Oona came out and rode with me today. She’s a “working student”; she helps out whenever she can manage and I fit her in for rides whenever I can manage, which, this week, meant this afternoon, as Claire had a birthday party and Iris had girl scouts.
I picked Oona up from Gunn, where she is a senior, and zipped off to the barn to meet the farrier. Chavali’s initial trimming appointment was for Wednesday morning, but when Richard, the trimmer, tried to fetch her, she turned tail and headed for the far end of the pasture. (Chavali really likes Richard. She likes Richard better than she likes me. But the pasture, at the time of year, really is that as it is full of grass and she had no intention of missing a bite.) Needless to say, I showed up today and fetched her myself.
I always enjoy watching Richard work. Chavali, often a hyper, nervous wreck, is putty in his hands. Getting her hoofs trimmed by Richard must feel like a manicure (pedicure?) to her. I sat in the Prius watching Richard and chatting with him for quite a while when it occurred to me that we were leaving Oona out of the conversation. “Did you hear that Oona?” was barely out of my mouth when I noticed that her eyes were shut, her head was nodding and she was about to topple off the mounting block upon which she was sitting.
She confessed that she’d been reading a really good book and not getting quite enough sleep.
After a trip to Peet’s coffee and the slowest tack up ever, Oona and I finally did get off on a very nice ride, round about Los Altos Hills and through Clark’s field. Oona was not as conversant as usual. Not that it bothered me, but then about two-thirds of the way through our ride Oona started laughing at nothing in particular. Not haha funny kind of laughing. It was more like some one had given her an overdose of nitrous oxide: “hehehehehehehehe…hiccup…hehehehehehe”.
One of the experiences unique to equine activity is that you, inevitably, end up being forced to spend time with one another when you are really tired (because horses need to be medicated or the ride took a lot longer than you had anticipated or someone’s blood sugar simply drops). Haley simply craps out, like a balloon deflating. She’ll be trucking along, full of steam, when all of a sudden she becomes completely useless. Maddie becomes argumentative, obsessively so. Katie gets grumpy and a little mean. (I usually start swearing.) Oona, apparently, gets the giggles.
Fits of laughter followed me all the way home from Clark’s field, but she was quiet by the time we got back to the barn. Oona said that after the giggles she goes through a tired phase and after that she gets really unpleasant so that “none of my friends want to be around me”. She was off to the school dance after her ride. I don’t think I want to know how that went.

2 comments on “Horsegirls

  1. Maddie says:

    do i really get that argumentative?

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