Friday, January 08, 2010

Dang It!!

New Dishwasher Fitting Issues and the Pondering Continues

I was worried about the new dishwasher's height. Apparently, that's fine, but the width is a problem. The fit would be too tight in my cabinets as they are. I need to trim a bit off on each side before the machine can be installed. While the machine would fit, there would not be enough clearance for the door. Apparently if the washer shifted at all from its original position, then the new door would catch on the cabinet and be impossible to open.

The installer suggested sanding it down, but with what? I can't fit a standard sander in between the old washer and the cabinet. I am currently at a loss. There is plenty of cabinet to trim off without causing any problem. This is the moment for a handyman and I don't have one. I am going to have to sit back and think about this for a bit. The new dishwasher is on the back porch, still in the box, just waiting, tempting me terribly. They will come back to install it after I make the needed adjustments. *sigh* Bummer.

OK, while I ponder this new development, I will continue to some degree with yesterday's horse topic. Shannon's comment sparked a new angle about the perception of horse ownership by the "outside world."

Non horse people have a skewed view of horses, as I mentioned yesterday. Much of it comes from mass media's skewed presesentation of horses through the years. Shannon's comment that people always ask, "Can I come rider your horses?" is a typical example. Most horses in TV and the movies are saintly beasts, totally desensitized to all the activities around them and just as desensitized to novice riders bouncing around on their backs. While most horse rental places all also populated by such noble critters, most of our barns are not. At least mine certainly isn't. In fact, at the moment, I don't have a horse here I would put a novice rider on, and that includes Chance, who has a marvelous disposition.

We all train our horses to be sensitive, reactive and obedient to the aids. As noted yesterday, kicking, flopping and totally clueless non-horsemen in the saddle would spell sure disaster. And we need to remember that when temptation to actually let someone inexperienced sit in the saddle--should you ever fall prey to that notion. Seeing PJ gallop off with my cousin surely reminded me of the consequences.

But "Can I come ride?" is the least of the questions. How many times have you been asked, "Do your horses lie down when they sleep?" "Oh, do you race them?" "Doesn't it hurt when you put shoes on him?" "Don't they get cold? Do you have heat in the barn?" And, oh yes, "Do they have personalities? (Or something like that.)" I'm sure you can easily add to the list.

Of course, everyone you meet seems to have his or her own riding story. Once they discover you are a horseman, they need to share the tale of the time they went riding. Usually the story has some kind of disaster in it--runaway horse, they fell off, the horse wouldn't steer etc.--leaving you to wonder why they would even entertain the idea of riding one of your horses for an encore. I guess the social urge to bond with you in your passion by sharing their equine adventures is overwhelming, so you listen politely, making the appropriate sympathetic noises wondering if you sound just as sad when telling the visiting professional musician that you too used to play the clarinet. (An experience from my New Year's party...but at least I didn't go on about myself but just used the comment to develop a dialogue about his expertise and recent appointment to first chair soloist in his university orchestra.)

You don't much talk to non-horsemen about the real experiences of horse ownership as their faces quickly go blank at the mention of the amazing feeling of a flying change, but that's OK. If you're lucky, there is another horseperson somewhere in the house and you'll soon find the two of you off in some isolated corner away from the hubbub of the rest of the party talking about colic or something.

It's something the outside world just wouldn't understand.


  1. My favorite non-horse comment came when I was at the barn one day by myself. A lady from a nearby subdivision was walking by and shouted, "Do you need help?"

    "No," I told her. "Why?"

    "Is that horse sick?" she asked and pointed to a mare lying down.

    "No, she's just sleeping."

    "Are you sure?"


    At least she didn't ask to ride after that, I guess. ;-)

  2. Bummer about the dishwasher, can't they send someone to prep for the job or at least recommend someone nearby. Sanding is impossible, I wonder if you could fit a planer in there.

    I've been asked countless times if "I can come over and ride and let's do trails" etc.
    They seem very surprised when I tell them no, my horses aren't safe for inexperienced riders. I wouldn't want to hop on a horse if I didn't know what I was in for but ignorance is bliss I guess.

  3. Appliance/house woes - ugh - sounds like you might want to get a recommendation for a handyman (or woman) - we've got one and he's invaluable for just that sort of thing.

    I've never had anyone ask to ride any of my horses - except children with Norman the pony - maybe it's because they've seen them! We've used Maisie a few times for lunge line lessons - she's really good for that. My horses aren't really suitable for most riders, and I'd even hesitate to put many supposedly experienced riders on them. I suppose that means we have a long way to go in our training, but even then I don't think many people would be right to ride them.