Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Different Kind of Bird

I've been taking a break from riding horses, though not intentionally.  I've continued to battle fatigue and losing the use of my left arm off and on.  I've mostly been sleeping.  I usually get really upset when some annoying health problem prevents me from riding, but this time I just decided to be thankful for the rest.  I really don't think I'm so incredibly busy that I need all this extra rest, but my body says otherwise.  Hopefully, I'll come out the other end full of energy and get to live my life some time soon.

The other day I was putting on Gabbrielle's fly mask when Bombay started playing with the handle to her stall gate.  She looked at him and knew what he was doing.  Despite that, she still jumped when he clanged the gate handle, and she came down on my foot.  At first I was like, "Why can't I move?"  Then I was like, "Ouch, that hurts!"  I looked down to see my foot pinned under Gabbrielle's hoof.  I told her to get off, but she was frozen in fear.  I tried physically pushing her off me, and couldn't budge her.  I screamed, "Get off!  Get off!" while smacking her on the neck and she stood there like a statue.

This was very odd, because she is the easiest horse to maneuver from the ground or in the saddle.  She responds to hand movements and verbal cues, and she usually responds quickly.  I wiggled my foot right out of my shoe, but still couldn't move, because she was standing on the cuff of my favorite snakeskin palazzo pants.  A word to the wise... don't wear wide-legged dress slacks down to the barn.

I wound up removing her face mask and smacking her repeatedly with it until she finally came to her senses and moved away from me.  Then I limped back to the house and put ice on my foot.  Nothing was broken, thankfully.  I think if I had a broken foot on top of this long string of health ailments, someone would have to put me into a straight jacket.

This morning I stumbled out of bed just after the sun rose and staggered down to the barn to feed the horses.  This was very early in the morning.  I could hear a plane engine coming toward me and shook my head in annoyance.  Our property is apparently a major flight path these days.  I keep seeing more and more changes going on around me that I don't like, and I suspect that within a few years I'll be scrambling to get the heck out of Dodge again.  I've got new housing going up all around me.  Homeless people are starting to hang out where I like to ride my horses.  The neighbor's house got robbed.  Property taxes are being raised by 48%, and now I am constantly being buzzed by planes, helicopters, powered parachutes, and drones with cameras on them.  This is not the lifestyle I wanted when I moved here.

So, this small plane pilot banked quickly and flew directly over my head.  I was annoyed with the noise pollution he was causing so early in the morning in a residential neighborhood, and I was annoyed that he was flying so low.  It was an invasion of privacy.  He continued to bank and circle toward me again... and again... and again.  So, I gave him the finger.

He flew further out away from me, only to turn around and came back, almost as if he wasn't sure if I was really giving him the middle finger.  So, I made it crystal clear the second time that yes, I was flipping him the bird because I did not appreciate him making all that noise, invading my privacy, spooking my horses, and risking the safety of everyone on the ground by flying so low.  I guess he couldn't believe his eyes, because he came back yet another time.

Now I was seriously pissed.  I remembered that I had a pair of binoculars in my tack room, so I pulled those out and began scanning his plane for identification marks, numbers and letters, so that I could report him to the FAA.  That did the trick.  He immediately banked away from me, rose in altitude and took off as far away from me as possible.  The weird thing was that I could not find any letters or numbers on his plane anywhere.  My husband said he was getting annoyed with the noise from inside the house and almost came out to see what the heck was going on.

I hoped that my neighbor wasn't looking out his window, because he would have seen me shaking my middle finger toward the sky and thought I was totally insane.  He probably would have thought I was angry with God.  Ha ha.

I had set up an appointment with the vet and the equine dentist a while back, but it's a month to two month wait.  I looked at my calendar and realized that the horses were going to be due for their worming and hoof trims within 48 hours of their dental work and vaccinations.  I prefer to spread things out and not inflict them with too many invasive procedures at once.  Plus, it's hard on my pocketbook to have to pay all those bills simultaneously.  So, I wormed them a couple of weeks early to get the poison out of their systems before they get vaccinated and have to heal bloody gums.  Depending on the condition of their hooves, I might have the farrier come early or late.  This happens to me every year despite my best efforts to avoid it.  I always say, "What are the chances that everything would be due at the same time?"  Yet somehow, it always is.

I bought some carrots because Rock has been bad about coming when I call and coming when I approach with the halter.  He spins away from me so fast that his tail slaps me in the face.  Thankfully, he doesn't try to kick me, because when he spins like that I can't scramble fast enough to get out of kicking range.  He does tuck his tail and butt down like he's expecting to get spanked, so I'm careful not to make any sudden moves that he might interpret as being a spanking, because he could take me out in a second with one kick.  Instead, I'm approaching him with treats so that he learns that me coming into the barn is a good thing and not something he needs to run from.  I'd much rather have his nose facing me than that powerful hind end.

I bought a slingshot to discourage the ravens from dropping dead animal parts into the horses' water troughs.  With my extreme fatigue, the last thing I need is to have to be dumping, scrubbing and refilling water troughs every few hours.  Now any time I see the ravens playing in the water, I just have to step out onto the porch, grab a rock from my stash, put it in the slingshot, pull back and as soon as that rock goes flying, the ravens take off flying too.  It also comes in handy when the horses are ripping fly masks off each other's faces.  All I have to do is hit the aluminum roof of the barn with a rock, and they take off running.  They know that sound means stop whatever you are doing.  They always look at me in amazement as if saying, "How can your arms be that long?"  I used to have to run all the way down to the barn to deal with behavior problems because the horses knew I couldn't do anything about it unless I was within arm's distance.  Now they know better.


Mrs Shoes said...

They're raising your property taxes 48% in one year? Holy crap - how is that kind of hike even legal? It could drive some people out of their homes! It just seems very wrong. Politicians - they're supposed to represent us, but where are they when we're being raped? Well, they're standing behind us doing the raping usually. :-(

Mrs Shoes said...

p.s. I LOVE the slingshot idea!

Stacey C said...

Sorry you're not feeling so great. Time to start carrying if you have homeless people encroaching on your riding areas!

achieve1dream said...

I love the slingshot idea!! Genius!

When I'm really tired for no reason I always listen to my body and get as much rest as possible. I hope you're feeling better now.