Saturday, November 8, 2008

rain and confrontations

Our long fun trail ride was canceled today, but I went for a ride in the rain anyway. I rode Chico and saddled him up simply to keep my butt dry (he was wet). He was funny today. We don't ride in the rain much and he was quite leary of the wet areas on the paved road. I couldn't convince him it was okay to walk on those wet areas (which were no where near as deep as puddles) unless I dismounted and crossed it myself. He did good otherwise, and it was definitely raining most of the time...not enough to get me wet, but enough to make Chico wet.

I got yelled at by one of the neighbors today. The guy that lives by the big red barn has this australian shepherd type dog that barks and barks and barks whenever I ride past. She barks the whole time until I'm out of sight. Since hunting season started, I've been riding on the road more often so most weekends I pass by this house on horseback at least once. And there is a scary pile of logs and an old gate at the foot of their driveway that all of my horses always eye warily (combined with the barking dog, they tend to get a bit uptight through there). So I tend to stop and let them relax and look at the gate before they move on.

Well, today it was the barking dog, log pile, and wet road all combined into one, so I tried to convince Chico that the road wasn't going to swallow him up, then we stared at the gate, then we continued on (dog barking meanwhile). My dogs kind of ignore the barking dog, although I have to be vigilant to call them to stay with me, otherwise they'd like to run up and greet her.

So on the way back past the house and the red barn, I came across a very large puddle, and Chico really wouldn't cross it, so I dismounted and led him through it. Meanwhile the dog is barking (I can tune her out though), and then I notice the guy walking across his lawn toward me. He says "Why do you have to come by here!". I respond "I'm just riding on the road" (Which I'm thinking is public property, therefore within my rights), and He says "But then you go stopping here and drive our dog crazy!" At this point, I respond with "There is a puddle here, my horse is afraid of it, and I'm trying to train him not to be". Then I realize my cinch is too loose to get back on, so I have to tighten it, then I lead Chico out of the puddle, then mount and continue down the road. I never looked back at the guy...I felt awful, and sick to my stomach from the confrontation. I really wasn't intentionally stopping there to drive his dog crazy. Every time I've stopped there was because my horse was uptight and I wanted to give him a chance to think about the situation and relax (it usually works). Was I completely wrong for doing that? I guess a barking-barking-barking dog drives the guy that lives there crazy, but I would have thought he was used to it...the dog barks constantly when I ride past there, and don't I have the right to ride on the road?

Anyway, I felt awful, but then I got back and tore down the old turkey pen and fixed her up a smaller pen and gave her clean hay in her house...then I felt better.

Check out Chico's wet pattern. How often do you see it this way on a horse? His back dried out under the saddle pad and everything else stayed very wet.

And here are Chico's hooves 2 weeks post trim. He's grown a little heel (pasture is all mud so there is nothing to wear them at all). I like to closely scrutinize how much they grow and maintain the trim.

So, tomorrow morning, my dad leaves Wisconsin to drive out here. He expects to get here by noon on Tuesday. Tuesday night, we will trailer Catlow to my trainer/friend's for a lesson to give her a good first trailer experience (one that returns her home when it is finished), so that she doesn't always think that trailers will uproot her and take her somewhere new.

Then we leave Thursday! So countdown is now 5 days! I'm excited but nervous about this major change that is about to occur. And I have lots of stuff to get ready before my dad gets here, so I better get to it.


Andrea said...

What a big jerk! If he doesn't like the dog to bark then why the heck does he have a dog? I can't believe that. I'm sorry you had to go through that, I would have been really upset too.

We had a little dog incident today too. I got down off of Tonka and got aggressive with the dogs, because they've been really nasty when John and Katia have gone on walks in the past, but they didn't do much today. I think they were afraid of the horses. I was worried their owners might come out and complain, but it's easier to stand up for your rights when your kid's safety is at stake. And I feel that if there's an incident with a loose dog, it's always the dog's fault. Bad dogs shouldn't be loose. (One of these dogs chases my car all the time and I HATE car chasing dogs.) Luckily nobody came out.

Kara said...

I kinda agree...but I think that if there is an incident with a loose dog, it's the dog owner's fault more so than the dog's. The owner is at fault for not having control of the dog. They should have worked a little harder to train their dog, or not let them loose. Since the owner is not taking responsibility from preventing their dog from misbehaving, then you have every right to take matters into your own hands (the owner has no right to get mad at you for protecting yourself from their lack of responsibility)...especially if the dog is on public property (which is probably wherever you are riding). John and Katia should take a big water gun with them when they walk. If you shoot the dogs with the water gun, I bet they'll think twice before being nasty again.