Friday, January 1, 2016

A Window in Time

With temperatures being below normal, I've been blanketing the horses at night for the past week and leaving them locked up in their stalls so that they can't rip each other's clothes off.  As a result, they've been doing a lot of sleeping and sunning themselves during the day.  They usually sleep at night by lying in the sand, but must not have felt comfortable enough to lay in their stalls.

New Year's Eve was its usual fiasco with firecrackers and fireworks being popped off and shot off from dusk until dawn.  My anxiety-ridden Corgi Midge got her sedative, and thankfully she wasn't as destructive this year as she's been in years past, because she's beginning to go deaf.  At one point I walked out onto my porch and could see fireworks all along the horizon.  Apparently, private citizens are allowed to put on those light displays, because all of my neighbors seemed to be doing it, and the air stunk of fire and smoke.  I didn't spend more than a minute out there, because I feared I might get hit by a stray bullet.  I'm living in the wild west here.  There are no rules.  Or at least there are no rules being enforced.

After a week of dealing with the 800-pound gorillas in the neighborhood, the go-kart family finally put a lid on it, and the race car driver hauled his car off to a race.  The timing couldn't have been better, because today was a beautiful day for horseback riding, and it's supposed to rain all next week, which means I've only got a small window of time to work with the horses before my nemesis Mud makes another appearance.

However, Gabbrielle made it clear to me that she was shell-shocked from the previous night's fireworks, and she was unable to get her head in the game.

She was nervously looking all around, as if expecting a mountain lion to jump out at her.  Crazy eyes...

It was difficult for her to focus.  Here I was lunging her and trying to settle her down, while my neighbors rode their half-asleep Quarter Horse and Missouri Fox Trotter out to the trails.  Of course, their horses didn't even glance at my horse galloping in circles with her tail curled up over her back.  They just plodded to where their riders pointed them.  I considered yelling out, "Would you like to trade?"

The other day I received an inquiry regarding Bombay.  The lady wanted to know if he had "no spook".  I wanted to tell her she needs to look at a completely different breed if she wants no spook, but I didn't want to be breedist.  I told her he does spook, and I never heard from her again.

I find it fascinating that I now have both a 10-year-old mare with looks to die for and a 17-year-old gelding who looks like he's seen more years than that up for sale for the same price, and so far people have only shown an interest in Bombay.  I guess the lesson is that mares only sell around here to breeders, and they have to be younger than 10.  The market in my area is mostly buyers who are of retirement age, looking for dead-broke geldings to ride on the trails.

In this next picture you can see my Garmin fitness watch.  It's amazing how many calories you burn just by spinning in circles in the center of a round pen.

I had to spend some time just hanging out with Gabbrielle to help her settle down.  She was worried about everything.

When she finally relaxed, I rode, but not for long.  Her accelerator seemed to be stuck, so I had to keep doing the one-rein stop.  The last time it happened, I got angry with her because she was craning her neck looking at something off in the distance and totally ignoring my cues to stop.  All of the sudden she let out a loud nicker and bounced to a sudden halt, as if to apologize.  She made it clear to me that this was not a good day to play with fire.

Bombay was also suffering from shell-shock.  Every muscle in his body was quivering while I lunged him.  People were still popping off firecrackers while I was working with the horses.  I ended up just stopping Bombay and taking him for a walk, which settled him down.  I didn't get any pictures of him because he was such an emotional basket case.  I was glad I didn't waste my time putting a saddle on him.

Then there's Rock...

He was like, "What?  There were loud booms and shit exploding in the sky last night?  Really?"

Just try to top his cuteness factor.  I dare ya.

As usual, he was a pain in the butt to lunge, because he kept stopping to pose for pictures.  I'm sure I burned the most calories working with Rock, but I screwed up turning on my fitness watch, so the data never got recorded.  My prescription sunglasses with the reading component can't get here soon enough.

Lostine was perfect, as always...

She lunges herself, and changes gaits with just one subtle verbal cue.  The booming didn't seem to phase her.  I suspect she's going deaf like my Corgi Midge.

I think that in the future, all people should be required to usher in the New Year by adopting dogs and horses.  Then they can learn empathy and responsibility rather than just getting drunk and making a lot of noise.


ellie k said...

A couple of years a young boy was watching fire works from his yard when a bullit fell from the sky and went into his head, he had a lot of treatment and theropy. He is back in school now and doing well. They think the bullit came from up to a mile away. People don't think when they shoot up in the air that it has to come down somewhere.

fernvalley01 said...

Glad we don't have so much of that around at New Years, Canada day is enough to make me nuts, and it isn't even that close!

achieve1dream said...

LOL! The last two sentences cracked me up. So true!

The captions on Rock's pictures cracked me up too. He is such a good horse!!

Gabrielle's trot is gorgeous!!!!!!!

I hate fireworks....