The best days for me to ride my horses are the day or two right before a storm moves in, because it's cooler, cloudy, breezy, just like after a storm but without all the mud. Today is one of those days, and of course I have an appointment scheduled in the early afternoon. I figured I could still make it out for a ride if I got an early start in the morning, as soon as the horses finished their breakfasts. However, local numbers kept calling my phone. I opted not to answer, because I figured it was someone trying to reschedule my appointment to the morning or calling to set up some other appointment that I'm due for, and I didn't want to make myself available for any of that. I've learned that the worst thing I can do to thwart my plans to trail ride is to answer the phone. The snowbirds start leaving right about now and the local businesses get desperate for clients, so they start making cold calls, saying, "You are due for this or that..." I was determined to ride.
However, upon entering Rock's stall with a halter I discovered that he hadn't eaten hardly any of his hay. He was sick, most likely with an upset stomach. I got him to ingest various tummy remedies and put the halter away. I couldn't ride Bombay, because he somehow got a bloody gash right where the cinch sits, I can't ride Lostine because of her arthritis, and I didn't have the time necessary to work with Gabbrielle. I've learned that just to get one half hour ride on her around the arena, I need at least three hours to deal with all of her quirks. She requires a tremendous amount preparatory training before I can even set foot in the stirrup, and usually as soon as I do that, she sucks in and lets the saddle slide down her side while I fall on my butt.
As I was heading back to the house feeling bummed that once again I can't ride a horse on one of these rare, better days of the year, I looked over and saw that Bombay also had not eaten most of his hay. Huh? What's up with that? I checked on the mares, and they had eaten everything. So, what was going on that would just affect the geldings?
Then I remembered that when I brought Rock home from his ride yesterday, I allowed him to graze on the wild grass growing in the yard. Later, I bathed Bombay, and let him graze on the wild grass while he air dried. The grass has tassels on the end, which makes it rich with seeds. That must have done the trick. I gave Bombay some stuff to help with his stomach too, and gave up on riding today. No more grass for them. They had been grazing on that grass for weeks and it never bothered their stomachs until now, so I know it has to do with where the grass is in its life cycle, or possibly weeds that are growing now amongst the grass that the horses picked up along the way.
The most outrageous part of the contract offer was that these people demanded that escrow close in 15 days when they spent two whole months hemming and hawing about whether to buy the house or not. The banks can't even process all that paperwork and the inspections and other requirements can't get done in that short of a time. Their mentality kind of reminds me of people who take their sweet time shopping, and then as soon as they get in line to pay for their purchases, they suddenly are in a hurry and pressure everyone around them to speed things up for their convenience.
The home sellers called me to tell me what was going on and asked me to notify them if those home shoppers show up on their property again. They said that the buyers have already wasted enough of everyone's time, and they were going to ask them to move along. I didn't say anything, but those particular home shoppers have been a pain in my butt for the past two months, because I have had to postpone or cancel several trail and arena rides due to their activities next door. How many times do they have to look at that house and the land it comes on to get the information they need to make a decision? Even the real estate agent was complaining that they've wasted a lot of his time.
Anyway, it didn't take long for them to return after the sellers rejected their ridiculous offer. They drove up in one of those loud, obnoxious off road vehicles and sat in the driveway idling and staring at the house. Of course, that got my dogs barking -- one of the many disruptions they cause when they come around. Then they drove down to the lot the sellers have for sale and stared at it a while. Then they drove around the block to the back of my house, parked on my property line and hiked through my and various neighbors' back yards going down into the arroyo. My horses were a nervous wreck with these people popping in and out bushes for half an hour down there. I don't even know why they keep going down there. You can't build anything in an arroyo. It floods every time it rains. Maybe these people don't know that. Maybe they think they can fill the wash with dirt and build something there.
The man was pointing at various things and throwing his hands in the air angrily. He seemed to be gesticulating about the lay of the land. Maybe he understands that most of the land can't be built on, and he doesn't want to pay for it if that's the case. The sellers are being perfectly reasonable by asking that people pay for the land that can't be built on, because it still serves the purpose of keeping distance between your own house and other people's houses. My attitude is that if he can't see the value in having space for the sake of privacy, then he can move on. He certainly hasn't offered me any privacy, because he's spent hours staring at my back yard and my house, pointing at things around my property when my property isn't the one up for sale. I definitely don't want him as a neighbor. I can't stand people who stare, and he's one of those.
I have no doubt that he will not allow me one ounce of privacy if he becomes my new neighbor. He's obviously retired, so he has a lot of time on his hands to get all up in my business. He also leaves a bad taste in my mouth because he trespasses without permission. It doesn't matter that the house next door is up for sale. The owners want all home viewers to have an appointment and be accompanied by a licensed real estate agent when they look at the property, and this guy doesn't care. He's almost crossing the line of becoming a squatter, because he spends hours each week hanging out in their back yard without permission to do so. I've told the sellers that, and they said that if he doesn't make a reasonable offer soon, they're going to tell him that he's trespassing and put pressure on him to move along.
The sellers do have sympathy for all the crap I've had to go through with their house being up for sale for nearly three years, and they don't even know the half of it. Ever since they dropped the price, it's been affecting me on a daily basis. Most days I can't even go to the mailbox or down to the barn to shovel manure without people approaching me to ask questions about the house for sale. I try to hide from them, but sometimes I'm running out of daylight and if I see that they have a real estate agent with them to answer their questions, I'll still go out to get my chores done, and then I have deal with the real estate agent shooting daggers at me with his or her eyes telling me to go back in my house. Agents are fearful that I might do or say something that will turn off their buyers, but I've got to get my chores done. If they mind their own business, I'll mind mine. The problem is that most people don't mind their own business, and stare at me the entire time I do my barn chores.
Anyway, the sellers understand that I don't enjoy being creeped on constantly. Hopefully, with their help, I will be rid of one of my regular pests soon and be able to resume riding horses in my own back yard safely without people popping in and out of bushes in the arroyo. It's just amazing how I work so hard to get rid of one habitual trespasser only to have new ones show up right away. I don't even get a short break from playing security guard around here. Maybe the snakes will scare all of them off. This time of year, when I see strangers poking around in the arroyo, I kind of expect them to go in, and not come out. These out-of-staters don't seem to realize that they are playing with venom by snooping around down there. Actually, they don't even have to go down to the arroyo to get bit by rattlesnakes. They can just walk up the steps to my patio. Ha ha.
I keep a rubber rattlesnake on my front porch to send a clear message to people to stay away. It's funny watching people jump and scream when they see it. I figure it's better for them to have a run in with a fake snake before reality strikes.