Lovely weather … but no riding

This last weekend was unseasonably cool.  After the scorchers we’ve had recently, this was a lovely change!  The perfect opportunity for riding – but it was not to be.  I have a very nice neighbor who likes to help us with projects.  The assistance is appreciated, and it has allowed us to make improvements that would otherwise have been very costly.  Unfortunately, his timing is unpredictable, and collateral damage often occurs.

Earlier this year, young Noble was playing in the arena when he decided to take a chomp of the old light pole at one end of the small barn that backs the arena.  Imagine his shock (and mine!) when this playful act brought the whole pole down!  Fortunately, it was outside the arena fence, so my young fellow received no injury.  However, he received a few choice words from me for creating yet another project!

My neighbor previously helped us expand our arena lighting by adding a new pole and fixture mid-arena – the old wood pole with a single halogen was originally our only lighting.  So, I knew he’d be more than willing to help replace this old light pole, when he had the time.  Retired for several years now, my neighbor is a tinkerer from way back.  He always has his own projects going, plus he enjoys helping friends, and friends of friends.  So, I am quite used to not expecting his help on any timeline … and to getting it when I least expect it!

Friday he called – Saturday would be the perfect day to fix our light.  Now, I know that I can pretty much write off the day when he comes over – that is just how it goes.  What I also know is that for every project he helps us with, there is at least one other thing that I am left having to fix!  It’s not always his fault – this place has some unexpected booby-traps here and there; but it is also true that he’s not the most careful person on the planet.  And this weekend went true to form.

In the midst of drilling the hole for the new light pole, he hit the pipe leading to our arena sprinkler system.  Fortunately, the pipe is not “live” all the time, so only the water already in the pipe poured into the hole.  Well, at least I knew quickly what my collateral damage was!  I am good with PVC, so it could have been worse.

The project took longer than expected (another characteristic of these joint projects).  By the end of Saturday, we had the new metal light pole up and secured to the barn.  The light fixtures were in place, but wiring still pending.  After quitting the project for the day, I set about repairing the broken pipe.  This was not a highly difficult task, but it was enough to tap the last bit of energy I had for the day.  Riding was also ruled out by the fact that we could not water the arena.

Our now well lighted arena will be appreciated as daylight hours dwindle
Our now well lighted arena will be appreciated as daylight hours dwindle

The next morning was a few more hours of working on the new lights.  It was with great relief that we finally flipped the switch and saw the new bulbs light up.  I am truly grateful for our neighbor.  He is from a generation when men were supposed to take care of women.  It is an old fashioned view, and one I find occasionally challenging – like when he views me as stubborn and set in my ways just because I won’t concede that he, a non-horseman, knows more than I do about things like arenas, stalls, horse fencing, etc.  But, these two women are sometimes grateful for a stronger set of arms, or someone willing to climb that twelve foot ladder!

By Sunday afternoon, there was no energy left for riding.  Besides, we had cement curing in the arena, so sprinklers were still out of the question.  So, I decided it was a perfect chance for a little horse beautification!  Mr. Coffee was our first victim.  He’d spent a good part of the weekend grinding valley dirt into his hide.  He was a little irritated by our lack of appreciation for his efforts!  I was a little irritated at just how deep that dirt can go!  Not since Wicki, my little white coated mount, have I had to put this much elbow grease into a bath!

Clean Coffee!
Clean Coffee!

Lest you feel too sorry for the poor boy suffering through his Sunday bath, I will reveal that his tolerance was well rewarded.  Once he was scraped off, and his tail ShowSheened, he was taken to a lovely patch of grass to dry in the sun.  Perhaps he will see that even bathing comes with rewards … or not!

After that epic bath, I had just enough energy to practice with Noble and the hose.  I certainly took a risk, knowing I lacked my full strength.  However, Noble and Coffee had played hard that morning, so I took a chance that my boy would be in a reasonable humor.  My faith was rewarded!  With much less fuss than ever before, I was able to hose all but the very back of his haunches.  Good boy, Noble!

So, no riding this weekend … but at least we fit in a little quality horse time.  Well, “quality” from a human perspective, anyway.

Be good to your horses!


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