After having the secretary at the septic company totally screw up my appointment and waste two days of my time, I decided to try to salvage what was left of today by lunging the horses in the round pen. By the time I finished exercising the wonderful, flawless Bombay and was leading him back to the barn with him walking in a calm, confident manner, we heard an explosion of hooves, and Bombay reacted naturally, which was to take off running too. Zero to forty on the end of a lead rope. Nice.
Rock and Gabbrielle were stampeding from the back of the paddock to the barn. I thought that they were just excited to see Bombay coming back and were running to greet him. I then haltered Gabbrielle and took her to the round pen. She was spooking the whole way there, so I kept snaking the lead rope at her to try to keep her attention on me. I tend to talk a lot to the horses when training them, which is bad. I should use one word commands, but the talking is more for me to get my thoughts together.
Once in the round pen, she was acting totally nuts racing around, snorting, tripping, smashing into the railing, etc. I just stood in the middle and waited for her to tire herself out. She kept looking down toward the arroyo and jumping away from it. I figured that a coyote was down there, so I started making farting noises to get her to look at me. After making a variety of fart sounds, she jumped right into me and alerted on the arroyo. I looked over there and saw this man standing in my back yard peering at us through the bushes.
I was pissed. I yelled, "You are trespassing!" and he scurried off.
I kept Gabbrielle going, and contemplated running down there to have a chat with the trespasser, but I didn't get a good look at him and for all I know, he could be an escaped convict. But I thought it was more likely to be that nosy old man who lives two doors down from me for a few weeks out of every winter. If it was him, I was standing between him and his house, and he'd have to walk past the round pen to get home. Nobody came up out of the arroyo, so I figured it was someone else.
Some time later, the old man did appear out of the arroyo and walked past my round pen like nothing ever happened, staring straight ahead and ignoring me. I realized that he had been hiding down there all that time waiting for me to leave, and when I didn't, he gave up and showed himself. I was torn on what to do, because at this point he was on his own property. A part of me wanted to chew him out, because I've been told by the family that owns that house that they don't want trespassers on their property, and if I needed to use their land I had to ask for permission, yet here he was hanging out in my back yard where he could spy and eavesdrop on me. What a hypocrite.
He walked along like he didn't know I existed until he reached a tree, and then he ducked behind it and turned to spy on me again. I swear, if he weren't a neighbor, I would have yelled, "I see you, you nosy jackass!"
Maybe I'll do it if there is a next time. I don't like to unleash my wrath on people on their first offense. Although, this was just his first offense of this year. He's done it to me in years past. Gabbrielle kept spooking each time she passed the tree he was hiding behind, because he was acting like a predator. I got frustrated and led her back to the barn, and she kept spooking and jumping into me at every bird and rabbit along the way.
What really surprised me was that the man even got Rock all riled up. Normally, I can't even get him to hold a slow trot in the round pen, but he was galloping, snorting, and bucking all the way around. He too couldn't take his eyes off the nosy neighbor. At least Rock got his exercise, but I was glad I didn't saddle any of the horses up and attempt to ride them with him lurking around. I'm beginning to remember why I don't ride much in the winter. Snowbirds! Argh!
The odd thing about all this is that earlier I saw my horse neighbor attempting to ride her horse out. This is a horse I've seen her riding for years, and it is a trooper. It goes wherever she points it. However, today the horse refused to go down the trail on the side of the arroyo. She kept whipping it, and it kept turning and trying to run back to the barn. She'd turn it to face the trail again and whip it, and it ran backwards toward the barn. She dismounted, led the horse part way down the trial, and mounted again. Then they went through the same routine. Now I'm wondering if the old man was down there at that point in time too. I just don't know how someone can be that clueless about how his presence and creepy behavior affects our horses.