Emma had a doctor's appointment today. Just a regular, how's it going, let's get some blood work, hows the birth control working visit.
NO, Emma has very serious cramping and PMS symptons. What works to correct those problems? Birth control. Please remember whose blog you are reading. Emma finds any boy beneath the age of 20 unappealing. It's not their looks. It's their intelligence and plain old common sense. She believes that all boys 20 and under aren't firing on all cylinders. She's an elitist. The ability to hold a decent conversation is important to her. Being able to do stupid tricks and crack idiotic jokes, not so important. What's a girl to do???
We went to the barn this morning, just like most mornings. It was gorgeous out, sunny, bright, little breeze, the smell of fall in the air, leaves beginning to turn from green to deep reds and oranges. Our intent was to spend our time loving on horses, riding and training Argo, cleaning water containers and enjoying each other's company. Sounds great, doesn't it. What a wonderful way to spend your Monday morning. Ah., but we forgot to take one thing into consideration. We usually do, though our hopes are always high and we leave our house with a sense of excitement.
Argo. We forgot to take into account Argo. How silly of us. Argo is 6, a beautiful palomino, 17 hands, sweet-natured, aloof, and an overall butthead. Liz wants to have her trained to start competition by spring. We sigh. Okay, O, pioneer woman. We'll give it our best. But I'm telling you right now, working with a horse that you love but have no problem calling an asshole makes you wish showing guinea pigs was a sport.
**And don't anyone dare tell me, it's an actual sport. Once again, guinea pigs were meant to be eaten. You cannot convince me otherwise. If you saw the amount of room they take up in my office, you'd agree.**
Argo was in no mood to co-operate this morning. Think about the worst 4 year old you have ever witnessed in Walmart. Now picture Argo's face where the kid's face would go and viola! you have Argo.
Training a horse is no different than training a 4 year old kid. There can be only one winner. There will be no compromise. Patience, perseverance and stubbornness will take the day. If you put a child in time out, for non-compliance, he stays in time out. No matter how many times you have to pick the child up and place him back in the time-out chair, you don't give in. Trust me on this point. I have a 20 year old and 17 year old. If you give an inch, they'll take a mile and you'll be paying for it the rest of your life. Witness the tampon paper, on the floor, in the bathroom, next to the garbage can that you can open with your foot, same garbage can placed within 12 inches of the toilet. Yeah, I compromised.
You cannot give up until the child realizes your way is his way. The same principle is followed with Argo. There are a few minor differences of course. Argo weighs, maybe, 2000 pounds and trying to physically push her to the edge of the ring is like trying to make Beerhound clean a toilet. We've been married 26 years and he hasn't cleaned one yet. Horses also have no concept of time. A child will get tired, hungry, want to go out and play, want some juice, knows his favorite show is coming on or daddy is coming home. A horse doesn't fucking care. They don't know what time is. They don't even recognize the concept of time. It's fucking annoying, that's what it is.
Since we don't believe in physically hurting a horse, it comes down to who is willing to wait the situation out the longest. And it better damn well be you.
Emma had a doctor's appointment at 1:30. Argo didn't give a shit, no matter how much we tried to explain it to her. I personally grabbed her halter looked her in the eye and said, "Look butthead, trot damn it. I've got places to go." Argo just blinked and then snuffled my sweats to see if I had any sugar cubes in there. Sugar cubes my ass. At that point, I would of eaten them right in front of her.
Hence my call to Twana. I love Twana. She's my favorite receptionist. Dr. Mahon is our favorite doctor. We've seen her for almost 11 years now. At least enough to pay for her BMW.
I call on my cellphone, standing outside the ring, while Emma cracks the whip and yells "Trot, Argo, trot." over and over and over again.
Twana: "Hello, Roosevelt Medical Center. This is Twana."
"Hey Twana. This is Susan Hemingway."
"Well, hey, Mrs. Hemingway. How you doing?"
"Great thanks. How are you?" - "Trot, damn it Argo, Trot."
"I'm doing good. What can I do for you? Doesn't Emma have an appointment in an hour?" - "Trot, Argo, Trot. Fucking A, now I've got a blister. Argo!"
"Yes, she does. That's what I'm calling about. I need to cancel it. See, Emma's in the ring with Argo and Argo won't behave. She's not doing anything Emma is telling her to do, nothing. She's being a real butthead. And, well, you just can't leave a horse when they are disobeying because they don't have any sense of time and if Emma left right now, well, Argo would win the battle and the next time Emma came out, which would probably be tomorrow, Argo will only behave worse and it will be like starting from first base all over again. You can't imagine how frustrating this situation is. Sigh. Starting over would be a nightmare and you only want one nightmare a week. I feel so bad for Emma, she looks like she's ready to collapse. Oh shit, a bee." Jumping, swatting, ducking. "So you see, Twana, we're here in Chesapeake and I don't think Argo is going....."
" Mrs. Hemingway. Mrs. Hemingway?"
"Yes?" - "Argo, I'm not moving. Get going!"
"I don't know who Argo is but you tell Emma I'm rooting for her. How does next Monday look?"
"Oh, good, good." - "Argo, sweet Jesus, just trot."
"Okay then, I'll pencil you in for next Monday. And don't worry about the 24 hour notice charge. You sound like you need a drink."
"Twana, you are the greatest, you know that?"
"Yes, ma'am, I do and that's why you always remember me at Christmas. I do need a new scarf. You have a good day now and I'll see you next Monday. Bye."
And with that she hung up.
We were there another hour. Argo finally gave in and trotted beautifully around the ring. Stopped right in front of me. Snuffled my face.
Yea, sugar cubes my ass.