Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Swamp and The Crazy Horse Lady

For the past year I have lived on a ranch. Technically the ranch is on wetlands so, it would be more accurate to say, from October through April it's a swamp. On the ranch are 30 horses, one is mine, two are my love's, and the other 27 belong to the crazy horse lady (read; crazy cat lady only with horses) who pays the other half of the rent and the untilites (when she remembers).
I heart the crazy horse lady, she has some great stories about when she was cowboying in Wyoming and south-eastern Oregon, and how she learned things from 'real' old timers, and she is mostly a kick in the pants. She's got some interesting views on politics, horses, aliens, recycling and anything that may possibly have a hint of liberalism... but I respect her anyway. You can teach me something that may change my understanding, but you cant ever tell me that what I believe is wrong and what you believe is right and expect me to change my beliefs on that basis alone. She gets that, so we're good.
You know how people say never discuss Politics and Religion, well she throws horses in there too, then she talks non stop about Politics and Horses like she is the end all be all know all on both subjects and she will argue with you even when you are agreeing with her. It's amusing in small doses, and since I'm not much of a debater I let her and my love go at it while I listen in and laugh.
I grew up in the suburbs so when I first moved to the ranch I felt so lucky, not many people that I know have an opportunity to live on a ranch and take care of horses everyday. That feeling has waned substantially in the past 12 months. Dont get me wrong, I love the space. I love the horses, their sounds, their smell, their presence. I love the hay, in all of it's glorious itchiness. I even love the clockwork train that rattles my house at 7pm, 11pm, and 530am. I accepted my newly discovered allergies, and the fact that a couple cats, while annoying in their own right, are better than even a single mouse in the house.
I dont love my slowly sinking house; apparently living on a swamp has repricussions on a foundation. I dont love the musty smell it's taken on or the lovely, bar like, air quality that signifies when the crazy horse lady is home. I dont really love sharing my space, ie. other than my love and his children, no more roommates. And I dont love lugging 4 bales of hay, one at a time, through knee high mud in the rain everynight to feed 20 horses that should have been sold last spring but the crazy horse lady stayed home for 4 months then didnt stick to her plan.
This should not be misconstrued as me not loving the horses. I feel sad for the horses, I dont want to resent the horses, it's not their fault. I'm sure they wish they had thousands of acres to roam, instead of just 40. I'm sure they want endless supplies of food to keep them plump all winter long. But I know that most of them would rather be out in the field than in a stall, they dont like stalls.
Next year, come springtime, when the mares are putting new foals on the ground, and the yearlings are starting to look more like horses and less like large deer, when my newly discovered allergies flare back up, and the mud starts to get hard again, we will leave the ranch. Even in these craptacular economic times, we are planning to buy at least 5 acres, a house with room for 6 (his, mine and us), two dogs and a barn for our 3 (unmultiplying) horses.




It's Good To Be Me | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License | Dandy Dandilion Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates