Friday, May 8, 2015

Today's Snippet

It turns out that this gardening service my neighbor hired consists of two men with hedge trimmers and leaf blowers.  They spent the first two days simply working on my neighbor's tiny front yard, which is basically a driveway with plants on each side of it.  I suspect the rest of the five acres will take another couple of weeks at the rate they are going.  I'm hoping they have only been instructed to clean up the front yard, and this will be the last I'll see of them for a while.

I wanted to take Bombay with me on my morning exercise and couldn't even get him off my property.  The gardeners had parked their truck and trailer next to the gate we needed to go through to get to the bridle trails.  They had tarps blowing in the wind, trash cans, and all kinds of equipment set out next to the gate.  Plus, the two men were walking around briskly, dodging in and out of bushes with turbo-powered leaf blowers that compare to the decibel level of a motor speedway.

Bombay couldn't decide which was scarier -- the men with their leaf blowers or all the junk by the gate.  I would have thought he was an 18-hand high horse the way he had himself all puffed up.  I was shaking the lead rope and throwing it at him to try to keep his attention on me because I didn't want him trampling me in his panic.  He kept ignoring me and the rope and I was afraid that he was going to step on my feet and put me out of commission for several weeks with broken toes, so I took him back to the barn and went mountain biking instead of hiking.

The first little stretch of trail is narrow, rocky, and has a lot of ups and downs.  If I don't keep pedaling hard, I won't make it up the hill at the very end and will have to get off and walk my bike.  So, I pedaled hard, hit the top of the hill, and came busting through the bushes on my bike.  Much to my shock, I heard hoof beats practically on top of me and looked up to see this young gal with flowing blond hair, no helmet, riding a big horse at a slow, relaxed lope, one hand on the reins, the other hand punching buttons on her mobile phone.  Her horse loped right in front of me and past me without even glancing at me or flinching.

It was the most beautiful sight I've ever seen, because it gave me hope -- not necessarily hope for my horses, but hope that there are horses that exist that can be totally trusted to drive themselves while you text, even with a bicyclist busting through the bushes in front of them and men with loud leaf blowers in the periphery.  It was such a stark contrast from what I went through with Bombay just few moments before.

Obviously, I'm feeling discouraged because my horses are behaving worse as they get out of practice with one thing after another happening to make it difficult for me to ride both on and off my property.  I'm wondering if it's time I hire someone to re-train them and get them back into the swing of things, someone who can stick to the saddle despite all their spooks, spins, bolts, bucks and moments of running backwards.  But then again, I don't ride much in the summer anyway, so I tell myself to do that in the fall.

I just feel sad because with El Nino coming through our part of the country, we've had a really cool, pleasant spring and I haven't been able to spend it riding my horses.  Usually, we are in the triple-digits in May, but this year our temperatures are ranging in the 70's, 80's and 90's in April and May.  Today our high is 72 degrees F.  That's California weather.  Getting the horses out onto the bridle trails has been such a struggle with all the construction and gardening activities that I just give up and choose to hike by myself or bicycle instead of dealing with the horses' fears.  I do take them out and desensitize them a lot, but it really doesn't seem to do any good.

After mountain biking for a couple of miles I went hiking for a couple of hours and took my camera with me.  The weather is so amazing that I can't stand not to be outside.  The saguaros are blooming.

I just had my point and shoot, but could have used a filter and should have used the cloudy setting because the white of the blossoms got washed out by the white of the clouds.

This is what a dead saguaro that is still standing looks like.

Notice the two different blues in the sky in these two photos.  My camera did that on its own.

The yellow flowers are not from a saguaro, but pretty none the less.  I call this the beaver tail cactus.  Some people call it a paddle cactus.

I don't know what is going on with my feet, but it's like someone transplanted someone else's feet onto my legs because they don't fit into any of my shoes or boots anymore.  I'm almost a whole size larger and I've been having to tape down my toes so that the knuckles won't dig holes in the top of the shoe insulation.  I bought those brand new Ariat paddock boots at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show in February and after just a couple of wearings, my toe knuckles dug holes in them, which is why I can't wear my old Ariat paddock boots.

The problem with taping down my toes is that they flatten out and get longer, and then the tips of them get scrunched and hurt.  My mother taught me to always buy shoes that have plenty of room in the toes, so for my toes to suddenly be crammed at the very tips of my shoes, my feet must have lost their arch or gone through a middle-aged growth spurt.  It's all quite bizarre.  I may have to give the majority of the shoes to charity and start over buying a size larger in wide.  I've even considered buying orthopedic shoes, because literally nothing is comfortable for me anymore.  For a while there I could buy the memory foam soles and be comfortable, but now the majority of my problems are with the toe, tops, and sides of shoes.  Anyway, in the meantime, things like hiking don't come easy for me.

Ugh!  While I was writing this, the house and barn got hit with a dust devil.  The three Arabs were standing in one stall together, and they tried to run out the gate at the same time.  I heard a crash and knew that someone took out their hip on the metal post.  I thought it was Lostine, but it turned out to be Bombay.  He was dragging his leg behind him and had a big black spot on his hip.  I ran outside to check him out, and by then he was walking on it, but a huge section of hair got ripped off of him and he has swelling and a bruise.  Good thing the horses are due for a vet visit anyway.


TeresaA said...

I hope that Bombay is okay and that you get your feet figured out.

I tried to order that dvd but they don't ship to Canada!

ellie k said...

I have a lot of foot problems and lots of pain, my dr. told me to get new balance style 812 walking shoe. I have not had a bit of problem since i started wearing them. if I try to wear something I have already my feet start to hurt. I just ordered a new pair from Online Shoes, they have the best prices and free 325 days return.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

TeresaA - Bombay is walking normal this morning. I think the shock of the initial pain was what got him dragging the leg and limping. I'm sorry they don't ship to Canada. They'll probably figure out that they are missing out on a whole audience up there, and plan accordingly next time.

ellie k - Thanks for that info!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

ellie k - Oh my gosh! You don't even know what you just did for me. When my mother passed away, we were the same shoe size and she had a bunch of new shoes in her closet, so I kept them. There was this one pair that was what I called "nurse's shoes" that were so comfortable, but the information on the brand and size had been worn off by the time they fell apart. I've been looking for them everywhere, but can't find anything comparable. Anyway, I went to Shoes Online and searched for "New Balance 812 Walking" and there they were! The exact shoe I've been searching for this past year. Thanks!

Cheryl Ann said...

California weather? We were in the 70's, too, but our normal temps for May are in the 90's. AND, we get much more summer heat than you guys over in Arizona! In fact, sometimes we drive to Scottsdale to enjoy your monsoons! :-)
Take care.
Cheryl Ann ~~Our mountains have a nice dusting of snow after the storm rolled through the valley yesterday and the day before.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Cheryl Ann - I should have specified Los Angeles weather, not your desert weather and not in May. I grew up in Los Angeles, and we were in the 70's the majority of the year. My son lives there now and gives me weather reports so that I can feel envious. He says he doesn't know how he ever survived Arizona summers.

ellie k said...

I have these new balance shoes in black and white so they cover what I need, since they help my feet so much I stopped worrying about style and settled for comfortable but then I am 70 not young like you. Happy for your feet. I just ordered a pair from Online shoes this week. They are really great to deal with.

How Sam Sees It said...

I hope Bombay is okay!

I realized the other day I was texting while riding Baron - I had thought of something I didn't want to forget and shot off a not to Jeremy. LOL - texting while riding is one of my no-nos, and I broke it big time!

achieve1dream said...

I actually really like new balance too. I get wide shoes so that they don't touch my toes anywhere... Not on the front, sides or top. I can't stand for my toes to touch anywhere!! I hope you can find something comfortable that doesn't hurt.

I will sometimes text or answer a call while riding and I love taking pictures but I just don't understand people who spend the whole ride on their phone like that girl I rode with last year... What's the point of riding if you're just going to be on your phone??? I'm glad your bike didn't scare that horses though.

Since you are so limited on time do you think focusing on riding and training only one horse would work out better? It's not like the others are going to get worse or anything if you decide to only work with Rock. Obviously that doesn't cut down on the time it takes to care for all of them but maybe it would help you feel less overwhelmed instead of thinking Rock needs work on this and Bombay this and Gabrielle this and Lostine this. That would leave anyone feeling spread thin and overwhelmed!

I hope you managed to enjoy some of your nice spring weather. I missed out on spring because of work and the constant rain. I'm hoping fall goes better. :-)