Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Lot of Effort

It took a lot of effort for me to get out and ride a horse this morning.  It just seemed like I kept running up against obstacles at every turn.  This was the morning P.S. came over to do barn chores for me so that I wouldn't get worn out doing the chores myself, and would have the energy to ride.  I really wanted to make the best of it, but the interruptions were relentless.  Suffice it to say that the dogs were my biggest blockade to getting out the door... literally and figuratively.

It rained a tiny bit this morning, so Midge was wearing a path in the carpet with her pacing while panting and drooling all over the place out of nervousness.  She was expecting thunder at any moment, but it wasn't that kind of storm.  When she gets anxious, she has to pee a lot, so I had to keep taking her outside.  I finally tossed the dogs in the outdoor kennel so that I could finish getting ready for my horseback ride, and then Midge barked non-stop because, in addition to having a storm phobia, she also has separation anxiety.

So, I had to bring her right back in.  I had to go in and out the back door several times, and Midge would block me with her body to try to prevent me from getting through the door.  My patience was wearing thin, so I just grabbed all of my supplies and headed out for my ride simply because I couldn't spend another minute with that dog.  She was driving me crazy.

The weather channel forecasted more rain in the afternoon, so I only had a short window of time to ride.  I got halfway to the barn when I heard some God awful loud engine coming from the north.  WTH?  I turned around to see the power company helicopter flying just 50 feet above the ground with two men hanging out of the side of it inspecting the power lines.

I wanted to cry.

Any time that helicopter starts coming around, the big trucks with cranes and men in hard hats yielding chain saws follow, and I can't get my horses out onto the bridle trails because they are so terrified of it all.  I've already lost two springs and one fall of trail riding thanks to the power company.  When are they going to wrap up this project?  Enough is enough.  What kills me is that they always come out as soon as the weather gets nice for us horseback riders.  It looks like I'm going to have to spend another year paying my horse trainer to ride them, because I am too feeble and my nerves are too shot to have to wrestle with runaway horses, and when Bombay gets scared he runs and bucks at the same time.  I don't want to have to deal with that.

I got discouraged when I saw the helicopter and I went back in the house, knowing that the helicopter would have to come back in the other direction eventually, and I didn't want to be on a horse's back when that happened.  It was a good thing I aborted the mission at that point, because there was a bunch of truck traffic in front of my house.

However, after dealing with Midge for just a few minutes, I was ready to go screaming out of the house while tearing my hair of out my head.  I am thankful that I don't have to raise emotionally disturbed children, but owning an emotionally challenged dog isn't much easier.  Pretty much every choice I make to deal with the dog's problems results in more problems.  I've found that my best course is to avoid her when she's acting insane, and then clean up the mess later and take the loss, because I'd rather deal with lost material goods than my own lost sanity.

So, I gathered up my goods and made another attempt to go for a trail ride.  The edge of a storm was skirting us, which created unpredictable winds.  A lot of weird stuff was going on around us and even Rock was acting weird, and I began having my doubts that this was a good day to ride, but then I remembered the dog and told myself I've got to get away from her.  Whatever happens on the trail ride, I was willing to deal with.  I just couldn't deal with the dog anymore.

Rock was acting odd on the way out.  He kept randomly stopping and refusing to move forward.  I looked to see if he was lifting his tail to poop, and he wasn't.  I looked to see if he had spotted something up ahead that bothered him, but that wasn't the case.  He was just being stubborn about going on the trip, even though he begs me and my trainer to ride him when my trainer is here riding Bombay and Gabbrielle.

I think he was also confused as to where to go and wanted more aggressive cues from me.  In order to avoid being under the power lines when the helicopter came back, I took him way out into the desert up a trail in a direction we don't normally take, so the surroundings were unfamiliar to him.  I had to work hard to push him forward.  To me, it was obvious:  We were on a trail, so follow the trail.

We came to a spot where the trail was blocked by a broken branch.  It suddenly hit me that Gabbrielle probably broke that branch when she took the horse trainer through the middle of some trees.  Rock was very wary about approaching and going around that branch.  He cut a wide wake around it.  When he finally got to the other side, I praised and petted him, and that seemed to get him out of his funk.  He walked with a purpose from then on out, so I continued to pet and praise him whenever he made good choices like walking up a hill instead of running up it.

The view of my back yard as we were coming home...

I'm setting the GoPro camera back to widescreen for the next ride, because the normal mode just doesn't get everything I want within frame as easily.  Rock waiting for his peppermints...

I'm glad that I rode him despite various discouraging factors, because I always feel happier after I ride a horse.  I can be much more patient with the dog now because I've had my "me" time.

I was hoping to ride the gray horses in the arena, but the storm clouds have already moved in.  Oh well.  Some day I'm going to have to catch a break between the weather, my health problems, and now the power company project so that I can concentrate on working with Bombay and Gabbrielle.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Oh dear Lord, here comes the thunder. Time for more anti-anxiety pills for the dog.

achieve1dream said...

Maybe Rock could sense your frustration with the dog but thought it was because of him. Once you praised him I bet you both relaxed. :-) I'm glad it was a good ride all things considered.

I can't imagine living with an anxious dog like Midge. Does she have daily anxiety meds or just for storms? I hope she gives you a break soon.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

achieve1dream - That's very perceptive of you. You're probably right about Rock's interpretation of my frustration. The anxiety medication is just for storms, because that's when she tears the house apart. They don't really work that well.

achieve1dream said...

I've had that happen with Chrome so I try to watch myself now. He always makes me laugh so that helps relieve the tension caused by other people driving me crazy lol.

Can Midge have benadryl? That's what I gave to Storm during fireworks. It actually helped pretty well. Oh course I don't know if it's safe to mix benadryl with her anti anxiety pills... So that may not be an option for her.