Friday, February 08, 2013

Just Say No

Wednesday was Horseshoeing Day.

I'd taken the shoer's call the day before (he has us on an 8-week schedule) and planned on being out there an hour before he was to arrive, so as to clean out Dink's paddock (a necessary job) and let Dink blow off some steam if he wanted to. My plan was to be the first out there, my horse ready, get my horse shod and get the hell home. Two hours, tops, maybe less, because Rodger Gordon the shoer doesn't piss around.

I had moved only a few horse patties when one of the other two folks who were having their horses shod showed up. "We have to have the mare done first, because her owner isn't going to be here, and he wants me to hold her, and I have to leave for an appointment in not too long."

In other words, "We both have shit to do, and know that you don't, so you won't mind wrapping things up, right?"

In point of fact, I didn't have pressing things to do, if you don't count working on the Piker Press (haha, funny, yes?) or cooking the midday meal in time to avoid the Heartburn Train that rolls in early these days. Or laundry, or dog-walking (which is more important than it sounds), or writing, or painting ...

The request wasn't unreasonable, and so I just cleaned up Dink's paddock, clipped a lead line to the mare's halter after luring her to her gate ("Oh, you're doing that already?") and when the shoer pulled in, handed off the mare. We got the gelding tied up and started as well, and I went and got Dink, and brought him out to the yard and tied him. The shoeing of all three horses went well, but I made a decision, having spent more than two hours more time than I intended at the ranch.

Time to say NO.

Yesterday morning, I got up, fed the dogs, said my morning prayers, and picked up the phone. "No, I am not going for a trail ride today. I'm tired, and I'm going to go back to bed." Saying no to eight hours of prep, saddle, and waiting around for other people to get their horses ready gave me a whole day to do some really necessary shopping, almost all the laundry, the cooking of a complicated and luscious midday meal, and some Press work, too. And when that was done, I had the sweet pleasure of sitting in the sunset light with my husband and admiring the blossoms on the eucalyptus tree, and how the sunbeams hit them just so ... had I gone on the trail ride, I'd be just dragging in, exhausted by the exertion and the stress of knowing there was so much at home that needed to be done.

I also said NO to continuing the writing challenge. Some days I'm just too tired, and some days I spend more time on art work, or nitpicky culinary feats. When I write, I rarely write for only 15 minutes, and when I don't want to write ... I really DON'T want to write.

In addition, I've firmed up my decision to say NO to letting this lady's kid ride my horse. He thinks Dink is wonderful, and that's cool. When I gave the lad a ride early last year, I wasn't riding 20 hours a week, and didn't have a new grandbaby in the house to spend time with. Also the kid's mom thinks she can get away with something. If the boy is horse-crazy, she needs to get him some lessons with a competent instructor. I told her that. "I'm sure he'd much rather have you teach him," was her reply. What do they call that, a passive-aggressive response? If she did her homework, she'd know that a good instructor charges $50/hr. Yes, I'm also sure that she would rather have her kid taught to ride by someone who would obviously do such out of the goodness of her heart rather than for money.

Anyway, I have no idea how many days Dink has in his horsey heart, and I don't want to spend them on some kid hauling on him, and I'll add to that by saying if Dink gets fed up with a stranger hauling on him, I don't honestly know what Dink will do. He might just stop and stand; he might bite the shit out of the kid, and then where am I?

No. No. No. No. No.

Oh, yeah, I also said no to Cathy the Mad Horsewoman, who wanted a trail ride at the reservoir tomorrow. "No," I told her, "I want to do some arena work with Dink." Arena work will be about 40 minutes, and then I can send him back to his breakfast, and me to the next issue of the Press.

Will I walk with Howie tomorrow?


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