Monday, December 15, 2014

Lostine Got Her Just Dessert

I've been locking the gate to Bombay's stall to keep the mares out of it because they have been using it as their personal porcelain throne.  Poor Bombay has to stand in a puddle of mare urine while he eats.  Despite locking the gate, Lostine figured out how to unlock and open it, and she let herself in.  I threw a rock at the aluminum roof to chase her out before she could pee, and locked it again, only this time I wrapped a rubber tarp tie around the posts.  Not long after I went into the house, she had the tarp tie undone, unlocked the gate, and was back in Bombay's stall.  I chased her out again, tied the gate down in a sturdier manner, went back in the house, turned around, and she was right back in his stall!

As soon as she saw me come out the back door, she took off running.  She looked healthy enough to ride, so I decided to give her what she deserved for her shenanigans -- a trail ride.  She started her usual avoidance behaviors, but I let her know I wasn't putting up with any of it.  She could collapse on the ground all she wanted, but I was still going to get that saddle on her and ride.

First, I took her to the round pen to lunge her and tighten the cinch a bit at a time.  She kept stopping and alerting on something in the arroyo, and I kept pushing her to stay focused.  She saw something that sent her into a tizzy and she was galloping all over the place.  I couldn't get her to slow down or stop, and she was jiggling the horn bag loose.  Another few rounds and the thing was going to fly off the saddle into the dirt.  Also, the cinch needed to be tightened some more or the saddle was going to slip down her side.  I had to get her stopped.  The best I could do was to block her path and say, "Easy" each time she ran toward me.

Eventually, she slowed to a walk and came to me.  I attached the lead rope, tightened her cinch and fixed the horn bag.  Then I did some ground work with her on the lead rope so that she couldn't get so crazy out of control.  She jumped and snorted, and I looked up to see a man in a dress shirt, dress slacks, and dress shoes coming up out of the arroyo in my back yard.  My mouth must have dropped open as I stared in disbelief.  It's all muddy down there.  What was a man in business apparel doing in the wash behind my house?

I kept Lostine moving because I wanted her to stay focused on me, but I kept an eye on the man.  He didn't look at me once.  He started to walk toward me and then turned and moved over into my neighbor's back yard.  He walked right up the trail as if he lived there.  I've never seen the snowbirds who vacation in that house up close, so I thought perhaps it was the man who owned the house.  But then it hit me that he was carrying plants that he had dug up, which would qualify him as being "The Mad Pruner", who does not live in that house, but who traipses all over his neighbor's back yards with the excuse that he is taking care of their properties by pruning bushes and trees (without their permission).

He has this ridiculous belief that because other people's back yards are a part of his view from his house, he has the right to make them prettier.  He asked my husband if he could prune and nurse a tree in our yard so that it would grow bigger and block his view of another neighbor's junk vehicles.  Of course, he asked after he had already been doing it.  I hate it when people pile junk vehicles on their property and ruin the view, but I also hate it when people trespass on my property, spook my horses when I'm riding by popping up out of bushes in my back yard, and invade on my privacy.  The man walked right past the house, so I think it was the Pruner.  I was hesitant to chew him out for trespassing if he was the guy who actually lives in the house, but it wasn't until it was too late that I realized the guy was trespassing on both my property and the snowbird's property.  I think when the snowbird does show up, I'll ask him if he has given permission to this other neighbor to do what he pleases in his back yard.

Having a man in nice dress clothes pop up out of the bushes and walk past me kind of freaked me out, so I headed out for a trail ride, figuring I'd be less likely to run into strange people on the public trails.  I mean, why use 22 miles of public desert that is right across the street from your house when you can just trespass all over your neighbors' back yards, right?

Lostine was a bit of stinker during the mount.  She kept trying to move off, so I just stood on the step stool and lunged her in circles around me.  When she tried to stop, I'd tap her rump to keep her going.  After a dozen rotations, she got irritated and decided that it was easier to just stand still in the location I asked her to and let me mount.

On the way out, the mood was spooky.  The sky was dark and cloudy.  There wasn't a soul in sight.  The air was cold.  I could hear my own breath.  I was actually shivering in my protective vest and helmet.  I had set my GoPro camera to take videos.  I saw a fire truck coming out of the station with its lights on, so I turned on the video to record, but the fire truck wasn't in frame.  All you could hear was them turning on the siren, and you could see Lostine's ears flip forward and her head fly up, but she was good.  She didn't spook.  Then we were surrounded by a chorus of dogs howling.

The video I am going to share is one in which I rode her past the fallen saguaro with many limbs.  It looks strange from so many angles, so all the horses get startled when they first see it.  I had not taken Lostine past it by hand or when riding before, and for the first time in years, she spooked.  It was one of those jump up, teleport sideways, and come down hard with all four feet planted several inches in the ground kind of spooks.  I got quite a jolt from it.

Just as we were getting to the gate to cross the street for home, the mail carrier arrived four hours late because of the holiday load.  I made Lostine stand and wait for him to pass us in both directions.  The mail carrier was dressed in a Santa Claus suit, and he waved really big out the window at us both times he passed us.  Lostine popped her head up but didn't spook or panic.  I had the video recording, but the lens was pointed down, so the mail carrier wasn't in frame.  Then I rode her to the mailbox and had her help me get the mail.  Then I delivered the junk mail to the geldings so that they could rip it up, but they weren't in the mood today.  I had to pick it up and put it in the recycling bin.

I'm a bit peeved with USPS right now.  I was expecting a package that contained three Christmas gifts for family members ten days ago.  Amazon reported that there was a mail carrier delay.  I gave them some time to correct the problem, but I received no further communication, so I called the post office.  They only had records showing that they received it, but they couldn't find it anywhere in their building and it never got on the truck to be delivered to my house.  They told me to call Amazon.  I asked what if Amazon can't help me, and the postmaster told me that "Amazon usually just replaces items that were in missing packages."

It was clear that USPS was responsible for the lost or stolen package, but they wouldn't take responsibility for it.  Amazon said that they couldn't replace two of the items because they were ordered through a third party seller.  They were unclear in explaining what I could and could not be refunded for, so I just asked for a full refund for everything.  Because I got a different customer service rep for each communication, and because they were all in India, I had to suffer through one mishap after another.  First, they refunded me for the entire order.  I had to write back and explain that the order was separated into three shipments.  I received two, but not the third package, so they only needed to refund me for the items in that package.  Because the credit card company was already processing their first refund, they had to get my permission to charge my credit card for the items I did receive.  Hopefully, that's the end of it.  My family members aren't going to get some of their Christmas gifts, but I'm sure they will survive.  I just find it ironic that Amazon had to cover the cost of the problem, though they didn't do anything wrong, and the USPS got off scot-free.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

Ugh don't get me started on USPS!!! I'm glad you got your money back, but I agree it's not right that Amazon had to cover the cost. Oh well, they make enough money it shouldn't hurt them.

I'm sorry but I had to giggle when Lostine spooked. Silly girl!!!! I guess this is a spooky month or something. :)