Sunday, October 16, 2016

Yadda Yadda Yadda

A couple of weeks ago I started letting all four horses out together, because Gabbrielle's mood had improved considerably with the cool down in temperatures, and she was proving herself to play well with others.  The morning after our Battle of the Bulge, Battle of the Saddle, Battle to Get On Her Back, or whatever you want to call it, Bombay was covered in hoof-shaped cuts and bruises.  Gabbrielle was immediately quarantined to her stall.

I felt guilty, because the evening had even been too stifling hot for me, but I didn't think that it might bring out the monster in my mare.  I should have known.  We had a spell in which summer returned along with all the aggressive, annoying flies.

What was mind baffling was how Gabbrielle managed to kick Bombay in some of the locations where he had injuries.  He had to have been sleeping while lying down, and she must have attacked him unprovoked.  She even kicked him in the nuts... or the sack they used to hang in.  The worst of it was right where the saddle sits on his back, so of course, I won't be able to ride him for a while.  When I made the decision to just ride the geldings this year, I forgot that by simply having Gabbrielle in their vicinity, she will manage to take them out of the game too, and I most likely won't be able to ride any horse.

That day I gave Gabbrielle a bath.  She hates having water sprayed anywhere near her head or her tail and always has to dance around to avoid the spray.  I don't have a wash rack, so I tie the horses to a stall railing.  She gives me a workout as I feel more like I'm playing tennis, running from one side of the court to the other in order to get every part of her clean.

At one point a tiny mist of water sprayed on her ears and she pulled back.  Because Rock had been playing with the other end of her lead rope on the other side of the fence, he managed to loosen the tie enough for there to be some give when Gabbrielle pulled back.  That gave her the confidence to keep pulling, and she broke free.  She ran toward the driveway, stopped, looked at me, looked up the driveway, looked at me...

I said, "You want to make a run for it?  Go ahead.  I won't chase you.  I know you are too much of a wimp to go out in the desert by yourself.  You'll come running back to your buddies for protection."

She sighed and lowered her head in resignation.  She knew I was right.  I walked over, picked up her lead rope, led her back to the railing and tied her again.  She was smart enough to know that there was no point in trying to pull back a second time, because I would have made sure there was no getting out of it after that.

What really put me off was that she kept threatening to kick me when I was trying to brush out her tail.  She's never been that mean before.  I decided to put her away in a stall before she could ruin my riding season even further by breaking one of my legs.

Of course, the first thing she did when I put her in a stall was to rub her hips and sides up against the railings so that she came away with rust stripes.  She wants to be a zebra?  Fine.  I'm not going to lose it over the fact that she just canceled out all the hard work I put into cleaning her.  Then she lifted her tail, pooped, and proceeded to circle around it like she was getting ready to roll in it.  I hollered at her and clapped my hands and she changed her mind.

I had put her in Bombay's stall, because that's where the sun was, and she still needed time to dry.  When it was feeding time, I had to get her out of Bombay's stall and into her own.  I set the manure wagon across the barn aisle to prevent her from leaving the barn, and I opened the gate to her stall.  Just when I was letting her out, Bombay walked into Gabbrielle's clean stall and took a dump.  I turned my attention to him to get him out of there, and Gabbrielle squeezed around the wagon and ran out into the arena to roll in the sand.  I grabbed the pitchfork and chased her back to her stall before she could get dirt and manure all over her.

Gabbrielle used to be the sweetest horse.  She would never eat her hay until she kissed me first.  She followed me everywhere I went.  She'd beg me to ride her when I was riding other horses.  I had high hopes for her because she had such a good attitude, but I suspect that she's a cold weather horse.  He attitude began going downhill during our first summer in Arizona.  She hates the heat.  I also think that she may have a hormonal imbalance.  I've taken her off grain for now to see if that helps.  She doesn't need any excess energy.

I bathed Lostine after her, and what a pleasure that was.  I love a horse who just cooperates.

I've been short on time, sleep, pain-free days, cool breezes, and patience lately.  I kept breaking fingernails when I was doing barn chores, and was tired of having to run back to the house to cut off the dangling participle.  My fingernails always break back behind the blood line, so if I don't address the problem, I'll bleed more with each time I touch something.  That hurts.  Anyway, I finally got smart and stocked my tack room with a fingernail clipper kit so that I don't have as far to go to get it.  Most of the time this happens, I'm in a race against the sun and need to get my chores done either before it rises and burns me to a crisp, or before it sets and takes my light away.

I also cut all of my fingernails down to nubs, and of course, had something happen first thing in the morning that required fingernails.

And so it goes.  Yadda yadda yadda.

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