Some of you know I have a crazy neighbor. And when I say I have a crazy neighbor, I mean that literally. And when I say literally, I mean that in the literal sense of the word literally, not the metaphorical (or hyperbolic) sense as in “like literally” which translates into: I think I am really exaggerating when I say this, but I’m literally showing my ignorance because I don’t know what the word literally means. But I digress. Anyway, somewhere out there, there is a test—I believe they are referred to by the politically correct as “inventories” such as the ABC1 or OCD3, and if you administered this test to my neighbor “Tom” (we’ll call him, not that that’s his real name), he would qualify as having some actual (literal) mental disorder. Using my vast knowledge of psychology (gained from one high school class and one college class) I have decided that he is schizophrenic or bipolar or maybe something else. Actually, just understanding that he is literally mentally ill has made the situation easier for me to deal with. I now have a sense of humor about it—he’s not a jerk, he’s just nuts! And I’m not angry with him anymore. Even though sometimes I really want to scream at him “Take a bath! Get a haircut! Put on clean clothes! and Get a job!” I understand that he is not truly capable of these things, so I am free to deal with him on his level and not expect too much.
Anyway, apparently God talks to Tom and somewhere along the line God told Tom that he needed to own three horses. This is according to my other crazy neighbors who have talked to him (and now I mean crazy in the metaphorical sense of “wacky” or “a little off” which are strict requirements on the entrance exam for those moving into our neighborhood). According to the neighbors, Tom has two grown children hiding out there—I mean living somewhere else—and God told Tom that his children would return to him and they would all need horses to ride. No one seems to know when this would happen or where God told him to ride the horses or if God told him to ride English or Western or use a bitless bridle or go shod or barefoot or anything interesting like that. Whatever is supposed to happen hasn’t happened yet and we’ve been here going on ten years now. So Tom started with one appaloosa mare and (I’m kind of speculating here) bred her to produce a colt? Then either he bred her again or maybe she bred with her colt? I don’t like to think about that one, but the end result was another colt.
The problem is that God left out one very important piece of information that belongs in this puzzle. God forgot to tell Tom to geld these colts. Tom actually believes that God has told him it is a sin to geld a horse, which is sort of counterproductive to the situation. So time passed… and they grew up… and now they are full-grown stallions… and I have a mare… and eventually they figured that out. So one day, they showed up at our place to “visit” my mare. They broke her out of her electric corral and fortunately, she was so freaked out about being chased around by two crazed stallions that when I opened the gate of a solid pipe corral, she shot in there as quick as she could to get away from then and I slammed the gate in their faces. God also seems to have forgotten to tell Tom to teach them manners. You (metaphorically) could not pay me enough money to stand within 10 feet of one of these horses. I’m not afraid of them, but I’m not stupid either. Neither is Tom (stupid I mean)—he may be crazy, but he is smart enough to know that leaving his horses rampaging around our property might be a bad idea. He came right away and got them.
Thus began a long cycle of stallion visits from one or the other or even both of the two stallions. And thus began a series of corral upgrades on my side of things. Can you see why I love my neighbor now? Well, first, the horses had to have all pipe corrals—no more electric fence. So we bought a bunch more pipe fencing. And they needed better shelters, so we bought two more of those. The shelters had to be well anchored to prevent them from blowing away which meant digging holes to pour concrete posts to attach the shelter to. The holes were really hard to dig, and how were we ever going to move the dirt necessary to fill the foundations? You guessed it—we had to buy a tractor. Then the whole shootinmatch needed to be enclosed in a perimeter fence so that the stallions could rampage to their heart’s content “over there” and not near my horses. So I drew up plans to fence off about 10 acres with our little horse area on the inside. Then we moved our “bathroom shed” which has a composting toilet over to the horse area so I now have a little tack/storage shed, but also a bathroom. I often feed in the dark in the winter, so David has installed “much needed” lighting.
I have not, yet, figured out how to justify a new saddle or a real hay barn or a new trailer out of this, but I’m working on it.
And for those of you who wonder why I don’t “do” something about the stallions, I don’t have a lot of options. Fencing them out is the Nevada way of dealing with them. I could probably shoot one of them and claim self defense and get away with it, but I don’t blame the horses for this situation. It would be better if I tried to shoot one and missed and “accidentally” hit Tom, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get away with that. I have offered to pay to have the horses gelded, but Tom just said that God would think that was wrong. I have even considered offering to buy the two horses and gelding them myself, but I’m pretty sure Tom wouldn’t sell them to me (he’s crazy, not stupid, remember? He knows the first thing I’d do to them.). One friend and I came up with a wild scheme to put a loudspeaker under Tom’s trailer and speak to him in the middle of the night:
“TOM! THIS IS GOD! GELD THE HORSES!”
But hatching that scheme is one thing—carrying it out would make ME certifiable—and I mean that—like literally.