It was a bit of a long day, yesterday. Rain came back to Denmark, replacing our few days of snow. My friend and I had to stock up on food for the horses, (always the best thing to do on the first day of the month, let’s see who has any money left when we are done with that…) and there was a meeting at the Danish Sport Arabian Federation -DSAH.
I arrived at my stable to find that Tardis wasn’t really eating. I mean, she did eat her food, but it took her forever to fight through it and she left the hay and walked away… here is when you freak out as a horse owner. Your four year old, relatively skinny, lactating mare, just walked away from the hay. Why?
I don’t know. I checked her over like crazy, so fever, no sign of colic, no sign of esophagus constipation, I mean all in all, she seemed pretty healthy, she just wasn’t eating… That is one of those moments where you imagine what that phone call would be to your vet… for instance;
“Hi, my mare isn’t eating! Help!”
“Okay. Does she have a fever?”
“No, and no colic or anything else, she just won’t eat!”
“Right. It’s Saturday. You do know that?”
“Yes, but she isn’t eating!” (slightly panicky now.)
“Okay. And you are sure you want me to look at that? Now? Maybe she is just not hungry?”
Yes, I have done that once before, with Saleem. He had about two hours a few months back where he didn’t want to eat anything and I kind of freaked out and called my vet on a Sunday. Still, thinking of Saleem, made me remember something else. Saleem had a lot of teeth issues while growing up, and Tardis is just the right age for changing her back teeth at the moment.
Slowly convincing myself that she were just having tooth issues, because she was growing up, I allowed myself to go with my friend on the planned trip for picking up horse food. I am pretty sure my vet would not find it overly amusing if I called them on a Saturday just to have a few baby teeth removed, that would have fallen out on their own accord within days.
So, after having driven half way across the island to pick up horse food, because we only have one shop where we can get the stuff we need, (youngster food, and the right kind of vitamins, not supporting Equisana and Helgstrand Dressage, of course,) messing about managing to trip the food wagon as we were loading the car, much to the amusement of ourselves and the guys at the shop, who had asked if they should help, but like true equestrians, we had of course said no. Horse girls do things by themselves… Even if they don’t always do it the easiest way.
And so we went to the meeting at DSAH, mostly because I wanted to hear about the part of DSAH that was becoming a club, instead of a breeding association, because let’s face it, I am not THAT much into breeding. My horses are for riding, really. Sure, I do have two mares, and I do want to have them pregnant (again) someday, but at the moment, I want Tardis to be broken in and ridden and Marble is still growing up, so it is going to be a while before I have any use for a breeding association.
To be honest, my first impression of DSAH is that it is people who know each other, all of them, and have done so for the last fifty years. When you are an outsider, you don’t stand a chance. Hardly anyone talks to you, and they don’t take the time to introduce themselves when they speak at a meeting like that, because don’t we just all know who they are. It’s the very old horse-world issue, really. Equestrians quickly develop a language of their own, one that none horse people won’t understand, using words like Rollkur, flying changes, and such… I know, I’ve been in the world of horses for a long while, and I got to admit, I thought I spoke the language, but clearly, I don’t speak the Arabian horse world language.
Loads to learn it would seem, and no one to ask, especially now when they are giving the secretary the boot. Boy, have I bothered her with my constant emails, asking for everything I couldn’t find any answers for on the DSAH website or anywhere else I tried looking it up. So, way to go, really, firing the friendly face of the association… I know that if it hadn’t been for her, I would have left again, as soon as I had signed up, because no one else took the time to talk to me.
And that is unfair, some of the DSAH people are really cool of course. This is just the world of horses, as usual, keeping outsiders out, as much as possible, at all times. The pecking order amongst humans always amuses me. And I never play along, but I can’t help but find it slightly funny as an outsider, sitting at a meeting, listening to them complaining about how they are not getting any new members, while really, as a new member, you get the feeling that they truly DON’T want them at all…
The voting part was a bit amusing as well. How my friend and I sat next to two girls, who didn’t speak to us for the first half of the meeting at all, not even a hello, before the meeting started, and then once we came to vote, I happened to agree with the girl next to us and as I handed in my written vote, she quite obviously looked at it to see what I had voted. (So much for secret voting.)
Then she turned and talked to us, giving us her business cards, even though I told her that I wasn’t all that into breeding… (I must admit, I know her stallions and they are pretty awesome, but still.) Once again, I never tire of studying human behavior. So, we were on the same side, and an instant bond was formed.
I am horrible, I know. I can’t help it. I have been the outsider all my life, never trying or able to fit in, always watching others interacting… this is what I do. This is how I write, I guess. How I am able to create characters that are not a reflection of me. At least that is what I tell myself. Maybe I am just all crazy and got it all wrong… But I have worked with problem horses all my life, body language is kind of my specialty…
Anyway, my friend and I had to leave before we even got to the part of the meeting I was interested in, because I dared not be away from Tardis for too long. On my way out, I met one of the few girls who actually do take the time to talk to strangers, and she stopped me and said, “I love your books.”
Now, I am sorry, but that just made my day, it really did. Not only had she bothered to get to know me, but she had bought and read my books as well, and she loved them. Some times that is all it takes for your faith in humanity to be restored. Sometimes I am dead wrong and there are truly awesome people out there, and maybe I should give the world a much bigger chance than I usually do.
I even realized this morning that she had taken the time to review my books on Amazon, which means the world to me as well, because books needs reviews to sell. (Preferably good ones, but all publicity is better than none, so really, I am not fussy about how they are reviewed, I am just so grateful when someone takes the time to acknowledge that they have read them, because being read is the best thing that could happen to a book, really.)
So, yes, it was a bit of an interesting meeting and truth be told, I was sorry that I had to leave so soon, but I can’t stay away from my horses if I am not sure what is going on…
So we drove straight back to Tardis and she didn’t leave the hay this time. She was still eating rather slowly, but she was fighting to eat now, not just walking away, so we figured that was a good sign. If she is worse today, I’ll sure call the vet, and if she isn’t better tomorrow, I’ll call them anyway. Ablaze has got a bit of a cold, if they need to come by, they can check him out as well.
He is just snotty, really. No fever, he eats and plays and doesn’t seem affected by it at all, and ordinarily I wouldn’t have cared much. Foals tend to catch a cold a few times while growing up, it is part of building their immune system. Ablaze is only snotty in his one nostril though and that is not so good. So yes, I wait and watch, and try not to think the worst and I will probably call my vet tomorrow, just to ask advice. They loooove when I do that. At least I keep telling myself that.
After tending our horses, we ended up at my friends place, and another friend came by. We were supposed to watch movies and stuff, but we kind of ended up talking all night instead. Just talking, just the three of us. That is really nice once in a while, to be with someone you can just talk to, without having a TV running as distraction, or a party going and drunk people all around. Truly, it is a rare kind of friendship that leaves three girls to just sit together for a whole evening, sharing each other’s lives.
I guess I can’t always be the outsider, no matter how much I try. Those two just doesn’t buy it…