Thursday, April 9, 2015

Today's Horsey Adventures

I tired of guarding for trespassers pretty quick, and wanted to get some exercise.  I debated between taking a bicycle ride or a hike.  I wanted to go far, and my knees usually start aching as soon as I have to pedal uphill on a bicycle, so I opted for the hike.  As an afterthought, I brought Bombay with me to keep me company.

As we were walking up the driveway, the snowbird neighbors fired up the engine on the old truck they keep parked in front of their place year round.  The truck breaks down when it is not used, so every spring when they vacation here, they have to get it running again.  The engine revving goes on for weeks.  I don't understand what they are doing, because the engine is obviously running, but they never actually drive the truck.  I guess they just sit in it and press the accelerator repeatedly to flush buildup out of the lines and engine.  Regardless, it was bad timing.  Bombay halted and went on alert, then tried to run back to the barn.

Nope.  Not going to happen.  I forced him to walk past their noisy truck and out into the street where we ran into some strangers parked in the middle of the street in front of the house that is for sale.  People were just sitting in the car with their doors open.  I considered going over there and warning them that they are stopped on a blind hill, and if my neighbor comes roaring up from his house in his diesel truck, they will be flattened like a pancake, because he won't be expecting a little car to be just sitting there in his path.  But they looked like they were about to move on, so I minded my own business.

I led Bombay along a trail that the power company had been working on.  They set out equipment and little pink flags that wave in the wind and mark where they plan to dig and install new power poles.  Bombay acted like none of it was there.  He just plodded along beside me like he was napping in between steps.  He got me giggling because he kept trying to rest his nose on my shoulder.

On the way back, I saw movement off in the distance ahead of us.  It looked like a man galloping a horse toward us.  I sighed, knowing I'd have my work cut out for me.  We were so far from home, and I knew I would have to keep control of a jigging horse on a lead rope for at least a mile once Bombay spotted that galloping horse.  Then I remembered, April is about the time when the shirtless man on the galloping horse with the dog off leash takes over the desert in the middle of the day.  He's my nemesis, and Bombay is the worst horse to have to handle when I run into him.

I just kept walking like nothing was going on, because I knew that if I tried to cut across to a different trail to avoid a head on with this guy, then Bombay would start looking around to see what was up.  He came galloping through the bushes right at us, Bombay threw his head up, froze, and started shaking.  The rider was looking like he was veering off the trail to gallop around us, but I think when he saw Bombay's state of mind, he slowed his horse to a walk.

He said, "Aren't you supposed to be on top of your horse?"

That question is getting to be as predictable and obnoxious as when people walk up to Gary Coleman or Todd Bridges and say, "What'cha talkin' bout, Willis?"

I said, "No, I'm out for a hike.  This is my friend.  He's helping me hike."

I meant to say he was keeping me company on my hike.  What I wanted to say was that had I been on top of my horse, I would not have been any more the way the man came up on us so fast and scared him.

All of the sudden that equipment and those little pink flags we walked past earlier became terrifying to Bombay, all because the galloping horse set off his nerves.  He kept balking and pulling back, but I have to give him credit, because he didn't jig, and he did settle down faster than usual.

On the way back across the street, those people were still sitting in their car in the street.  I don't know why home shoppers don't just get an agent to let them into the house and give them a tour if they are that interested.  What are they going to learn about the place sitting in front of it for an hour?  If they were watching the neighborhood, they needed to be more stealthy.  I thought maybe they were waiting for an agent, but as soon as I finished leading Bombay across the street, they drove off.

At dinner time, I spent an hour cleaning up manure and filling water troughs.  The ravens keep dropping dead animal parts into both the dog bowl and the outdoor water trough for the horses.  I'm tired of constantly having to clean that outdoor water trough to get rid of botulism, so I moved it into Gabbrielle's stall.  That meant she would have two water troughs.

However, Gabbrielle was not happy about that extra water trough and she refused to go into her stall.  She commandeered Bombay's stall instead.  I kicked her out of his stall and she started to walk into hers.  Bombay walked into his and I began closing his gate.  What happened next happened so fast that it was like an explosion.  I wasn't totally aware of what was going on.  I just knew that something bad was happening and my instinct screamed at me to drop the gate and jump out of the way.

In retrospect, what happened was that Gabbrielle stepped on the hose when walking into her stall.  That caused the hose to hiss, which frightened her and she jumped back.  Upon releasing the flow, water hit the end of the spray nozzle so hard that the entire hose flipped up out of the water trough and sprayed Gabbrielle directly in the face, which she hates.  She spun around, hitting her gate and sending it flying into the wall panel.  There was this metal on metal explosion and Bombay spun away from his food trough and would have plowed me down had I not jumped out of the way.  He hit his gate which caused a second metal explosion, and both horses took off at a gallop across the paddock.

Both Rock and Lostine just kept on eating like nothing was going on.  At least I've got two level headed horses.  Two out of four isn't bad.

I looked up to see two men standing on the roof of my neighbors' house staring at me to see if I was okay.  We made quite a ruckus.  Of course, the hose had to fall on this place where I had spent hours building up a wall of sand to prevent water from flooding the barn.  So, now I have to rebuild that wall of sand before the next rainstorm.  It's really amazing how quickly things can get out of control where horses are concerned.


Mrs Shoes said...

So glad you didn't get hurt, you're instincts saved you from what could've been a serious injury.
God knows, it's pretty darn tough for us to predict disaster in every little thing we do (hose hiss?), but the horses seem to have no problem reading anything at all as catastrophic.

achieve1dream said...

Yikes!! That was close!! I'm glad you're okay. I had to giggle that Lostine and Rock kept on eating hehe. :D

I can't believe your stupid neighbors are revving engines just like at your old house. How annoying. What we get here a lot is people turning the radio on in their vehicle and cranking up the base so I have to listen to that thumping that gives me a headache. I can even hear it inside and they do it in the middle of the night sometimes. People are just so inconsiderate!!