Off-the-Wall: A Street Survival Journal—the stigma of living in The Nut House for Horseaholics on Chinese New Year

The Year Of the Ox began eventfully with Splendid High. He’s completing his tour of the Equine Inns in the area around the Horse Capital of the World: Lexington, Kentucky. Mother Nature has been more of a bear than on it to the area with a brutal ice storm event that has been a frozen Hell for most anyone with livestock or those with cars or who just want to survive—so just about everyone.

Splendid High, known as Mel, is sampling his last and favorite Equine Inn experience at A Little Bit Of Horse Haven. We have a few days left there but The Chinese New Year yesterday brought an unexpected surprise. While I was looking at a new place for him with an Irish horseman in Georgetown, I received a message from the proprietor of the Horse Haven. Of course, it alarmed me to see it on my phone, but I finished out checking out the possible new digs for Mel where he would learn to jump with a person on him.

He’s given me all sorts of indications that he wants to jump, such as at the Horse Lodge a few weeks ago he leaped up in the air over the goats and did a capriole and kicked out—while in hand—in response to the goats getting his goat once again. Mel is not a goat fan.

He does like having mule neighbors at the Horse Haven because he feels safe, as they will smoke any nasty critters with impunity including deer who kicked him in the head a few months back and fractured his skull between his eyes. That is the most likely scenario to me for how he got the huge protrusion between his eyes at The Stables at Queenslake. Deer do have a nasty kick and they were after his high value food I stupidly fed him on the ground in the turnout.

Trust me about deer, I lived in Absarokee, Montana which is run by the deer. People stupidly feed them although it’s rightly against the law and they roam around causing extreme hazard. Deer carcasses line the highway where miners drive in super fast buses to fuel the State’s economic engine, the Stillwater Mine. One accident with one of those buses would cripple the State’s greatest contributor to the tax base and cause anguish to many families whose breadwinners depend upon the lucrative jobs there. The deer still have some kind of suicidal desire to jump out in front of speeding 4 wheel drive trucks with grill guards. And the carnage piles up, but I digress.

Now Mel is safe in a stall at a time when many Thoroughbreds were at risk with what mean tricks Mother Nature desired to pull out of her rabbit’s hat. This ice storm was freezing rain that poured down for hours and hours and left an inch of ice coating my entire vehicle. Subarus rock, though, and I made the trek to Mel 30 minutes away to the Horse Haven which I was advised was too icy to risk driving in the driveway.

Well, my little Impreza drove on black ice at 17 below zero when no truckers were on Highway 3 outside of Billings. They heeded the warning not to drive that day, but the Southern Belle owner of the barn where Mel was then living needed supplies and I had my little compact Subaru with Winterforce tires and I made it there and back although she was stuck with her 4 wheel drive Dodge Ram truck. I just drove really slowly and was happy because no one was on the road but dumb me. It was that dangerous and I risked my life and I knew it but I felt the drive to get the supplies to a woman who gave me the chance to have a horse again when no one else would.

Love—it’s what makes a Subaru and Subaru. And how I loved Rimrock Subaru’s ninja Master Mechanic Tim who worked his superhero powers to keep my two cars on the road despite sabotage by others. Someone once actually drained the oil from my Outback in Absarokee and they carefully documented it. God bless all their hearts at Rimrock Subaru. I really miss them.

So what was the New Year surprise in Mel’s and my world and why did the proprietor call? To be continued…

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