Friday, June 19, 2015

Busy Bee Me

I've been ridiculously busy lately -- to the point where I've been postponing appointments and plans because I've been having to fly by the seat of my pants.  Long story short, I agreed to do a simple, straight-forward photography job, and that morphed into a dozen other jobs from the same client.  If it's possible for one person to buy another person -- well, let's just say I've been bought.  I'm getting paid an obscene amount of money to ask, "How high?" each time she says "Jump."  But I never know when she's going to say, "Jump," so I no longer have any control over my own schedule.  I'm glad that she really likes my work and trusts me with some big responsibilities, but I've been getting the feeling that there is no end to these projects.  I didn't realize just how busy my normal routine was until I had all these abnormal duties dropped in my lap.  But she does need the help and I am the best person for the job.

This morning I walked out to round up the horses for breakfast, and they were already standing in their stalls politely waiting for me.  I was impressed with their forethought until I saw that I had just never let them out of their stalls after dinner the night before.  I was so exhausted from having a whirlwind of activity this week that I fell asleep on the couch and never let the horses out of their stalls.  Oops.  It's a good thing horses are forgiving souls.

Needless to say, the horses have been left to entertain themselves most days.  They were sick for a really long time after getting their vaccinations and dental work.  It took about a week for them to start eating with an appetite again.  Lostine isn't handling the heat well, and I'm kind of scared for her.  She's so feeble and frail that, in her current state, I wouldn't dream of attempting to ride her.  It's hard to believe that I was riding her regularly just a few weeks ago and now, after just one vet appointment and a drastic increase in temperatures outside, she's a completely different horse.  She wanders up to me and lays her head in my arms and on my belly as if to say, "I'm too weak to hold my head up."  That's how low she's carrying her head -- very unusual for an Arabian horse.  I wish I could bring her indoors to experience the air conditioning.

I've been having to fill up at least two of the six water troughs every day, so I know the horses are getting hydrated.  The entire raven family has been hanging out in my barn to keep cool in the shade, but as soon as I see them go anywhere near the water troughs, I chuck rocks at them.  They seem to be past their phase of dropping dead animal parts into the water, but I'm not taking any chances.  Water is just too precious a commodity to be having those dang birds ruining it with botulism.

It turned out that I didn't have to buy an aisle guard or a gate to keep the horses out of the barn while I clean up manure.  I just trained them by being consistent in demanding that they stay away from me and the manure while I'm cleaning.  Lostine is so good that as soon as she sees me coming with the wagon and manure fork, she volunteers to leave the barn.  Bombay and Gabbrielle just stay out.  Rock will come in, but he's good about keeping his distance and doing a dance around me as I clean up.  All four horses seem to understand now that kicking manure around is against the rules, so they actually step around or over it in their travels.  So, the manure clean up has been going much faster lately, which was my goal, since no one wants to spend an extra half hour standing out in 115 degree heat raking up shards of turds scattered all over the place when they could return to an air conditioned house sooner with just a little cooperation from the horses.

I am feeling a bit antsy to get out and ride a horse since it has been so long.  Even if I could just get an hour when the horses aren't eating and it's not too hot to take a horse for a hike with me, I'd feel satisfied.  Hopefully, conditions will come around like a perfect storm of events, but in a positive way, and it will happen some time soon.


achieve1dream said...

That's so sad that the vaccines have bothered Lostine so much. Maybe it's time to start skipping them? When my dog got old I stopped giving her vaccines except rabies because it's the law. Vaccines can be really hard on them and research is showing annual vaccines aren't as necessary as once thought. They keep immunity for years just like we do. I hope she's feeling better in no time.

Sorry the photography work is keeping you so busy and stressed. I totally understand. My part time job has turned into full time after my boss was injured and there is no end in sight. I only have two hours in the evening to do anything at home or with the animals and that's spent showering, cooking, eating, cleaning, etc. The money is nice though.... Hang in there!! It's a huge compliment to your talent that she wants you to work for her so bad. :-)

ellie k said...

Do you have electric to your barn? Maybe some fans would help them be a little cooler, at least make air movement.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

No electric. That's why I have to take a flashlight with me when I go to the barn at night. There is wind. Just hot wind.

Crystal said...

Ugh I cant even imagine that hot weather. Can you ride at night or too many weird crazy animals around. We did a bunch of after dark rides last year and it was nice as there was no bugs. After the first few rides the horses liked it too, not as spooky even.

I am trying to get a post up for you to show you what our ground is like, I just need time to ride when we aren't chasing cows. Hopefully this week some time.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Crystal - Okay, thanks! The issue with riding at night is that the horses are eating for the three hours after sunset. When they are done eating, I let them out of their stalls and then I go to bed. I'd have to change their feeding times, which would mean me doing barn chores at a hotter part of the day. I wouldn't want to ride them before feeding them, because then I'd have to deal with their hunger and anxiousness. I'd also have to change my dinner time, the time I take my prescription medications, and my dogs' dinner time and prescription medications as well. I've got a tight schedule and not a whole lot of freedom to alter it without creating new problems.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I forgot to mention that it was so hot today that all but one of the stick-on reflectors on my horse trailer melted and fell off.