I've been diligently knocking items off my To Do List to make room for work with the horses, and the list is the shortest it has been in years. The future was looking bright and I was planning out the next training and conditioning steps I'd be taking with each horse when, as usual, a bunch of crap outside of myself took over my time and space, thus preventing me from doing much of anything. It's days like this when I think I should just give up on my horse hobby.
Right before Christmas when I was having family and guests over, our house began to stink of urine. At first, we blamed the dogs, shining a black light around to search for the hidden pee stains, but there weren't enough to cause such an invasive stench. It had been raining, so I figured that the ground water was causing our septic contents to get backed up. It was about that time to have the tank pumped, but it was too late to do it before the holiday. Then January came and the ground dried out, and I kept forgetting to call a septic outfit.
I finally remembered, but had to do some research to figure out where the septic tank was located. I dug up every map we had of the property, and nothing indicated the location of it. I actually found one that showed where my neighbor's septic tank was, but not mine. So, I called the previous home owner and left a message asking her to call back and tell me where the tank is located. I gave her several days to respond, but got nothing, which annoyed me no end.
I've bent over backwards for this woman, tracking her down every time she moved and changed jobs, to notify her that we were still receiving her family's mail at our address. It's been four years since they lived here. If it were just junk mail, I'd drop it in the recycling bin and forget about it, but it's bills and tax documents. If this lady doesn't address them, it could ruin her credit rating. Anyway, I guess because there was nothing in it for her when I asked her to call me back with the location of the septic tank, she didn't bother. I'm really at my wits end with selfish people. Two minutes of her time was all I needed after I gave her hours of mine.
So, I called a septic company this morning and asked for them to bring whatever tools they use to locate septic tanks. The lady asked if they could come out today. I said they could. Then she told me the window of time and quickly hung up because her other line was ringing. I was like, "Seriously? That's right when I was going to go for a trail ride."
I contemplated calling her back and asking for a different time, but what's one more day without doing what I planned, right? Next thing I knew, the horses were nervously circling in their stalls and alerting on the hillside. I looked out the window to see that my neighbor's land surveyors were back. How friggin' long does it take to parcel off a property? These surveyors have been here off and on over the past six months at least five times, and they stay here all day traipsing around on the hill, in the arroyo, and in the my neighbor's yards. The horses get freaked out by these men popping in and out of bushes.
Then the utility trucks started showing up. Of course, the drivers had to park blocking the gate to the bridle trails and they had to leave their engines running so that the whole house vibrated. It's amazing how neighbors can still be a pain in my ass long after they move out. They have been orchestrating all kinds of activities surrounding their property from afar. I thought, "Well, at least I've already been screwed out of being able to go for a trail ride because of the septic appointment, so I suppose the timing was good."
I'm worried that someone might have bought the empty lot on the other side of my neighbor's house, and now I'm going to have to tolerate years of home construction noises and big trucks blocking the gate to the bridle trails. I can't afford to buy the house next door, but had I known if someone made an offer on the vacant lot, I would have outbid them and bought it myself, even though it is not adjacent to my property. I would have bought it just to keep my peace and quiet.
As if I didn't already have enough wrenches thrown into my plans, then the phone calls began. It was like everyone and his brother waited for the same day to start calling me about stuff that wasn't even on my radar. It's looking like I'll just have to appreciate what little I did get done with the horses this weekend, and that is that I finally gave Bombay a bath. He was so dirty and sticky. Here he is shaking himself off...
Gabbrielle is doing better about not flying into a panic over seeing strangers, but she's still concerned, especially when she's surrounded. It's difficult to get her to focus and keep walking when someone is behind us and someone else next to us and someone else ahead of us. She feels like she has to keep an eye on everyone because they can attack her at any second. Even something as simple as my husband, who she knows, working in the yard, causes her to lock up and refuse to move forward.
I really don't know what to do with her other than to throw a halter on her and drag her out onto the trails whenever I see horseback riders or hikers approaching and can spare a few moments. I've taken her to rodeos and gymkhanas before, but it has proven to be too much for her. It's like taking an autistic child who is sensitive to noise and crowds to a concert. You spend all your time and energy just trying to keep her from killing herself in her endless panic. Now that I know what I know about anxiety disorders in animals, I don't think I will ever purchase or adopt another animal with one. I think I'm better about recognizing the signs now. And I hope I'll retain that knowledge in my next life, if I have one.
I'm still waiting for that septic company to show up. Their window of time is closing quickly and so is the rest of my day. If there's one thing I've learned about the service industry, it is that the customer's time is never as valuable as their's. Around here, if you want or need something, you'd better be willing to wait a long time for it.
I suspect all I'll have time left to do once they finish the job is to clean up dog poop and horse manure. My life really does revolve around bodily waste. No exaggeration.