Monday, July 16, 2012
Who is that beautiful horse . . . don't you know how pretty I am
Now I realized when I started this trip, that of this pair, I would not be the one getting all the compliments. My girl is a lovely horse, if you like Arabs she is stunning and if you don't, she is stunning. So it came as no surprise to me when I was riding along, on my way to the Canby fairgrounds that people would stop, and tell me what a beautiful horse I had. It was an easy ride to the fairgrounds. Only about 15 miles from the pasture I had kept the girls in the night before, provided to us by our savior, Chia, after being refused entrance into Champoeg park. I was thrown for a loop there, having never been refused entrance into a state park before, but they were adamant that livestock(even lovely livestock) was not allowed inside the park. But we were rescued by our new friend, Chia, and after a restful night, Strip in a 40 acre pasture and us at Chia's house, it was on the road to Canby. I had gone about 9 miles when I was off walking for a bit and a bicyclist, who obviously didn't find Strip pretty, made some remark about it not being safe for me to walk along side a 55mph road. Being the ever so shy person that I am, I remarked that people were more likely to hit her, since they generally liked me and my horse and that "livestock"(lovely or otherwise) holds the right of way on the road. For some odd reason, she found that offensive and rode off in a snit. Reaching Canby with no other negative encounters, just loads of complements on my horse, I headed down an even busier road, Highway 99, into town. I had been riding about 3 blocks when Strip suddenly nickered. I leaned down and patted her neck softly, told her she was a good girl and then went back to watching traffic. A few minutes later, she did it again, I soothed her and looked around to see if she was worried about something I hadn't noticed and found nothing amiss. A third nicker and a slight look right and I began to worry myself. I looked right and saw nothing but an empty store front and I started watching her carefully. The next time she nickered and looked right I looked immediately, and saw our reflection. She was nickering at her own reflection in the windows as we passed them. I guess she must really be a beautiful horse to impress herself, since she has always been picky about what horsey company she keeps. Now I was heading towards the fairgrounds, to meet up with Jessica, she had tried to find us a place there, but 4H was having their annual horse fair and the lady running it, lets call her Schmanice, had told her everything was full but if she could find a place we were welcome to stay. She sent her around with her assistant to check out some possible spots, all unsuitable. So Jess was waiting for me out front. I arrived to find her not feeling well and to be greeted by one of the fair ground staff. The staffer was excited to have us there, she called her supervisor and after a call back it was decided to put us in the bone yard, not normally open to rental so not within the 4h woman's jurisdiction. We set up, Jess getting sicker by the minute and I ran to the store and returned just as she got sick. I think it was from the heat and the stress of trying to find a place. We were sitting there when Schmanice came zipping over in her golf cart, snapping at us sharply, demanding to know who gave us permission to be there. I told her who, just as the staffer arrived to back me up. Another staffer arrived, apparently Schmanice had been raising a stink with the fair grounds management about us being where we were, having not approved our existence herself, and the new staffer told us they were relocating us to behind the rodeo arena, once again a place not open to be rented. This seemed to annoy the poor representative of all that 4h stands for even more and she took off in her golf cart again. We pulled our camp, moved to the new digs, where they kindly set up a pen for Strip, and proceeded to plan our next few days. The next morning I was off to try and get some errands done and hadn't been gone 20 minutes when Jess called me. She had been given a heads up by one of the staff, someone, you guess who, had told the Fair manager that we had a rescue horse and it was obviously diseased and they were sending over a vet to check it out and see if we had papers for it. That was it for me. I turned around and headed back. Upon returning, I called the OSU Extension for 4H and asked if I was breaking any of their rules by being there. The kind lady on the phone said no and told me she would have the head of Oregon contact me. I then called the manager of the Fair Grounds to apologize for all the trouble I had brought her and to tell her that my horse, who I have had for 16 years was fully papered, health cert and coggins and I would be happy to get them copies. Then I explained to her what I was doing and why and told her that I would of course relocate, to which she said no, I was welcome to stay another day. I thanked her profusely and as I was hanging up the call from Doug rang through, I missed switching to it, new phone and all, and called him right back. He missed my call and soon recalled me. He was a very kind man, I explained my situation to him, telling him exactly what I was doing and wanted to make sure I wasn't violating any rules by being there. We had a long talk, about 4H and what they stand for, helping young people learn about animals and care and so much more, I was really quite surprised at the hostility I was receiving from this particular Schmanice person. He assured me there was no reason for my not being there and if the Fair grounds had placed me somewhere not related to the horse fair, then he couldn't see what the big problem was, laughing, he said maybe she was just over stressed with the fair. Personally, I think she was just lording it over her little kingdom and was mad because I went around her, but she might be in for a bit of surprise, since Doug was planning on having a talk with her. Either way, to call my horse a diseased rescue horse was a nasty low thing, I mean, look at how pretty she is.