All winter it was just me and one other girl (and her mother) at the barn. The barn was quiet, solitary… a haven after a long day at work.
Not so much anymore… What was once a sleepy little boarding facility, is now a noisy, clausterphobic cluster of squirming bodies. Suddenly everyone has come out of the woodwork to ride and play with their horse.
I love the die hards. There’s a new girl that seems very serious about her riding. She’s friendly, but stays on task and moves with a purpose. She’s always quick with a smile, and those rare moments she’s just standing there she can anticipate where you’re going and clear a path.
The casual riders frustrate me. I try not to feel that way, but I only have a short period of time to spend with my horse each day and having someone get hurt feelings because I’m not willing to stand in one spot and talk for 2 hours is frustrating to me. And I get frustrated that they seem to have a billion excuses about why their precious horse can’t behave. To top it off, they have no sense of the flow of things. They stand directly in the path of your horse, seemingly unaware you’re heading straight at them. There’s always a zone about 20 feet around them where you will get stuck in their choas.
We’ve got one lady at the barn whom I utterly adore. She talks, a lot, but she’s completely self-sufficient in her conversations. I can be as introverted as I want, yet get the entertainment of her stories. And it never phases her if I suddenly walk off to go get something. Everyone at the barn loves her. She’s so sunny and positive, but with a splash of dark humor that catches you off guard when it shows up (in a good way).
In addition, the barn owners are attempting to transform themselves into a full service “Lesson Barn”. This means every couple of weeks a new “lesson” horse arrives, which they plucked out of a field for free, or extremely low cost. Most of these horses have some behavioral or physical issue that make them unsuitable as lesson horses. The owners persevere. Their optimism is baffling, yet almost contagious.
With the new lesson program comes non-horse people. Those are the worst. They block the whole aisle, their children run unsupervised, their cars take up the only spot to turn a trailer around at. They think horses are motorcycles that happen to eat carrots, and blindly stumble up to my horse as she pins her ears and snakes her head at them. I am on guard constantly to both protect my horse and the ignorant people.
I miss the quiet of winter. Where the few die hards come out to ride and share battle stories, then retreat to warmer places. I had to remind myself the other day that as soon as the weather gets a little harsh these people will run home. Then us die hards will have our barn to ourselves again.