Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Less than Stellar

Once a month I make the 3 hour trip to Mormon Lake AZ to compete in a 2 man ranch sorting.  Last time I went my tranny was acting up and I ended up limping home.  We thought the problem was electrical, and while I didn't feel like a 3 hour trip with a horse in the trailer in the middle of summer was the best time to "test drive"  TC swore I would be fine.

So with fingers crossed I loaded up Melody at 4 am Saturday morning and we headed up north.  My truck did ok until we got to Pine.  Then I had to shut it down and let it sit for a bit so it could reset it's little brain and then we made in to the sort.

I got my girl all settled in...

...with her smorgasbord of hays and pellets.  I never know what is going to make her happy so I give her many options.  This time she chose a little bit of each item.  She has gatorade, water, alfalfa hay, alfalfa pellets, and grass hay.  She is a goof ball.  

I had some time before my class started so I went up to the stands and did some armchair riding.  

 We had some wicked clouds looming over head and was sure that my class was going to get dumped on, but it turned out to be just the right amount of coolness to make the day really enjoyable.

I have no pics of me sorting, or videos.  I'd be embarrassed to show them anyway.  I had a couple of good runs going, but anytime we got more than 4 cows, we ended up blowing out and getting a red flag.  I did have 2 clean runs with 2 cows each.  That did put me "in the bubble" for the second go, but both times my partner let cows through the gate.

I'll admit that my riding was less than stellar to say the least.  I could have done much better.  I had some really good partners who were kind enough to ranch hand with me.  They held the gate while I went and got cows.  It is slower that way, but since I blew out my first two runs right away, we all agreed that maybe it would be better if I stayed out of the gate.

I tried to be very careful about not bringing my partner more cows that they could handle.  I tried to go slow and easy to just pull out the cow I was after. Sometimes those cows were just bad.  Really bad.  However, I can't help but wonder what is different for me and my horse from last spring.

Last spring we would drive to Wittman every weekend, and it wasn't long till I was pulling down some 10 runs.  I mean we were doing really well.  Now I get up here, and I can't even hold a cow.

I am considering taking Melly back to where I got her from.  Not to sell her, but to get her tuned up.  Along with that, I would go down 2x per week and get some sorting lessons.  It would give me a chance to get some coaching on actual cows, from someone who knows my horse.  The price she quoted me is more than fair, and it is about an hour from my house, so I could get up early and go before work, and then just change my work hours to be a later day.

 I have a friend who has a cabin right by the arena so I stayed with them, and the next morning we went on a trail ride.  Melody is not a fan of trail riding, but I made her go anyways.  While I was waiting on my friends, I rode her up  through the trees.  She made it about 20 ft in, and then did the most gorgeous reining spin and hightailed it out of there.  Obviously it was a little too claustrophobic for her.  Either that or she saw a bear.  Lol

This was right before she spun and bolted

When my friends were ready, we rode out together.  Melody does much better in a group and I was quite proud of her.  She stopped over all sorts of things and even rode up into the trees.  We stopped and had a little picnic, before riding back to civilization.

This is her "I do not like riding in trees" face

My friends daughter and her horse Godlie

My friend and her two daughters

When we got back I quickly loaded up all my stuff and my horse and headed back down the mountain.  I made it most of the way through the big canyon between Payson and Apache Junction, and my tranny messed up again.  This time I couldn't get it to reset, so I called TC and he headed towards me,  I had an hour to wait so I sat in the trailer with Mel.  It was nice and cool in there, and just me being in there kept her nice and calm.  I laid one of my Indian rugs down and had a little nap.  It was a little smelly, but not too bad and before I knew it TC was there and we swapped out the trucks.

The plan was for me to limp my truck home and he would get the horse home and out of the trailer.  Go figure, my truck shifted just fine the rest of the way home.  I should have just sat longer before I called him.  Regardless it is going to a tranny shop.  I did some research and what is happening is that the TCM is putting the tranny into "limp mode" (not allowing it to shift out of 4th gear) because it either has low voltage, or I have a plugged filter, or something.  

So..... until I get that fixed, my lessons get set aside.  


But I guess I'll just keep riding until then.  

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Among Friends

There are things I just can't get away with saying on Facebook.  There are things I really want to say on Facebook, because the people who REALLY need to hear them live on Facebook.  They do not set foot in blogger land.

It is probably for the best, though.  It is nice having a place to be among friends and be able to share the things that absolutely drive me up the wall.

Things like the customer who called my store today.

I just happened to be there on my day off.  I was fixing a little computer issue and buying a waterer for my chickens (YESSSS I have Chickens now! But that is a story for a different day) when the phone rang and of course I answered it because my associates were all busy.

"Hi, I spoke with Cass yesterday about some bales of hay we purchased that had weeds in it?"

"Yes, and you would like to exchange them?  We would be happy to do that.'

"Well I only have one full one left and half of another. My daughter fed the other one, and when I came out and saw the sticks in the stall I thought someone was trying to poison my horses."

"I'm so sorry about that, my guess is that it is Cotton stems, but regardless I will exchange the bales for you.  I will gladly give you 3 new bales and take back what ever you have left."

"But Cass said she would give me 15% off of more hay."

"Ma'am we cannot give discounts on hay, but I am giving you 3 free bales so you don't need to buy more."

"But I already paid for 3"

"Yes and you are returning 1, and I am giving you 2 more."

(It is easier for me to write off a bale of hay that it is for me to discount it- my bosses are weird about that)

"But I don't want to have to drive down there again, this is a big hassle.  Surely I should get something extra for my time."

"Ma'am, if you will give me your address, I will gladly deliver the new bales to you right now, and pick up what ever you have there that is bad."

"Well I still feel like I should be compensated."

*Are you kidding me right now*

"Ma'am, can your horses have treats?  I can bring you a free bag of treats."

"Well I guess, but why did Cass tell me I could have a discount on my hay, if she can't do that?"

*she didn't I'm sure*

"Ma'am I am sure I don't know but I will be talking with her about it. May I have your address please?"

So she finally gives her address.  Keep in mind that I am in my stall cleaning clothes, which consist of cuttoff's and a tank top and slip on sketchers, and have not even brushed my hair yet.  I have my loader put three pretty bales of grass hay in my little company pick up, and proceed to drive to her house.

Said "ranchette" is in a "fancy" horse neighborhood, with white plastic fences and perfectly manicured front yards all perfectly matching as per some very expensive HOA instructions.  They were really pretty and neat and not to my personal tastes at all, but I'm a wide open spaces gal myself.

I called when I arrived and a woman young enough to be my daughter comes out with her husband who is close to the same age.  I backed in as far as I could but their boat and camper trailer were both in the way so I could not get close enough to the hay shed to load the bales in directly.  This meant that I had to carry out the bad bale, pick up all the loose hay and flakes off the floor and tie it up and get it out, and then carry each 100lb bale from my truck to the hay barn and stack it.

Keep in mind that I am 53 years old, she and her husband are both early 30's at the most.

She and her husband calmly stood there and watched me as I lifted and carried these bales back and forth.

Eventually her husband just went back inside while she stayed and watched.

I get it, it is my job, but in my mind I am thinking....

What kind of man lets a 50 year old woman stack his hay while he watches without so much as a, "I wish I could help but......."

Maybe they have medical issues, I don't know.  You would think if that was the case they would be having their hay delivered all the time, rather than picking it up themselves.

Maybe I am just too intimidating, and his manhood was impugned so he had to go inside and hang his head in shame.

Maybe he is just a jerk.

When it was all done, I handed her the bag of free treats, AND a 15% off any shelf item coupon, and made sure she knew that she could use it the next time she came in, but not on hay.

I got in my truck and drove away wondering if I really want people like that coming to my store.

Yes I know I do.

I did take great satisfaction in the recognition that the particular fancy housing development that they live in is built right on top of an old dump that the Air Force base used to use.  I distinctly recall a day about 30 years ago when I was out there looking for old clorox bottles and such, when I found some old mortar rounds half buried.  They were Korean war era, and of course I took one home.  But last I knew the rest were still there.  I wonder how long it will be before the trash starts coming to the surface of their yard.

I shouldn't be that way.

I should be happy that they gave me the chance to fix it.  That is what customer service is supposed to be.

I am happy that I was able to make things right.

I still drove away with a smirk though. and I admit to not feeling bad about that smirk.