Last night at the barn it was one bungled chore after another. The stupid feed store is out of the good flyspray, so I’m left mixing up a concentrate that doesn’t work worth beans (which is, of course, why they had so much of it left in stock). And I keep spilling the concentrate on my hands, which necessitates me sprinting for a hose that really hasn’t worked all summer and which nobody has had time to fix.
And since classes have started, I’m living in my head like a true professor–planning things to say, going over mental lists all the time so I don’t forget stuff–and, of course, being in denial about my ever-constant stage fright. The upshot of all of this means I now have absolutely no short-term memory. I’ve been leaving sprinklers on, forgetting things I went downstairs to get, forgetting what time it is, etc. etc.
So I was in a hurry (and aren’t those just the words of doom, when you have horses) and naturally Friday decided she didn’t want me spraying her, so she started walking around (while I followed her). Then a breeze suddenly sprang up, blowing the wrong direction, so a bunch of what I’d just sprayed ended up on me, not her. I stopped spraying to wait for the wind to stop.
That’s when she half-turned her head and gave me a pissy look. Not ears-pinned, fierce, threatening, or any of that–just a bona-fide Friday crusty, complete with little crabby mouth-crinkles. Oh yes, it was abundantly clear she wasn’t happy with me. Well, fine. I wasn’t happy with her, either. Why can’t you be like Dove, who LIKES to be a good girl? I thought.
When I raised my arm to spray Fry some more, she shifted her weight and made it clear she was going to walk off again. I suddenly became completely exasperated. Fine. “You don’t want flyspray, fine.” I said. Not like the stuff is doing any good anyway.
I’ve been reading a lot on other blogs about how we let our horses down with our lack of confidence, our lack of making time, our lack of sensitivity. But I did have the thought yesterday…don’t our horses fail us, sometimes, too? I wasn’t asking the world of this mare. I wasn’t hurting her, and this is something I’ve done with her about 2,000 times this summer. The flies are so bad right now that I think it should be possible for them to make the connection that spray=relief (at least for a little while). My old mare who is so sensitive to flies immediately starts to doze after I’ve got her covered. She knows she can rest for a few minutes without having to wiggle her skin and stomp around.
Now, I’m sure Fry didn’t appreciate my demeanor. I’m sure they get tired of me spraying them first thing when I get there–but I can’t really even spend a quiet moment with them until I do because the bugs are so bad right now. And I was in a hurry, and my mind was on other stuff.
But my heart is in the right place, right? Why can’t I ever buy a break with this mare?
The thing is, Friday reminds me a lot of someone else. Me.
I was sitting at the dinner table last night with HM and Things 1 and 2, who had to be hollered for dinner three times. Then one of the Things had the bad grace to complain about part of the meal.
And I swear to you as I sat there morosely eating the last of what was on my plate (because it had taken them so long to come upstairs) that I had this sudden vision of myself with horse ears on my head and a black, pissy cloud around my head.
I knew what was expected of me–I was supposed keep my temper in check, be the parent, and try to scrape together whatever pleasantness I could for dinner–but I sure as hell didn’t feel like it.
I don’t suppose it’s by accident that I use a picture of Fry as my avatar. We have a lot to learn from each other.