Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Your last thought before darkness… and other tales

Jeez louise... I'm just about crippled. Lord love a duck, what a moron I am.

I've been around horses since I was 11 years old. So we're talking 41 years experience here (yes, add them up, I'm 52) and it seems like every single time I think some thing like "Gee, maybe I should/shouldn't... " I don't even get to the what it is I should or shouldn't be doing before life takes an evil turn and I'm hurtin'

Background: I got a call last year and a person said without preamble or introduction, "I hear you have horses." Whereupon I said, "Uh, yes. Hello, I'm Dianne." He replied, "Oh, yeah, I'm a friend of Chucks and I played guitar with your husband in college and I have 2.5 acres of irrigated pasture with grass three feet high and I need it grazed. I used to have an old rancher who kindly mowed and baled it up (= free cow feed), but he passed away and I need something to eat this pasture before my wife loses her mind with the bugs from it." So all last summer and fall, two of my three horses got to graze a rather lush irrigated pasture for free (=$9 per day savings for me). Not a bad deal for me.

Meat of story: This year Rover, my Tennessee Walking Horse Mustang cross gelding and Dutch the Handsome, Smart and Really Busy Quarter Horse™ gelding, got to go "out to pasture" first. This was Dutch's first year because last year we were getting to know each other. This year I decided against my "better judgment," to take Dutch out for the first rotation. Molly, my Mustang mare, got to stay home. Since Dutch is one of those busy smart horses who find trouble no matter what the circumstance, so I was worried that he'd get into trouble. Molly of all my horses is the most herd oriented (go figure, the mustang has separation issues).

Dutch, the Handsome, Smart and Really Busy Quarter Horse™ gelding, made is less than two weeks before he lead an escape. I found this out by receiving a strange and cryptic message on my voicemail that said "Your horses are out and they're not where they're supposed to be."

Uh, duh, if they're “out”, they're “not where they're supposed to be”, but even though I was on my way to an acupuncture appointment I started driving towards the nearest tack store (Translation: Vehicle I’m driving does not have halter; my son has my truck with required horse accouterment), where I buy halter (lime green and navy; very tasteful) and head towards the pasture. I finally find both horses in a pasture “not where they're supposed to be." Rover is happy to see me and looks healthy, but Dutch has skinned back legs and a split ear. Ugh. Rover, who I assume took the same escape route (jumping a fence), is unscathed.

I halter Rover and Dutch follows Rover and I back to "where they're supposed to be." I have to retrace my steps to the feed store to buy insect repellant medicinal salve and then I call my vet. Unfortunately, my vet doesn't respond for a week (because she rides H/J and is at a show) but when she does finally call, she can't make an appointment until 11:00 AM July 4. I decide that Dutch needs to be rotated out of pasture so his ear can be doctored and I load up Molly to trade places with Dutch.

Remember, Molly has been without horse partners for approximately 2.5 weeks (she has horse friends nearby; I'm not a total monster).

I wake my 19 year old son, Ian, at 8:00 AM to help me with the horse logistics but he throws a teen fit because I woke him “so early”. After I say something like "Fine, I take care of it, go back to bed" one go-gillion times, he develops some adult guilt and forces the issue and comes along (which I was happy for later).

After arriving and causing the whole neighborhood to start horsie-yodeling, I unload "the Moll" and tie her to the trailer. I halter Dutch; load him easily and ask Ian to help me with the gate. Molly is being a pill; charging the line and swinging arcs in front of me, which I usually do not tolerate, but I do tolerate it this time because *this time* I'm acutely aware that I'm inconveniencing my son. To get through the gate, you must cross an eight (8) inch streamlet. And as I'm walking through I'm thinking, "I probably should..." and the next thing I know both of my heels hurt like crazy; one of my sneakers is pulled off; and I'm pitched forward as Molly swings in an arc in front of me. !#@$%#! Even though I'd crossed near and stepped inside of the gate post, Molly decided that since I had taken that track, it must be the way to go and jumped the "raging rivulet" by three feet (something she never did last year, but it doesn't excuse my behavior) and she landed ON, not near and not grazing, but ON my heels.

My son immediately asked if I was okay and what I intended to reply was,

"I'm sorry my son, but no, I am not well."

But it probably came out more like,

"&!#% no, I'm nearly crippled!"

I put my shoe on and did what I should have done when Molly started bullying me: I made her pay attention to ME. After she crossed the raging rivulet about 8 times I let her go.

End of story: Dutch had a portion of his ear removed, my heels are almost black and blue (more like blue and green, but ya'll know how this story will end) and my Achilles tendon is swollen. My son learned how to haul a horse trailer because I sat with my heels on a bag of ice on the way home.

Moral of Story: Please DO the thing that your thought to do PRIOR to thinking " I probably should/shouldn't... ".

1 comment:

Callie said...

Great post. I know how that is. Just been surfin' and lookin' for other horse bloggers. Glad I found ya.