Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Causing Chaos - A Bit of a Rant!

Well I can't believe it's been nearly a week since I last posted. Doesn't time fly when you're not necessarily having fun?!
I had a bit of a down day on Friday, to be honest. My life is usually very calm and ordered but Missis' life is a bit of a hectic whirlwind. She flies by the seat of her pants most of the time, and moans about it, but seems to like it really. After all, if you didn't like your lifestyle, you'd change it, wouldn't you? I don't mind how she conducts her affairs, until it starts to involve me.
I've been working so hard to get Barnaby to be calm and obedient, slipping in a lot of the techniques in the Perfect Manners book, which have been working wonderfully well.
And what I do know is that horses thrive on routine. My horses go out every morning straight after breakfast, and come in around 3pm depending on the weather. If it's absolutely pouring I'd bring them in earlier, but they're grateful for this! Horses like to know where they stand with things, and they like to know what's coming next.
Anyway, Missis had this thing going on about, "We'll ride the cobs in the morning and put them back out and I'll muck out one stable, then get the TB's in and you can lunge Zak and I'll ride (blah, blah, blah...)
So she has gone from turning her horses out at 6.30am for four mornings, then leaving them in on Friday until midday, because she wanted to ride Lyndy clean from the stable. So we rode out, me on Barnaby, in a double bridle (thank goodness!) and it was all fine. We came back fairly late (say 2pm) and Missis wanted me to put Barnaby back out as she hadn't finished mucking out. Reluctantly I agreed. Even as I put him back out, Barnaby looked at me as if to say, "This is a bit pointless, isn't it?" but it was too late by then, I'd done it.
Then Missis took ages to muck out, but eventually finished around 3pm. So she wanted to get Zak and Hugo in and leave Lindy and Barnaby out. Like that's gonna happen! But here's where I should have trusted my own judgement and not listened to her. I took a headcollar and leadrope to get Zak in but didn't take one for Barnaby (because he wasn't meant to come in) which is my own stupid fault because I knew full well there's no way he'd stand there (so close to tea time!) and let me just take Zak.
So I opened the electric fence and stood putting a headcollar on Zak, when Barnaby marched up. I realised I was totally and utterly stuck in the mud, my boots were rooted to the spot, and Barnaby was heading straight for me. He did look at me as if to say, 'Get out of the way, stupid woman!' then fleetingly looked confused when I didn't move (my life was flashing before my eyes, that's why!) and luckily I had the sense to keep Zak in front of me, so Barnaby had to skirt round me.
No sooner had this happened when Lyndy looked up and said, "That's a bl#*dy good idea!" and barged past me as well. I managed to get my boots up out of the mud and took Zak in, trying to keep him calm as Barnaby and Lyndy were running round the back of the muck heap, across the garden, down the drop (it's a raised bed) and onto the drive. I had a moment's panic before remembering we'd closed the gate, and got Zak safely into his stable. He was standing there, absolutely rigid , saying, "This is so exciting!" and watching Barnaby's antics through the open door.
The next thing we knew, Lyndy appeared, skidded to a halt, and then trotted into his stable. We swiftly shut the door on him. Hot on his heels was Barnaby, but he shot past the stable entrance and was only halted at our garden gate. Thank goodness the gate was closed, I dread to think what carnage he could have caused running around in our little garden. Barnaby had to turn himself round in a very small space before heading back to the stables. The trouble was, he decided to go off and have a chat with Hugo, and nearly got totally stuck. He managed to back himself out, then eventually decided to go into his own stable, where I slammed the door behind him. Good grief, how exhausting was that? (although, can I just say, Barnaby did look rather stunning jumping off the garden, but that's beside the point.)
Then after all that Missis decided not to ride after all! All that saga for nothing. I've got to tell you I'm writing this because this sort of thing happens on a regular basis. Missis will say, "I'm riding at one o'clock." Then she rings me at 2pm (sitting here waiting for her) and says, "Sorry I got held up in a (phone) meeting, I can't ride now." Grrr! Sometimes she'll say, "I'm just going for a ride, can you get the boys off the bus for me?" as she sails up the drive. Hmmm.
I have this plan where I will muck out my two stables, lunge Zak, go in and get some work done, come out at 2pm, get Barnaby in and ride him, leave him in his stable afterwards, bring Zak in and give them tea.
I've discussed this with Mr O and he says I should stick to my routine, and if Missis wants to ride out with me that's fine, but not to keep chopping and changing my routine to suit her as none of us know whether we're coming or going. What do you think? I do know I was totally fed up on Friday and can't go on like that. I am not a robot that sits in the corner until someone switches me on when they need me, I have a life of my own, too.
Rant over then. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Your opinions would be greatly appreciated, actually.
Mrs O.


  1. She and Pongo own the farm we live on, Cheyenne. They have 2 horses and I do them for her when she is away. She is in sales and her office is in Dublin, so she is away at least 2 days a week, but sometimes, like this week, she is away all five days.

  2. Aha! Then, in that case, I would ride and do your stuff when you want to, she has to fit in, unless there is an obligation?

  3. Stick to your own schedule and ride with Missis only if it fits in. You can always take Barnaby out for a second ride to keep her company if your want to. It would help build his fitness and give him something to think about. (Routine is nice, but sometimes breaking it makes your horse more adaptable when you go to a competition....not the feeding routine, but the riding one.)

    Glad no one got hurt in the great escape adventure. Horses at liberty just seem to get into so much trouble. At least they had some fun. *G*

  4. Stick to your own schedule, it'll only make your life a misery otherwise.

  5. Hi Jane, I think you will be asking for trouble if you dont keep to your regular routine with Barnaby, knowing how self willed he is, its not surprising he went mad when you changed it, you could have been so badly hurt. With love and hugs Shirleyxxxx

  6. Oh Jane, thank you so much for taking part and Id be honoured to send you a card but I will need to have your address, I carnt find your email address, but you will find mine in my profile, so if youd like to email me with your address I will get a card of to you on Monday. With love and hugs Shirleyxxxxx


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