double digits, all kinds up parts and equipment have been showing up along the electrical lines in the desert in front of my house.  Each time I walk out there I find more truck tire tracks and more supplies laid out.

The last time I checked, there were huge round wooden spools for the cables propped up against poles.  I decided to take Gabbrielle out there to see how she would react.  The horse trainer and P.S. had been working with her all summer on desensitizing her to scary things along the trails.  This time the spool was still there, but so was a pile of poles and a pile of crossbeams.  The poles were lying along one side of the trail while the spool and other pile of wood were on the other side.

Gabbrielle's head shot up and the huffing and puffing began.  I just kept walking to try to prevent her from balking.  She was tip-toeing along behind me with her neck and tail arched, eyeballing everything on one side of the trail and then the other.  Then she whipped around to alert on something behind us.  I stopped to see what she sensed, and my husband suddenly appeared out of the bushes.  He decided to come on the walk with us.  She was more concerned about him at that point, and totally forgot about all the strange items surrounding her.  Hikers make for good diversionary tactics when horses are scared of inanimate objects.  Now we've just got to get her past her fear of hikers.

Gabbrielle's M.O. is that she is always the first horse to alert on something.  She pumps herself up tall and snorts, but as long as no other horse or person reacts, she decides everything is okay and then can relax.  Unfortunately, that means she needs a really calm, fearless rider, and I think most of us really can't control our nerves once a horse we are riding starts acting sketchy.  If she decides there is something to worry about, she usually runs backwards and occasionally spins and runs forward.

Every trail I led her on had piles of garbage surrounding it.  The litter bugs must have been busy dumping this summer.  The trails look like hell.  I got an idea that maybe I could desensitize her to those big black garbage bags, and then take her with me on treks out into the desert to clean up those dump piles.  It'll be her job to pack everything out.  Then she'll get used to it all and stop being so snorty about it.

It's looking like I'll have to start walking out into the desert to check to make sure there aren't cranes out there raising electric poles before I attempt to ride a horse out.  So nice of the electric company to wait until the beginning of horseback riding season to start their work.

In other news, I guess the universe didn't think I had enough problems, because our well pump broke for the umpteenth time -- always during the summer and always on weekends and holidays when it is impossible to get someone out to help.  This time I'm taking no prisoners.  If the repairman isn't here by tomorrow, I'm moving into a hotel because I'm am beyond sick of having to smell myself when I can't shower for several days straight.  Unfortunately, the horses have been drinking like fish, so I'll have to figure out some way to haul water in for them if we can't get results right away.  Or I might just go to the hardware store, buy a bunch of hoses, string them together and borrow from the empty house next door.  When I see the home owners again, I'll offer to help with the electric bill and explain that I was desperate.


How Sam Sees It said...

When it gets cooler I'll bring Mags over and we can get some of your spookier horses out to see some of this stuff. I know in the past the pole replacement has gone fairly quickly.

I'm heading into day two of my Mom's collapsed holding tank. Wells are wonderful but repairs are horrible!

Cheryl Ann said...

Oh, gosh! I came home one afternoon this week and at 4:45, turned off a leaky faucet out front, which then broke off in my hand! Water was gushing out into the front yard. I immediately called hubby and told him to, "GIT HOME!". He turned off our main water valve and a plumber came by 5:15 (OVERTIME, OF COURSE!) and it was fixed by 6:30....we got charged time and a half, but it was re-welded and soldered and fixed, temporarily. It will cost $900 to properly fix it...sigh...
~Cheryl Ann~

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Must be the heat causing all this chaos. Things just don't last as long in the desert. I also picked up a virus when in the doctor's office getting my physical, so now I'm sick with half a dozen appointments to deal with. This is why I think it is back-assward to be forced to go into doctors' offices when you are healthy.