The House Guest
By now, most of my Facebook friends and family know, after suffering a "I haven't ridden my horse in over a week” with-drawl, I brought my horse into the house. It's not the first time, and certainly will not be the last. In fact, if I were to become a widow (I know those sound like extreme terms, but my husband insists that those are the terms), I would transform the bedroom next to mine into a horse stall - with one of the dual window-and-door-in-one things to my bedroom. You see, in my house, this is a normal concept, one I speak of all of the time. But to a particular dear friend of mine, it was a far more foreign concept, one of which had her shocked and entertained, with a side of appalled, like a combo meal of emotions. So, seeing it from her fresh perspective, I've decided to share the experience with all of you.
As I already said, I hadn't ridden my horse in over a week. I had missed all of my regular riding days working on clearing out the brush and sideways growing trees from our property's low ground instead. Then I missed my regularly scheduled cutting lesson (where the horse and rider "cut" a cow from the herd, and have to keep it from re-entering the herd - more or less) due to the fact that after working in the brush I was covered with poison oak, or ivy - does it really matter which? Sadly, we have both. Anyway, I learned from the last time I had poison oak, or ivy, that when I'm on Benadryl, I can ride, but as sure as the sea is salty, can't cut. It was unsightly, to say it best, and downright dangerous, to say it correctly.
So here I am, missing my regular medication of riding my horses, when I decide that I simply cannot take it anymore. I miss my horses. Particularly the one I refer to as my soul mate, Bella Dama. She's that one-of-a kind horse that actually prefers her people over horses. She was a mother when I bought her at the early age of four (she was four, not me) and I do believe she's been mothering me ever since. She and I are a lot alike. We both love eating and going places together - fast! Whether it be from this end of the beach to the other, from the third barrel to the finish line, or from the start line of an endurance ride and back, we just like being together. There's nothing we can't do when we're together. She'll give anything a good hard try, if I ask. Which leads me to her entry of the house, up the stairs.
Like many houses, mine has a wooden stairway you must climb before granted entry to the front door. Bella can climb stairs, and has done so on many occasions, so I didn't think too much it. Except the stairs were wet, not to mention, older than the last time she had climbed them. I'm standing at the top, with the front door open, and she, with unfailing trust, begins to climb. She hesitates. The steps are a bit narrow, and not spaced far enough apart from each other for four long legs and hooves, but she looks at me and continues on. A little misstep here, a little grunt and slide there... then she falls to her knee. Our heart lurches in unison. Halfway up, she's committed now.
"Come on, baby! You can do it!"
I can do it. I can do it, she says - in her head (I don't hear voices).
She does. She lunges herself up the flat platform. But the flat platform is wood, and also wet. All at once, her four feet begin skating. She's not going anywhere, but her legs are going every which way, like Bambi on ice. Her belly hits the wood railing, catching her enormous weight and straightening her out so that she's standing there, four legs sprawled to their limit, scared to so much as to breathe, or else the skating begins all over again. I feel absolutely terrible, but I have to get her off that part, so I tell her, "I'm sorry, baby. Come inside, off the porch." Just inside the doorway, she can grip the mat and then the flooring of the house, no problem.
Inside, she is treated to a quick beauty parlor. Her blanket is removed so she doesn't get too hot and I wash her feet with towels. As my son holds her and she waits for the cleaning to be done, she nibbles on the pile of apples I had set there for her. The little trip up the short stairs paid off in big dividends. Munch, munch, munch. Bella spent the next half hour venturing from room to room, checking out the furniture, the TV, and the coffee table where there were more carrots! The baby tree on the table? You could see the question in her eyes. For good measure, she knocked that over. Then she commenced to trying to steal my youngest son's toast with jelly. That was fun, but not as fun as tromping down the hall to dad's room and giving him a startling good morning hello! After she returned to the living room, that's when it happened - the good ole nature call.
We've spent enough time around our horses in their moment of relieving themselves, that we knew it was coming. You can tell in the slight way they stand a little stiff, like a baby right before they squat and begin grunting and filling the room with a putrid smell, and their diaper with...well you know. Then the tail lifts, not a lot, just enough to let everyone know, "hey, I'm going to drop something here in... five...four...three..." At that point the tail lifts higher - must get tail clear of the dump radius- and then...
Do you remember the movie Independence Day, released in 1996, with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum? There's this part in the movie, right before the alien ship's first strike, and all those people are at the top of the building, looking up in awe. Kiersten Warren is there with her hand made "Welcome" sign. Something about the ship begins to change, and she says, "Uh! It's opening up!"
Yeah, just like that.
In a panic, I thrust out my bare hands, taking the catcher's position, while hollering to my boys, "Get a rag!"
My oldest son doesn't move, but sits there and busts out laughing as a few apple sized cylinders begin popping out into my hands, just like that little stuffed bunny that use to poop jelly beans. I have no idea what my youngest is doing. Looking back at it now, it seems he was MIA (Missing in Action) at the time of the event. How curious.
"Get a rag!" I repeat, frustrated, at my son's lack of movement in my moment of... Oh no! They are coming to fast! (It’s amazing how quickly the bowels can shove out manure. Are we really talking about this?) The poo facet is on full blast! I'm dropping warm pebbles of poo all over the carpet, and more are following! How does she have so many?!
My son finally busts into action, and instead of bringing the extra-large sized rag from the front door that I used when Bella first came in, he brings me a tiny white rag, from the kitchen. Really?! Fine, its what's available. I move my hands, hoping the gooey pebbles manage to fall right into his rag. Yeah, well, they didn't. Somehow, by some miracle, every last one of them compact, steaming pebbles missed his rescue rag and fell to the floor with all the others.
Thud, thud, thud, thud.
"Well, at least they are firm," I said, dropping to my knees, and collecting them with my fingers as if picking up chicken eggs, gathering them together into a pile.
My oldest is no longer laughing. He's down on his hands and knees picking them up too, except he's using the little white rag like dog walkers use plastic bags, to pick up the poo and add to them my pile. It really was fortunate that Bella has such nice firm, not so little, poo apples. If it had been my husband's horse, Little Foot, it would have been a story of loose, green, with a bit of a splash. You count your blessings in times like these.
We finally got them all gathered, thrown away, and taken out. Bella enjoyed a few more minutes in the house, walking from room to room, probably wondering where the poo pile was supposed to be, since we had seemed so adamant she had misplaced the first one. The rest of the visit was event-free and I was happy to have had her.
I did, however, spend the rest of the morning steam-cleaning the carpet of the entire house before my husband got out of bed. :)
If you would like to read more about our adventures please visit www.slaterlife.com