Saturday, April 17, 2004

Barn Update
I forgot to mention all of the changes around the barn. We'll start with humans then move on to horses.

Shortly after my August post, once the weather cooled a bit, I returned to the barn to discover that FF, BD, and Truck had left the building. Permanently. First, they rented a barn together on another side of the park. That lasted a month. Then FF had a falling out with Truck. Truck stayed; FF moved with BD to BD's daughter's barn up north. Within another month, FF had ruined those relationships with details too personal to go into here out of respect for the privacy of BD and others, and had moved a third time. This time, to a snooty barn on the other side of the park that has a covered arena for year-round work. So far FF hasn't pissed off anyone over there; FF is hosting another clinic in May.

I was tempted to sign up me & WF, because no trailer would be needed—I could just trot through the park, stable her, have someone pick me up and take me back to my barn to my car. But I realized it would entail three days of exposure to FF, plus $600 I didn't have, plus the inevitable argument between myself and FF about whether or not I would be "allowed" in. FF's website has a requirement posted about having "attended at least two L2 clinics" prior to registering for this one. Well. What does that mean? Attended as in audited, or attended as in rode my horse in it? I've audited three L2 clinics. I've yet to ride in one. I realize that it's yet another pile of bull built by FF to keep the ones FF doesn't want "interfering" with FF's progress, and decided to opt out.

So far I'm signed on to two other L2 clinics later in the year, which gives us plenty of practice time. And these clinics don't have such ridiculous exclusionary requirements. All you need is to be Official Level One, which I am, and be about 1/3 of the way through the L2 material, which I will be by then. WF is progressing so nicely, I can't see that as being a problem; my guess is it'll be more like 1/2 way through by August. Look out, FF—my good horse and I are hot on your heels.

Truck has not been heard from since, although I have no problem with Truck personally; just Truck + FF. ANYONE + FF is a bad combination, one to be avoided. I've found that the local horse world is difficult to traverse when you aren't certain where loyalties stand. FF hasn't managed to piss off all of NW Ohio yet, but that will happen soon enough.

BD and I are on friendly terms although since BD boards elsewhere, contact has been limited. Hopefully BD, the daughter and I will hook up for a trail ride soon. BD has announced that ties to FF have been permanently and irrevocably cut this time, and that FF's last chance has expired. This is good news. However, I'm playing my cards close until I'm 100% sure of this. Time will tell. I have to make sure BD's resolve is unwavering this time.

Obviously, I'm still avoiding FF at all costs. From the rumors I'm hearing, FF is doing a fine job of turning off a lot of people to PNH. That is very sad. It is people like FF who give good things a bad name. I'm doing all I can to reverse that opinion and continue to represent myself and PNH in the most positive light. I hope that I'm a worthy ambassador for the program.

Casey has been sold and replaced with Junior, who was renamed Moondancer by Rita. Rita finally succumbed to her fear. The final straw was when Casey put Kathleen in the hospital after bucking her off on a trail ride. Kathleen can ride anything with hair. And yet, Kathleen wound up with a sprained back and on crutches for weeks because of her antics. Rita's fear of being hurt again was so great she no longer trusted the horse at all, so she traded her in. I miss her. She was beautiful. Moondancer isn't much to look at, but he's supposedly a calm horse. I haven't been out enough to know yet.

We have a mama and baby at the barn now! Nové is the mama and Bella is the baby. Bella is a 9-month-old Traekner/Oldenburg cross and she is adorable!!! So soft. So friendly. So curious. So BIG for a baby! I am in love. I want a baby horse. I have baby brain, but for horses.

That's all the real news. It's been 70s-80s this week so the barn is filling up again and people are cleaning tack, grooming the woolly mammoths, and realizing that all that Thanksgiving turkey is interfering with their ability to mount without a stepstool! I'm thankful we survived. Thank god for horses. They make life worth living.

No comments: