Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All in the name of a place to ride

As the weather changes and the footing on the roads, trails , and outdoor arena get worse, I always feel a sense of urgency. How will I keep JB in condition? Now, with an added member , I have the added concern of how to keep Maggie going as well. I plan to have her ready for her first 25 miler this season and she needs a ton of work before that. I can work a horse in snow , but we get so much ice, it becomes a real problem for me.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. The arena I would normally have access to was foreclosed on this past month. So, yesterday my friend and I went arena hunting. There happens to be a huge , fancy place about a mile and half up the road from my place. It would be perfect but there is one problem. It's private. The owner is , shall we say, a local well -to-do business person/attorney/property developer who is living out his "cowboy" dream in Montana...

I drive by the place every day coming and going to work and wonder what really goes on at this fancy place. I haven't seen any horse activity for the last year or so. I used to see a horse trailer coming and going quite often, driven by a younger guy in a cowboy hat... (atleast he looked the part) but lately there has been no activity. As far as I know, they have reining horses at the place....but maybe , just maybe , they got out of the horse business? which would explain the lack of activity????
...and maybe, just maybe, they would love to see their facility atleast getting used by someone... that someone being me, a neighbor???
I finally got tired of wondering and got up enough courage to find out once and for all. Ofcourse, the only way to do that was to drive in there, hope to find someone and ask. I considered a phonecall but something like this warranted atleast an introduction of myself.

So, I talked my friend into coming along. I figured if there was some crazed caretaker to run us off, there was atleast strength in numbers. I pulled up to the long, fancy entry way, paused for a moment as we glanced at each other for a final confirmation that we might either be about to make total fools of ourselves or possibly get chased off by a crazed ranch caretaker...a nod of conformation from my friend said we were going for it....we headed down the long heated,... yes heated... paved driveway , bordered by beautful pastures that were fenced with the white vinyl(someone forgot to tell Mr well-to-do that white vinyl does indeed crack at 20 below) fencing on both sides.
I wound my truck down the drive to the main house, although it was hard to tell what was house and what was barn... if you can imagine for a moment, the fanciness of the place. The barn looked like a house... or maybe it was vice versa , either way.. both were beautiful.

We parked, got out of the truck and bravely walked up the the door. So far, no crazed caretaker... the lights were on in the house and I recognized Mr Well-to-do business man standing there with his wife in the kitchen. We stood there for a moment and the thought crossed my mind... Is this what it feels like to be a stalker???? They must have seen my headlights, yet , they seemed oblivious to the fact that someone had just pulled up...

We knocked.. waited.. waited some more..

For heavens sake.... they were both standing right there, were they ignoring our knocks? Couldn't they see us on their well lit front doors steps??? Were they hoping we would just go away if they ignored us long enough? My friend looked at me , sharing the moment of confusion....can they not hear us?? Right about now, I was thinking maybe this was a mistake and just about lost my nerve, wanting to make a dash for it back to my truck..
...but, not being one to be ignored...

...................................knock, knock knock again..

A little louder this time. Ah finally.. Mr well-to -do looks up , in surprise to see me standing there and decides to anwer the door....

We politely introduced ourselves , and he politely listened, although he had the faintest look of what appeared to be irritation on his face at this intrusion....my friend went on for a moment about why we were there and where we lived (neighbors) and my friend then got right to the point and asked the question. "Do you ever lease out your facility to the public? We are distance riders and are looking for a place to ride for the winter?"
Mr well-to-do, looking as though he were considering it for a moment, but then , as politely as possible said "I am sorry but I will have to decline" .

He could have stopped right there... we had the point. It was the answer I was expecting but hoping against....

...but no... He had to add salt to the wound...
He went on to say, " We have a lot of requests like this and we just can't have every yay-hoo that calls themselves a rider come use our arena but.... good luck"
and he closed the door and walked back into the house....
I had to manually lift my jaw off the ground........Yay-hoo? The nerve!! Who is the one that calls himself a cowboy in a newspaper article but doesn't own a single cow??
I had to stop myself from rapping on that door again and challenge him to come riding with me sometime....see how many miles it takes for his cowboy &$$ to begin to chafe....and then we'll see who the ya-hoo is.....
but I refrained... I am sure my husband wouldn't appreciate having to explain to the cops that I just wanted a place to ride for the winter...and I tend to have a short fuse with rudeness.

I have rubbed shoulders with a few folks in my life with plenty of the green stuff. Most of them are nice people, good people. I admire people who have worked hard and been successful and try to learn what I can from their success.. but this??? This was just a little uncalled for. There is no reason to say things like that but I guess that's arrogance for you. Money doesn't give people a right to treat others rudely.
So long story short, I guess I got my answer but I also lost any respect I used to have for him (as a local business man) and you can bet you won't find me patroning his business anymore, I guarantee that.
It looks like I will be hauling to the state land about 8 miles away again this winter, dealing with frozen toes and fingers in order to keep my horses going, along with all the other yay-hoo's.....

3 comments:

Mel said...

OMG!!!!! I bet you were re-rehersing that conversation over and over in your head! It's one thing to decline politely with a smile....it's not he had 40 people a day asking him???? I mean, seriously, you were polite, asked nicely....

Jonna of Acer Farm said...

oh well...I should have expected it....

Stephanie said...

WOW... what a rude, rude man. Good thing you had a friend with you to rein you back!

Some peole in this world just don't get it. What comes around... goes around.