Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Grazing Moments

Despite having Bombay tweak my neck and shoulder during a spook, I took Gabbrielle and Rock out for a walk in the desert so that they could graze on all the luscious grass carpeting the ground.  My Arabs used to have a pasture when we lived in Nevada, and they miss it.

As I was walking Gabbrielle back home, a Sunday driver came up the street.  I halted my horse before walking through the gate, because I figured the driver and passenger were lost and would turn around right in front of us at the gate.  They did, but as soon as they saw my horse they slowed way down and gawked.  It felt like an eternity waiting for them to move along.  For a minute there, I thought they were going to ask for directions.

I got Gabbrielle across the street and then she spotted my neighbor working on his well.  He was bending over behind a cactus, so she kept balking and gawking on high alert.  He saw me and came over to talk, and she instantly dropped her head to the ground and looked for something to eat.  It's so funny how horses can go from being terrified to totally relaxing and being okay with whatever scared them in a matter of seconds.

It really makes a difference in easing a horse's fears if people come out in the open and talk.  My friend was telling me that one part of the desert where she and her other friends ride is being taken over by the homeless.  They are setting up tents out there.  This one guy came out of or around a tent and scared her friend's horse, so her friend asked him to talk to or pet her horse to put it at ease.  The guy acted annoyed and said, "I don't want to pet your horse."  You never know who you are dealing with in those situations.  Kind of scary.

After I put Gabbrielle away, I was walking Rock up the driveway and my neighbor was backing his loud diesel truck and trailer up right beside us, and Rock could not only care less, but was hardly interested in it.  He usually stops and gawks at everything.  I think the difference was that this was not happening off in the distance.  He gawks when he's not sure what is moving or making a noise, but big trucks can drive next to him and they don't bother him because he understands what is happening.  It's like having it happen up close takes all the mystery out of it and he's no longer concerned nor interested.

Because the truck engine was so loud and the truck was blocking my view, I did not hear nor see the mail truck coming up the street.  The mail carrier swung right into my driveway and pulled up in front of us to ask if I wanted him to leave some packages on the porch.  Of course, I couldn't hear anything he was saying, so we just gestured to each other.  We were blocked on three sides.  We had a wall to our right, my neighbor's truck and trailer to our left, and the mail truck in front of us.  Bombay and Gabbrielle probably would have been running backwards to get out of that situation, but Rock was just looking around for something to eat.  It was as if nothing at all were happening.

Then while I was leading him up the street, the mail carrier was bending over behind the hedge with his butt sticking out, and he kept popping up and going back down again.  I thought for sure Rock would see that out of the corner of his eye and jump.  He glanced around a little bit, but he still was more interested in going for a walk to get some grass than what the man behind the bush was doing.  I practically hear angels sing when horses act like that.


Linda said...

I wouldn't want some weirdo petting my horse! We have homeless in our parks, too, and they often scream and do other whacked-out crazy things. You just never know. Once, I was walking into it and three guys with baseball bats were walking out--and they weren't baseball players.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Linda - Yikes! Yeah, you never know if the person is on drugs or has a mental illness. I had one homeless guy spot me riding from a distance, and he made a beeline for me. I didn't give him a chance to approach. When I'm on the trails I don't want strangers approaching me since I am usually a woman alone in a remote location. Normal people with good intentions would understand that. If we happen to be passing each other, I'll exchange pleasant conversation, but this guy looked like he had an agenda.

Mrs Shoes said...

Rock SOLID could be one of his nicknames, haha, he's a great horse.