My plans were to ride Rock and Gabbrielle today, but Rock was favoring his left hind hoof. So, I got out the hoof pick and thrush treatment. I figured I may as well treat Gabbrielle's hooves too before riding her. What the hell was I thinking?
Of course, I threw out my back. I have a one horse limit when it comes to working on hooves. So, I took Gabbrielle for a slow, ambling walk along the bridle trails because I had the least amount of back pain standing upright. She was super well behaved and very careful not to pull on the lead rope. I had chastised her earlier for spooking while I was working on her hoof, so she didn't spook once while taking our walk. I guess she doesn't like to be told to grow up. The last time I took her for a walk, she was eyeballing and/or spooking at every rock and bush along the trail. I just can't figure her out.
Afterwards, I went inside to chug a tumbler of water because it was actually hot outside. The flies and ants wasted no time coming out of hibernation. Then I took two Aleve, and as soon as I started feeling better, I treated Bombay and Lostine's hooves for thrush. Everyone had it. The mud from the storms we had two weeks ago still hasn't cleared up, and it hasn't helped that I've been damming up the barn with manure, which the horses choose to stand in because it's soft and warm.
I figured that since I already screwed up my back, I may as well throw caution to the wind and chop down a couple of trees while on pain killers. Well, they were saplings, but they were tough little bastards. I call them "evil trees" because they grow everywhere, they grow fast, and every inch of them is covered in long, sharp thorns. If you walk too close to them, they snag and rip your clothes. You have to catch them when they are little, chop them down and dig up the roots or they will take over your yard.
The horses had fun stalking me as I worked along the outside of the fence. Whenever I'd rest my back, they'd walk up to me and ask me to feed them whatever I was chopping down. Then when I resumed chopping, they'd explode as one unit and take off at a gallop across the arena. I could tell that Rock was feeling better by then.
I think part of my problem with Gabbrielle is that she is so sensitive and aware of everything that is going on around her that I can't get away with doing anything secretly. Even though she could not see, she knew I had been giving the other horses peppermints after treating their hooves. She'd walk up to each horse and sniff their breath, and then she'd throw a fit because she wanted some. So, while I was working on Lostine's hooves, Gabbrielle was trying to rip a food barrel off the side of the barn. She can be so obnoxious. I must have screamed out her name fifty times this afternoon, because she was doing something bad every few minutes. I almost sent her to Exile Island for bullying Rock when he was in pain.
By the horses' dinner time, I was super stiff and my boots were causing blisters. All I could think about was getting back into the house and removing my boots. That's when I heard a motorcyclist ripping it up out on the bridle trails in front of my house. I was pissed. A lot of people ride their horses out there at sunset. I wanted to call the police's non-emergency number, but didn't have my reading glasses. I had to get back in the house. I also wanted to bicycle out there really fast to get a description, because I knew the guy would be long gone by the time the police arrived. But I was so sore. I couldn't take one more step, none-the-less jump on my bicycle and race out there to chase him down.
Someone has been breaking a lot glass out there along the trails lately, and I'm tired of picking it all up so that my horses and I don't step on it. I suspect that if someone is brazen enough to cut the fence and ride his motorcycle out there, he's probably the same person who's breaking beer bottles all over the place.
I limped up to the house, removed my boots, and opened the front door to listen, but like I predicted, he was gone. My friend told me of an incident she had with motorcyclists on the bridle trails. Her horse was agitated and giving her some trouble, and then she heard these motorcyclists racing toward her, so she dismounted. She was calling out to them, and one raced off while the other drove toward her like he was going to talk to her. He got right up to her, popped a wheelie in front of her horse, and raced off.
Of course, that didn't help settle her horse down. She had called a friend to come out to meet her and help her get her nervous horse back to the barn. The friend saw the motorcyclists and called out to them to tell them to get off the trails because they are for horses, and her friend was out there with an upset horse. One of the guys rode toward her like he was going to talk to her, and then he kicked up a rooster tail of dirt in her face and took off.
After hearing that story, I have zero tolerance for people who illegally race motorized vehicles on bridle trails. They are fenced off for a reason. We want to keep the desert pristine and reserve the space for quiet activities like hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding.
Anyway, hopefully a good night's sleep will help restore my back, and I can resume functioning pain-free in the morning.