According to the weather forecast, which is usually wrong, we shouldn't have anymore crazy winter storms and our temps should stay in the 70's for a while. These are the rare days when everything is perfect for horseback riding. It's not too hot and not too cold for humans, but too cold for rattlesnakes and killer bees. The only downside is that after all this rain, we've got stickers growing everywhere. I have to be careful where I walk the dogs, and I can't let the lead ropes drag on the ground.
Despite having an injured groin muscle, I went for a short hike with the help of a walking stick to check out the conditions of the trails. They're a mess. Mud puddles everywhere, and hard divots where people rode their horses in the rain, and then the ground started drying out. Some of these hoof prints sunk down 3 or 4 inches. I have to avoid stepping in those holes when I'm hiking so that I don't roll or twist an ankle, and it makes it hard to mountain bike too. Once it stays dry for a while and more traffic passes through, the ground will smooth out again.
I can tell that the endurance riders are out conditioning their horses, because I see Renegade prints that are spaced at the trot. I noticed that a truck had come through recently. Then I saw where the truck almost got stuck in mud, and I realized these tracks were very fresh. I saw something red blooming on another trail and went to go investigate. I thought it was a new kind of bush, but when I got up close, I saw that someone was spray painting bush branches red along the trail. I came around the corner and saw a white truck up ahead.
This had to be either the power company or the city maintenance workers. I had a white truck show up at the back of my property and sit there for a while a few days ago. I got suspicious and got out my binoculars to see what they were up to, and saw that the truck had a power company emblem on the side. A short time after that, two more power company trucks showed up in the front of my house. Then I heard something bang against the side of my house and Stewie got all the dogs barking. They are definitely working on some kind of project. I just wish they'd share it with the residents, so that we can plan around it.
I decided to approach the men and ask them what they were working on, but then it hit me that if they were park rangers, they might ask me for my permit to be hiking there. I never bought one, because based on the maps I've seen, I don't need a permit where I hike and horseback ride. However, talking with various residents, there is conflicting information on whether you a need a permit in those locations or not. I didn't want to be wrong, and then have to pay a fine, so I avoided the men in the truck.
I'm hoping they are marking the overgrowth to be trimmed for horseback riders and not because they need to get the huge power company cranes out there again. I'm tired of losing several months of horseback riding weather to a power company takeover of the bridle trails. It's not fun being on a runaway horse once the horse you are riding spots the men in orange vests and helmets climbing ladders and wielding chainsaws.
The home shoppers are still out in full force now that my neighbors have dropped the price on their home so drastically. Some days we have a constant flow of traffic going to and from the house next door. When people park right next to my house and slam their car doors, Stewie hears it and starts a barkathon at the front door, thinking someone is coming to our house. The people who used to live in the house drove silent smart cars and always parked in their garage, so the dogs never heard anything. So far, the majority of people who have looked at buying the house drive large diesel trucks because it's horse property and trucks are what can haul horse trailers.
Some of the home shoppers take legitimate tours with real estate agents, while others just climb through the fence and walk around the back yard peering into windows. I don't know if they get permission to do that from real estate agents or if they go to the door first and decide that no one is home since no one answered the door. I think it's pretty risky to just peer into the windows of someone's house. You never know, someone might be home walking around naked after getting out of the shower and next thing you know, you have a record as a sex offender.
The people who really piss me off are the ones who stand in my neighbors' back yard and stare at me while I take my dogs out to pee or while I'm cleaning up manure in the arena. I want to ask them if they are planning on watching my every move once they move into the house, because if that's the case, I'll tell them that the home is infested with termites, scorpions, black widows, brown recluses, and rattlesnakes. That wouldn't be too far from the truth. I was the one who had to kill and clean up all the dead critters there for a while.
However, there are always those home shoppers who take it a step further by climbing through the fence into my back yard to either pet my horses or climb the hill behind my house. Talk about taking liberties. I've actually seen real estate agents do that, so I had to call my neighbor and ask her to tell her agents not to do that themselves and not to let other people do it.
Those who take their intrusiveness to the hilt are the ones who perform surveillance on me and my property, because they want to know who the neighbors are before making an offer on the house. I've had people come back multiple times a week to cruise slowly back and forth in front of my house while trying to peer into my windows and back yard. Some park across the street and do a stake out of the neighborhood, watching everyone come and go. The worst ones park at the back of my property and hike down the hill and stare into my back yard for a long time, as if waiting for someone to come out of the house, so that they can get a glimpse of who lives here. I always know they are there because the horses alert on them. This is a picture of Rock telling me that my trespassing neighbors are heading down into the arroyo again...
One day I walked out of my house to hike through the trail gate and ran right smack into a couple of dark SUVs parked blocking both my driveway and my neighbor's driveway. I saw people standing around in my peripheral vision, and quickly turned in the opposite direction, walking a half mile out of my way to avoid being interviewed by them. Some days I can't even take the dogs out to pee, because there are home shoppers in the neighbor's back yard, the neighbor's front yard, and out in the street in front of my house, and they all want to pick my brain. Like I said, if someone is actually going to buy the house, I'll give them my attention, but I just can't let casual looker after casual looker suck up all my time. I know that my neighbors desperately need to sell their house, but I'm tired of it being at the expense of my schedule and my privacy.