Thursday, June 16, 2016

Yes, My Horses Still Love Me - Sometimes

Yesterday was terribly hot with the heat index officially 110 degrees. (It was like waiting in the lobby of Hell before... well, you know.) The farrier, Vince, was scheduled to be at my house at 2 pm. Naturally, I did not get away from work immediately and I had several errands to run before I left town.

Everywhere I went people were doing extraordinary things - in slow motion. And yes, they were all old people! At the drive-through post office drop box, an old lady pulled up, got out of her car, slid her mail into the slot. She returned to the driver's seat, slammed the door a few times, then re-started the engine! Then, for reasons I could not fathom, she sat in the car for a bit. Perhaps she needed a nap after so much exertion? It was a drive-through - not a stop-and-get-out!

I made the very Buddhist choice to not become angry or frustrated. She did not know Vince would soon be on his way to my house but I was still sitting in the drive-through drop box lane in Topeka...

I absolutely had to dash into Dillons for a few quick groceries. Otherwise I would have a can of tomato soup made without milk for supper. I shop in that store ALL the time. I know the fastest checkers but no, I mindlessly chose the slowest checker - a new girl who cannot be friendly and check simultaneously. She was so sweet that I could not become frustrated with her as she babbled while cleaning the scanner screen, and talked while trying to find a price for one of my items, and inexplicably chatted to the guy next in line while attempting to scan my vegetables. God. Save. Me.

Next, I dashed into the farm store where the customer service is always 100% terrible. It is a fact of life so I had no expectations. I raced - in my ruined-knee, old woman way - to the horse supply aisle for two bottles of fly spray. Then I had to wait as the two old women behind the counter chatted up two very young women, discussing their nose piercings. What the hell? When do young girls EVER do business in the goddamned farm store and who gives a rat's ass about their piercings if they do?!

When it was finally my turn, one of the old women left, leaving the slowest clerk in the history of all bad check-out clerks to wait on me. When I said hello, she did not speak. She scanned the bottles slowly. When I mentioned the weather, she did not answer but responded by opening her pie hole in a giant jaw-crackin' yawn. When I attempted to scan my card she finally spoke. "Wait. That's not the total. You get a senior discount." Well, alrighty then! I was not aware the farm store offered senior discounts. But that was all - there was no offer to put my purchase in a bag - no-thank-you-come-again - no have-a-good-day. The "piss off" is always implied. (It IS the farm store.)

Finally, I was on my way home, mentally checking off everything I had to do as soon as I pulled into the driveway. It was so hot that I had to immediately put the groceries away. Change clothes. Get the water jug and my check book and the halters and ropes and take at least one of the fly sprays to the barn. I had to halter the horses, spray them for flies and get myself and them in a relaxed state of mind.

Oh, it was just so terribly hot and I became so overheated that at one point my heart started racing unnaturally fast. I thought, "Whoa! Guess I won't be showing up at the cube farm EVER AGAIN!" I was not sad or scared about it either. However, nothing dramatic happened. I sat in my car with the air conditioner blowing full blast in my face, drank cold water, wiping my face and neck with a damp cloth until I cooled down.

I managed to get both horses haltered, sprayed, their hides brushed. I had time to scrub the algae out of the water tank, move it under the sun shade and fill it up with fresh water. I had time to sit in the car each time I got too hot. There was time to brush each horse, which they love. Wally sweats in the hot weather, but Ginger does not unless she exerts herself. Both horses rested their big heavy heads on my shoulder in gratitude for the fly spray and the grooming. I knew it was far past 2 pm so I made a trip to the house to see if Vince had called. He is normally on time. I came in the house to a ringing phone. It was Vince calling a second time to say he was going to be almost 2 hours late. I was concerned for him, knowing he had a stable of horses to work on before he got to my house. He said he had not eaten since early morning and would be a few more minutes late. I encouraged him to take all the time he needed to eat and cool down and re-hydrate. I was free for the rest of the day. I waited in the house until I heard Vince's truck coming down the drive.

When the time came, my horses were so well behaved! They lifted their feet willingly. They stood still and did not fidget or toss their heads. They did not try to lean on Vince or nibble at his clothes. While Vince and his assistant were working on one of my horses, I held the rope to the other. Wally was so happy that he started licking my arm with his huge horse tongue - gross! The only thing horses ever eat is vegetation. Compared to dogs, a horse's diet is sanitary and civilized so it honestly was not that gross. It was a horse compliment of affectionate grooming behavior, but no thanks, Wally- no thank you VERY much. While I was holding Ginger's rope, she rested her big face right against my shoulder, a far more acceptable horse compliment.

I told Vince I would have understood if he had wanted to postpone due to the heat, but he paid my horses a huge compliment, saying "Oh, I knew these horses would be no problem, so I came on anyway."

Thousand pound beasts with gentle spirits who demonstrate appreciation for the favors of fly spray and brushing and trimmed hooves. How much I love those two horses - and they apparently love me in return.  Or, it was too hot for them to behave otherwise...
Goober Number 1

Goober Number 2

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like to go to places with the friendliest service , even if I have to pay a bit more. Job

Kathleen Gault said...

Just LOVE this post.

Jackie said...

Job, in any other instance, I would GLADLY pay more than to take the passive abuse at the hands of the farm store clerks... except it is the ONLY farm supply store directly in line of the route I take to and from work. Once I lowered my very low expectations, I rarely resent their sullen attitudes there. It's also funny to see just how bad the service there can be and still qualify as customer service. They insist on customers paying before they leave the store - THAT's absolute zero! lol

Jackie said...

Thanks, Kathy!