When I get to the barn this morning Hopi is outside with the group of other horses. Having more then just sprained my ankle two nights ago walking that far out and getting him is a challenge. The fact that I left specific instructions to only have Hopi be put out with his girlfriend, or alone if he was well enough to go out at all makes me more then just a little pissed.
Another horse in the barn, Spanky is an asshole with no manners in the field. Peter, now actually knowing anything about horses ignores the behavior and refuses to fix it, claiming it's not his job to train peoples horses. Spanky is more then just a little dangerous. Having been chased and kicked twice in the field, and bit on another occasion I can attest to this.
After a twenty minute fight involving a whip I've gotten Hopi and myself out of the field with minimal damage.
When I ask Peter why Hopi was out with the other horses instead of with his girlfriend, Bewitched, I'm told that he threw a fit. Hopi lulls sickly to the side and it's more then apparent he couldn't throw a fit about anything.
I explain I can't safely retrieve my horse while he's in a field with Spanky.
"I'll get him for you," Peter says, apparently believing this is a solution to the problem.
"What if you aren't here?" I counter, my ankle hurts and I'm more then a little peeved that my instructions were so blatantly ignored. Especially after explaining how sick Hopi possibly was.
"Then you can't get your horse," Peter says grumpily.
It becomes obvious that this is going to escalate into something much more.
"Besides I'm not going to fucking be here," Peter starts, his father, a little goblin like man in his late 70's approaches from the Hay loft. "They're making me get a fucking job!" Peter curses.
They, being the owners of the barn. Peters been fighting with them for years over whether he should pay rent or not. In most barns with apartment situations the barn hands are given free board and free lunches plus an hourly wage. Peter claims to get only 150 dollars a month, although I'm not at all sure I believe him, having caught his lying about many things in the past.
"Peter, that isn't my problem," I explain calmly "But you need to make sure Spanky is under control and Hopi is kept safe,"
"I don't have time for this shit," Peter's father suddenly breaks in. "You people are just trouble makers, This isn't even any of your business," He's screaming already.
"Excuse me?" I'm totally unprepared for the attack.
"This isn't any of your business," I tell Peter's father, and in all honesty, it isn't. He has nothing to do with the horses, and doesn't live on the property.
"My son does all the work around here and they don't want to pay him!" Apparently the man is under the impression that I care.
Before I go further I'd like to explain that I am an incredibly even tempered person. It takes a lot to get me going, but at that point I can feel myself tense.
"What does that have to do with me?" I say, trying to calm myself.
And then it all goes to hell. The man is screaming about how he's had a hundred horses, how he knows how to take care of them, etc, etc. He's in my face, screaming so loudly Hopi stops looking blankly at the floor and actually raises his head in alarm.
"If you know so much about horses why doesn't your son know how to do anything?"
That ruffles Peter's feathers, "I take care of them just fine!"
"If you did we wouldn't be having this problem," My mother snaps.
"Listen you!" That's old dude screaming again, right in my face. "I'm homeless and don't have time to deal with this,"
"Well maybe you deserve it," I say loudly, and all goes silent for a split second. See, I don't like being rude. I don't like being mean, but if you attack me first I will hit you as low as I possibly can.
I'm also right. The man has 5 children, all grown. Either he was a bad father and they don't want to help him, or he didn't raise them to be able to take care of themselves. And I tell him so.
Color drains from the mans face and he storms away screaming about how he hopes I become homeless and what a terrible girl I am.
Peter's yelling again in the background, something about not being taught to respect elders.
And then I'm crying and screaming about my horse dying and how it isn't anyone fault that I'll have to put him to sleep but I don't deserve to be yelled at by a nasty bitter old man. Believe me, it takes a lot to get me going, I'm beyond nasty when angry, but my hysteria is much scarier. I'm ranting and screaming and crying all at the same time, Peter takes a step back.
When I finally settle down I continue
"This is business, YOUR business. Either keep your father out of it or quit,"
"I can't tell my father what to do," He says softly, fight slightly draining away from him for a moment.
Then he's back to being Peter, explaining why nothing is his fault and everything is the owner of the barns fault. He's do anything for any of the horses but nobody appreciates it.
I sigh heavily. Noting for the seventh or eight time that it's a very, very good thing I don't have a gun.